St Helens boss Kristian Woolf responds to fans’ criticism of potentially playing Super League semi-final a day after rivals ahead of Grand Final

When the Super League play-off fixtures were revealed earlier today, St Helens fans felt aggrieved.

The one major sticking point was the fact that if Saints get into the Super League play-off semi-final, they would be playing on Saturday 17 September rather than Friday 16, meaning a day less preparation for the Grand Final if Kristian Woolf’s men managed to win that game.

However, though Saints fans were unhappy with the scheduling, Woolf wasn’t affected and even felt the day less would give him an advantage.

“I couldn’t care less what day we play on, a seven day turnaround rather than eight is what the players like the best – you have training and recovery days as normal,” Woolf said.

“The longer that lead in can lead to overthinking the Grand Final as well. I don’t see it as a problem whatsoever. I see it as our advantage to be fair.

“But, the main thing is, we’ve got to win a semi-final before we think about a Grand Final.”

The Saints boss will, of course, be leaving Merseyside for Queensland at the end of 2022 to take up a job with the Dolphins in the NRL and Woolf has revealed just how much fun he has had working with this group of players.

“I think I’ve improved a hell of a lot. I think this playing group has really helped me become a better coach and there are some things that they have taught me.

“Like how to prepare to be winners all the time and to enjoy each others’ company and you are always learning from your elite players.

“We’ve got a real honesty particularly amongst the senior players. we can take their feedback onboard and they will come and tell us if something isn’t working whether that’s on the field or things we do in our preparation.

“I’m a much better coach having been with this group of players.”