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“I can’t understand” – St Helens boss Paul Wellens left confused after defeat

Paul Wellens Craig Lingard

St Helens suffered yet another unexpected home defeat last night with Castleford Tigers beating them 8-6 in a result that has left Paul Wellens searching for answers.

It’s the club’s third home defeat this season and marks the second loss in a row after Salford Red Devils edged the Red Vee 20-18 before the international break. Two tight games and two losses will be a worry for Saints fans and Paul Wellens especially.

There is lots of pressure on the club’s head coach currently with Paul Wellens now the only head coach in Super League who isn’t contracted for next year. The pressure has been rising on the club legend and defeat to lowly Castleford simply adds to it.

Fans took to social media in the aftermath of the game to call for his exit and those shouts could grow even louder with a tough run of fixtures against Wigan, Warrington and Leigh coming in the next three.

Paul Wellens will have to prove himself in those three matches but before then he will have to understand what has gone wrong these past two weeks, something that he has accepted himself that he “can’t understand”.

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“There’s a ready-made excuse isn’t there?” – Paul Wellens reacts to Castleford loss

St Helens Paul Wellens

Credit: Imago Images

Speaking post-match after the narrow but embarrassing 8-6 loss to the 9/1 underdogs Castleford Tigers, Paul Wellens told SaintsTV that the loss was a “bit of a head-scratcher” before outlining a “ready-made excuse” that could account for recent results.

Paul Wellens told the media and SaintsTV: “It was very tough, very disappointing and a bit of a head-scratcher really because off the back of poor results a couple of weeks ago, a bit of time off to freshen up, I can’t understand why we look so flat at times during the game.

“That’s something for us, myself and the rest of the staff to work out. It’s happened a couple of times this year but also the players need to take responsibility.”

He did note that the club were without a host of senior players but insisted that the 17 men selected should have been good enough to secure the two points.

“There’s a ready-made excuse though, isn’t there,” Wellens noted.

“We’ve got nine front-line players on the sidelines, we can’t get away from that, but the team that we had out there today was good enough to win that game.

“There are periods in the game where we just don’t handle it as well as we should. We’ve been in two tight games in recent weeks and not handled it well. Obviously, it goes without saying that we need to improve dramatically.”

What next for St Helens?

St Helens head coach Paul Wellens

Credit: Imago Images

Ultimately though, it was another two points dropped and St Helens are now in danger of being distanced by Wigan Warriors who sit four points clear of them with a game in hand. They’re also under pressure from Warrington Wolves who went level on points with them and Hull KR who could overtake them with a win today.

For Paul Wellens, a St Helens legend, it’s difficult to accept as he revealed that he’d hope the players will be stinging following the loss, something that he claimed he was.

“I’m a St Helens fan, but I’m also the head coach now. I feel it, I feel the disappointment, but what I’ve also got to do is take a bit of time and try not get over-emotional because that’s not going to do anybody any good.

“I’ll go and watch the game and reflect on that and see where we can improve but when the boos rings out on the ground as they did tonight, I will be very disappointed if any single person in a Saints kit tonight left the field not stinging as well.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jaybs

    July 6, 2024 at 10:43 am

    Paul Wellens, was such a good player, and such a gentleman, but we can’t all rise to being a Prime Minister and it is the same with RL coaching, he looks a nervous wreck in the box at times, Cunningham never really had it, but Saints made the same mistake then, Paul should stand down, I hatr to see him get sacked.

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