St Helens coach Paul Wellens paid tribute to new dad Mark Percival after an impressive display in their 22-0 win over Castleford Tigers.
Percival scored a try and kicked three goals just days after his partner Carys gave birth to their first child as St Helens returned to winning ways with a comfortable 22-0 win over Castleford.
Speaking after the game, Wellens admitted he had considered giving the centre the weekend off but the England international was determined to play.
Wellens said: “Obviously he’s been going through different emotions and you make decisions as a coaching group about whether it’s the right thing to play someone but Percy was adamant he was going to play.
“He’s on cloud nine after becoming a father and the way he played tonight showed it was right decision to play him.
“When other things happen in your life, other things can seem a little less relevant and I love it when he comes out and plays so carefree.”
Paul Wellens praises way St Helens responded to Hull defeat
Wellens admitted he and his players had ‘honest conversations’ during the week after last week’s 34-6 defeat at Hull FC, and was pleased with how they bounced back.
He added: “On another night we’d have scored more points but I went on record saying we dropped our standards last week in terms of lacking effort and turning up to a game having rather than wanting to play.
“What you saw tonight was 17 blokes who were committed and wanted to turn up.
“The most pleasing aspect about tonight was that we kept the opposition scoreless after shipping 34 points the week before.
“It wasn’t the most expansive game but after our disappointment last week it was a simple challenge to get back to working hard for each other and I thought you saw that in spades.”
Next up for Saints is a trip to Warrington on Friday night.