The Morning After: Super Jack celebrates milestone & 15-man St Helens

Josh McAllister
Jack Welsby, SWPix.

Photo: Allan McKenzie/

The Morning After looks at three talking points from the latest Super League action between St Helens and Warrington.

Super Jack celebrates milestone

Jack Welsby made his 100th career appearance on Thursday night, his 94th for St Helens, in the 28-6 victory over Warrington.

The international playmaker has made six appearances for England, and has been included in Shaun Wane’s extended 40-man squad ahead of the mid-season friendly against France in Warrington.

Welsby, only 22, set up his side’s third try, with Will Hopoate the first to get to the full-back’s kick, while he had an all-round solid game for St Helens as the side returned to winning ways.

Meanwhile, Warrington winger Matty Russell crossed for his 100th career try in his side’s defeat.

15-man St Helens

With up to 13 players sidelined from both sides heading into the Thursday night clash, it saw youngsters given their chance in the first team.

Having made his debut from the bench against Wigan, academy captain Lucas Green once again featured from the bench, while his Under-18s side fell to a 34-18 defeat to St Helens academy as a curtain-raiser.

Injuries within the St Helens pack, including to the likes of Alex Walmsley, Agnatius Paasi and Curtis Sironen, has seen George Delaney earn his chance in the Super League side, having previously featuring for Swinton in the Championship at the start of the season.

23-year-old Sam Royle, who is off-contract at the end of the season, started once again in the back-row, while Joe Batchelor made his first appearances since his ankle injury sustained against St George Illawarra Dragons in February. 

However, two players were unused subs for the hosts on the night in Wesley Bruines and Lewis Baxter.

Off-season recruit Bruines was named on the bench for his potential debut, but he wasn’t called upon by head coach Wellens.

Likewise, having been included for the first time this season, forward Baxter, 20, was named as an interchange but did not feature.

Wellens explained: “My plan was originally, as I did at Hull KR last week, to use Jack in at 13, so Wes (Bruines) would have come into the backs and Jon Bennison to full-back and Jack Welsby would have moved up.

“But I never really got the sense of that. It’s always a bit of a feeling as a coach whether you need to or you don’t, and I never got that feeling.

“And once we got our noses in front, I thought you’d be changing things for the sake of changing them.

“I’m really disappointed for Lewis Baxter, I would have loved to get him out there. But what people have to understand, he’s just come off the back of an injury himself and has hardly played over the last couple of months.

“I would have loved to give the kid an opportunity out there, but sometimes circumstances dictate.

“Wes has been great and he understands the situation and just said he’s delighted that he’s in and around the team and in and around the squad and he’s in my thoughts and I’d have every confidence that if we needed to throw Wes out there and compete, he’d go out there and do a good job.”

READ: St Helens injury latest including Tommy Makinson and Mark Percival updates

Kasiano impact

Having found himself back in familiar territory named on the bench against St Helens, Sam Kasiano came on and had a real impact for Warrington, although ultimately it wasn’t enough on the night.

Warrington conceded three tries for a 16-0 score before he was introduced to the action, and helped the Wire get on the front-front with powerful efforts.

Daryl Powell was without Gil Dudson, Paul Vaughan and Joe Philbin due to respective suspensions for the Round 10 clash, while prop Joe Bullock could return to action after the international break against Wakefield.

The absentees saw Daryl Clark named at loose forward, although the international hooker was forced from the field in the first half through injury.

Josh McGuire was named at prop forward alongside the returning James Harrison, with Josh Thewlis, Peter Mata’utia, Green and Kasiano making up the interchange bench.

It’s fair to say that Powell will be happy to have more forwards back soon, with the side lacking go-forward in the middle.

READ NEXT: Daryl Clark: Warrington head coach provides injury latest

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