Tommy Makinson hailed as ‘one of, if not the best’ wingers in Super League by Paul Wellens

Aaron Bower
Tommy Makinson St Helens

Tommy Makinson in action for St Helens

St Helens coach Paul Wellens heaped praise on winger Tommy Makinson after his try helped the Saints win the Good Friday derby and move top of the Super League table.

Makinson’s try with seven minutes remaining helped put the Saints ahead in a pulsating derby, before Konrad Hurrell’s try in the final three minutes helped secured a win that ended the Warriors’ run of 15 consecutive league victories.

Makinson came in for praise aplenty from Wellens post-match, having just returned to the side following a back problem that sidelined him for their recent trips to Headingley to face Leeds Rhinos.

And Wellens insisted that as far as he is concerned, there is an argument he is the standout winger in the competition.

He said: “He’s been one of the best wingers – if not the best winger – in Super League for a long time.”

When asked for his verdict on the victory, Wellens said: “We didn’t expect anything different but when it comes around you’re never sure how it’s going to pan out. There’s a ferocity to the games, a chaos at times and emotions are riding high given the importance of the game. Sometimes it comes down to fine margins and I thought it did today.

“It’s probably the closest thing you get to a State of Origin over here when these two play each other. The two clubs are very similar; they invest heavily in youth, there’s a real passion in the towns for their team and there’s an expectation around success.”

DERBY REACTION: St Helens’ statement of intent, outstanding O’Neill, yellow and red cards: Good Friday debrief