SAINTS boss Kristian Woolf gave his thoughts on rugby league matters when the Star’s Mike Critchley caught up with him this week.

MC: Tommy Makinson will be a big miss this week, particularly those early carries?

KW: He is outstanding. He gets noted for his finishing, which is as good if not better than anyone in the game. What gets missed sometimes is the way carries, the number of times he does it and how consistent he is.

His all round game is really good, defensively and also as a catcher.

St Helens Star:

MC: And he has added the kicking string to his bow this year.

KW: He has been kicking terrifically. His confidence is one of the things I love of about him.

When Lachlan Coote and Mark Percival were out at the start of the year and we were talking about who can kick. Tommy put his hand up straight away and he has not missed many.

MC: Four weeks in and there have been a lot of enforced changes already, is that unsettling or do you see the positives in the opportunities it presents other players?

KW: We would all like to the same team to roll out every week and that makes it a lot easier in your preparation, your understanding and how you put your attack together, plus how you build your combinations defensively as well.

Our game is a contact sport and we went through a bit of this last year with constant changes every week, particularly at the start of the year.

We are not the only team going through that.

St Helens Star:

The real opportunity and positive side of it is that some of our other guys and young guys have got an opportunity and have taken that with two hands.

That builds their confidence and the depth within the squad as well.

St Helens Star:

MC: One of those is Jake Wingfield (above) - and you must have been pleased to have that faith in him vindicated?

KW: I was really happy with how Jake went. The biggest compliment I can give him is how comfortable he looked and he added to us when he came on and that was quite obvious.

With the ball, he is a natural ball player and I was happy with how he defended as well.

For a young bloke stepping up to Super League the hardest thing to get used to is the physicality and the consistency of what is required from you defensively.

He did an outstanding job. He looked like a Super League player that is for sure.

MC: Huddersfield have a new coach - do you expect them to click soon?

KW: I do know watching them play that they are a well coached side with a very good structure about them.

They already defend in a similar way to Salford last year, you can certainly see Ian Watson’s fingerprints all over them.

He has had terrific success over the last few years so I would expect Huddersfield sooner rather than later to get up and win a couple of games and sometimes that is all you need to get on a bit of a roll.

What we need to make sure is that it is not this week, and that is entirely in our hands.

MC: Does it make it awkward playing Huddersfield two weeks before a knockout game?

KW: I had not thought about what was coming up. This week has been the focus.

It can work for you or against you as both teams get a good look at each other and their strengths and how they play. But both