St Helens just about overcame Huddersfield last week by 18 points to 10, but boss Kristian Woolf wasn’t surprised by the Giants’ resistance.
“We got exactly what we expected; like I said before the game, they’ve got a lot of quality in their roster and they had a real energy as a result of that,” Woolf stated.
“It was good, physical game of footy and a battle of attrition where we got ourselves on top fairly early and we had to fight to stay there.
“We won a lot of effort areas there and there is plenty of improvement but we’re working really hard.”
Woolf said his side had no injury problems from that game, but expects a tough fixture against Leigh in round five.
“We came through pretty good, but I think that Leigh have showed enough to show they’re going to be competitive.
“I know they haven’t been as good as they want to be the past few weeks, but in Tommy Makinson’s testimonial they came out with intent and they were extremely competitive against us and Wigan in round one.
“We can’t expect anything different this week, it’s a great opportunity for teams to play against us because we’ve had some success in the recent years.
“Every team is going to come with a point to prove and we need to make sure we’re up for the challenge as Leigh have nothing to lose – they can come up with different ways to challenge us.
“We need to make sure we’re up for the fight and doing our best each week. We’ve got plenty of improvement and I’m sure we will show that this weekend.”
The St Helens boss also gave a positive update on injured trio Tommy Makinson, Morgan Knowles and Matty Lees.
“Morgan Knowles will be back in a couple of weeks; he had a scan that came back positive.
“We need to reintroduce him to everything – he hasn’t held a footy in a while and he needs to get back into contact and make sure he can prepare his body for a game.
“Matty Lees has had to have surgery on a fractured ankle; it’s all relatively positive, the surgery was a success and it’s not really a lengthy injury, but it will be 10 or 11 weeks.
“We all know what Matty Lees is like, he works so hard and is so disciplined and will hit the ground running in a few weeks time.
“He plays tough and physical and throws his body around which means you can suffer injuries, but he’s got a real mental toughness and a positive attitude about what he needs to do next.
“I’ve sung his praises a number of times and he’s got a terrific work ethic and discipline about him.
“I’m going to name Tommy in the 21-man squad, we will expect that he plays. It’s not serious, but it can hang around and can be a bit niggly.
“If it hasn’t settled by Thursday then we will leave him for another week.”
In recent weeks, Woolf has sent the likes of Josh Simm and Josh Eaves on loan and the Saints boss is keen to continue doing so in a bid to get fringe players time on the field.
“It’s the only way we can give some guys game time; we know in six or seven weeks time when we’ve got internationals and short turnarounds – we’ve got 5 games in 20 days for example – when we get into those periods we know what the whole squad will need to stand up.
“What’s important is that we need to get blokes little bits of footy, with Josh Simm, Josh Eaves and Matty Foster going to Leigh.
“It’s a tough balancing act.”