St George Illawarra Dragons 18-30 St Helens: Talking points and player ratings

St Helens beat St George Illawarra Dragons 30-18 this morning in a truly impressive win over the NRL side ahead of the World Club Challenge next week.

Here is everything you need to know about the game:

Talking Points:

Welsby could shine in the NRL
For a while, everything good from St Helens seemed to involve Jack Welsby. The next big star of Super League, it was good to see the young fullback back in his preferred position and he was sensational and proved he could be brilliant in the NRL as Cooper Cronk also spoke highly of him at the break.

Dodd not missing a beat
When a young player has such a long injury break there is a concern that they might not come back with the same potential. But in his two games since his return he has scored two tries and also created a lovely score for Welsby in the first half. It looks as if he was never injured at all.

Mistakes will be punished
St George operated at a brilliant completion rate today which meant that every time St Helens made a mistake pressure came onto them. Penrith will likely have the same kind of completion rate next week which means St Helens will have to be very good with the ball to ensure they don’t invite unnecessary pressure. It is also crucial they don’t make mistakes in defence. A misread from Konrad Hurrell saw the Saints burnt by a brilliant try created by former Salford Red Devils and Warrington Wolves forward Ben Murdoch-Masila.

Saints youngsters impress
As Paul Wellens rang the changes, the Saints kept the pressure on the Dragons. The rotation didn’t seem to upset the Saints rhythm with the likes of Ben Davies and especially Joey Lussick impressing.

A warning for Penrith or a routine win over rookies?
It was a bit of a mixed St George side today. They had some first team stars but also some rookies as the likes of Ben Hunt missed out. Saints looked really good but fans will question if it is the statement win it appears on paper.

St Helens Player Ratings:

1 Jack Welsby – 9
2 Tommy Makinson – 8
23 Konrad Hurrell – 6
4 Mark Percival – 7
3 Will Hopoate – 7
6 Jonny Lomax – 8
7 Lewis Dodd – 9
8 Alex Walmsley – 7
9 James Roby – 7
10 Matty Lees – 7
11 Sione Mata’utia – 8
12 Joe Batchelor – 7
19 James Bell – 7
5 Jon Bennison – 6
14 Joey Lussick – 8
15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook – 7
16 Curtis Sironen – 8
17 Agnatius Paasi – 7
18 Jake Wingfield – 7
20 Dan Norman – 7
21 Ben Davies – 7
22 Sam Royale – 6
24 Lewis Baxter – 6
25 Tee Ritson – 7
26 Daniel Hill – 6

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