Kristian Woolf was rightly pleased with his side as they downed Leeds 26-0 tonight.
Against big rivals who no doubt feel like a wounded animal at the moment, the Saints showed their class to pick up a sixth league win of the season despite a valiant effort from the Rhinos who put the Champions under some serious pressure for spells.
After the game, Woolf was very pleased with his side’s performance: “I liked everything about us tonight to be honest. It was a really high intensity game of footy, Leeds really came to play and played with a real effort which they probably haven’t had over the last couple of weeks which is a good sign for them and a good sign for us. We had to turn up and match that and battle for everything we got.
“We certainly had a little bit of ill-discipline which put us under pressure but it’s okay if you’re going to turn up and defend your line like that. You knew we weren’t going to get broken.”
The Saints also showed their strength in depth tonight. Without the likes of Alex Walmsley and Regan Grace, youngsters such as Jon Bennison stepped up proving that Saints have the squad needed to chase down the title.
When asked about young Bennison, Woolf said: “He’s a good kid, I thought all the younger guys did well. Dan Norman I thought had a good game. There was a couple of times he looked a bit shaky on the legs but he found a way to keep going. I thought Jake Wingfield was great.
“Really happy with all of them, really happy with Jon Bennison. He’s a good footy player.”
Woolf was also keen to acknowledge the difficult task facing his side tonight in the shape of Leeds and believed the Rhinos gave them a challenge befitting of the rivalry: “We knew Leeds would turn up and play the way they did. There’s a rivalry there, there’s a history there and there’s no better way for them to get themselves out of a bad spot than against us and playing really well against us.”
Of course, in some ways the game played second fiddle to legend James Roby who played his 500th game tonight and he was as good as ever in Woolf’s view: “James Roby did what he does every single game. He’s probably played that game for all 500 and that’s why he’s such a special player. The way he competes, the effort he puts in, just how good he is at every part of his game. His pass is 99/100 every game and his defence is always based on effort. He does the little things that people don’t necessarily see.
“I find it hard in my time here to think of a game where he hasn’t been an eight or nine out of 10 and I think you overlook him at times because he is so good, so solid for every game.
“I can’t sing his praises enough, he’s an exceptional person. The club is very much in his image. I think the values we have as a team is very much in his image and he’s going to leave a legacy here which is exceptional.”