LAST week's contract extensions signed by Lewis Dodd and Konrad Hurrell follow a positive pattern at Saints which club coach Kristian Woolf gave a telling explanation of this week.

Those signings came hot on the heels of previous triggering of 12-month deals for Sione Mata'utia and Agnatius Paasi, plus the extensions of new England caps Jack Welsby and Matty Lees.

Despite Saints' three-in-a-row success creating demand and a rise in valuation, they have so far managed to juggle the contraints of the salary cap by securing many of their prized assets for this year and beyond.

But Woolf explained that every player on the roster "could have got more money elsewhere" - but they have chosen to be part of this successful environment.

Woolf said: "I am really happy with what we have been able to do there with retention.

"It becomes harder and harder when you have success because a player’s valuation goes up and salary cap becomes harder to manage.

"We have had a stable group in some ways – even if we have had a bit of transition this last couple of years.

"The core of that group has been here a long time.

"But it becomes harder when you look at a new team coming into the NRL and the disparity in the salary cap between the two comps.

"Obviously other clubs are looking at our players to try and improve and get to a position where we are and have been the last couple of years.

"It does become more of a challenge every single year and we have to make sure we make strong decisions there around who helps us keep going forward. That is what we have done."

St Helens Star:

In the cases of Lees, Dodd and Welsby the club have agreed extensions and in some cases upgraded before entering their final year.

Although the salary cap was a big part in the popular pair Lachlan Coote and Theo Fages joining Hull KR and Huddersfield at the end of last term, Woolf revealed an interesting point on salaries across the board.

"One thing I will say about this group that makes it so special and a big part of the success that we have had, is if you look through the whole roster, every player that we have got could have got more money if they had gone elsewhere.

"But they choose to stay here – and stay here for the right reasons.

"That is why they get success off the back of that," Woolf said.