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Woolf defends tactical approach but rues his team’s errors

St Helens Head Coach Kristian Woolf was left frustrated by the amount of handling errors from his side but defended their tactical approach.

He drew on one particular incident, a knock on from Regan Grace which was scooped up by Catalans’ Mike McMeeken. His offload then put Dean Whare over for a try that ultimately proved decisive.

Reflecting on what happened, Woolf said, “We want to play a bit of footy.

“We encourage our back three and five to link up if they get the opportunity, in particular, if they are going to put someone else in a better position than they are actually in.

“There needs to be concentration there to make sure we nail that play.

“There was not anything wrong with the mind set around the play. We just have to execute.”

Woolf’s St Helens side tasted defeat for the first team since last October, sending them down to second in the table.

The Saints initially trailed 20-6 with less than 20 minutes remaining before a fightback gave them a good chance of snatching another win but it ultimately proved futile.

Offering a further insight into his side’s performance, Woolf added, “I like the fight we had in the last 20 minutes.

“We just have to make sure we have that fight in the 20 before that when the game is on the line and there to be won, not put ourselves in a position where we have to chase points.”

Saints winger Grace scored his side’s final try late on before leaving the field with a suspected head injury and never returned.

He was not the only St Helens player having it rough as Fijian international Kevin Naiqama was hit with a big tackle that attracted complaints from his team mates.

Reflecting on both incidents, Woolf said, “I am not quite sure on Regan. The doctor was getting his head assessment done.

“As for Kevin, I will have to have a look at the video. It did not look great live but sometimes things look a bit worse when you look at them live and then not as bad afterwards or vice versa.”

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