“They had months to prepare” – Phil Gould reacts to St Helens win after saying Penrith “would be able to declare at half-time”

St Helens showed what they can do ahead of the World Club Challenge when they looked very good against St George Illawarra Dragons.

Granted the Dragons were playing with some rookies in their side and the likes of Ben Hunt didn’t feature.

But the Saints still impressed giving Penrith a bit of a warning of what they could expect today.

The Saints led 16-12 at the break thanks to tries from Lewis Dodd, Jack Welsby and Tommy Makinson as Dodd and Welsby shone.

In the second half Joey Lussick and Tee Ritson completed the 30-18 win but it has divided fans.

Some believed it was a real warning to Penrith Panthers ahead of the World Club Challenge as others dismissed it as a routine win over a rookie side.

Controversial Australian pundit and Canterbury Bulldogs chief Phil Gould stirred the pot as he questioned if they’d actually named their strongest side for a friendly:

“Is this St Helens top side? Or are they resting some?”

He made matters worse when asked what the score will be next week stating that Penrith will be able to “declare” at halftime.

He said when asked “Panthers by how many?”: “They should be able to declare by half time.”

A bold statement to say at the expense of Super League’s four time reigning Champions who have built a dynasty like nothing else seen in the world of modern rugby league.

Gould made headlines in the World Cup when he said England “can’t” beat Samoa in the World Cup only for England to defeat Samoa 60-6.

However, he was eventually proved right when Samoa beat England in the semi-finals at the Emirates Stadium.

But this time he has eaten his words at halftime giving St Helens credit after halftime as they lead 10-0 at the break through Jack Welsby and Konrad Hurrell tries.

He said on Twitter:

“St Helens playing much better to the conditions. Look far more comfortable in the battle. Panther look disjointed and struggling to put plays together. Saints defence is bustling and resilient. Panther needs to improve to get out of this. St Helens in control.”

Saints did nearly blow it with the Panthers fighting back but a Lewis Dodd drop goal in extra time won the game for the Super League Champions.

Gould has reacted on Twitter congratulating the Saints:

“Well done St Helens. That’s a mighty victory. Beat Panther to the punch early. Defended their lead with pride. Terrific stuff. Panther looked clunky but no excuses. They had months to prepare. St Helens too good on the night. Great result for Rugby League.”

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