The tremendous statistics behind the ‘outstanding’ display of St Helens young gun in Leeds Rhinos victory

Ben Olawumi
George Delaney

St Helens head coach Paul Wellens hailed young gun George Delaney as ‘outstanding’ following their victory over Leeds Rhinos on Friday night, and the statistics show he was right to do so.

Having been named on the bench at the Totally Wicked Stadium, the forward was called into action just six minutes into the Round 12 clash as Joe Batchelor was forced off the field with a ankle ligament injury.

Delaney then didn’t leave the field in the remaining 74 minutes, putting in a huge shift in the front row as Saints claimed a big 40-10 victory in front of their home crowd to move top of the Super League table, at least temporarily.

The Whiston-born youngster has now featured 35 times at senior level while donning the Red V, as well as six appearances for Swinton Lions on dual-registration in 2023. Impressive numbers given he only turned 20 in February.

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The tremendous statistics behind the ‘outstanding’ display of St Helens young gun in Leeds Rhinos victory

In Friday night’s victory, Delaney made his presence felt in both defence and attack – making 31 tackles as well as 135 metres with the ball in hand.

Only team-mates Matty Lees & Daryl Clark ended the game with more tackles to their name, and only veteran Mark Percival made more metres than the 20-year-old, ahead by 12 on 147.

Added to those tremendous numbers produced by Delaney, the academy product made four tackle busts – enjoying a starring role in a second half showing which saw Saints score five tries to assert their dominance on the scoreboard.

Post-match, boss Wellens hailed the role the young gun had played in their success, saying: “I thought he was outstanding.

“You forget he is still a 20-year-old doing remarkable things. I’ve had conversations with George myself… I have to be careful as a coach, and we have to be careful as a club, and still remember that he is 20 years of age.

“There was a period in the season were he did start to fatigue a little bit because we are asking a hell of a lot of him, but we took him out of the firing line for a short period of time and introduced him back in.

“I think that smart approach is starting to really help George. He just doesn’t look out of place, does he? If anything, quite the opposite. He looks like he belongs there and he is only going to get better.”

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