JUSTIN Holbrook gave his thoughts on rugby league matters when the Star’s Mike Critchley caught up with him.

MC: You had to throw Louie (below) into the centres very early last week - never an ideal situation?

JH: I do see Louie as a utility player. He is fit and agile for a big bloke and has filled in at centre a few times and won us a game last year.

That said, he is not comfortable there and I don’t want him to be because he is not a centre.

But that is the risk you take when you go with four forwards on the bench.

If you play an outside back on the bench in the first few rounds you don’t get them on the field – you play with three, the flip side is you get an injury and have to shuffle.

We were a bit out of sorts in that first half but fixed it up at half time.

St Helens Star:

MC: The amount of ball turned over invited Leeds to keep attacking.

JH: That is what Leeds can do. They are such a dangerous side so when things are going their way they are hard to stop.

It was a typical Saints v Leeds game and I was glad to come away with the win.

St Helens Star:

MC: What are the lessons learned from that?

JH: Quite a few; when we are on top we have to try and stay there and not invite teams back in. As you say, we gave them enough ball to make it pay.

It is about trying to slowly turn the game back in our favour and not try to do it instantly, like we were trying to do in the first half.

We tried to swing it around straight away and you can’t do that against anybody.

St Helens Star:

It was a good learning curve in that area but we showed great character after going 22-10 down, and keeping them scoreless in the second half after all the ball they had in the first half.

I thought that was a huge credit to us, particularly the way we started the second half as we were defending our line straight away.

We got through that and then straight up the other end to score. We learned a lot but it was a real gutsy win.

St Helens Star:

MC: What is the plan with goalkicking, change or more practice?

JH: Mark Percival is a good kicker but he said he didn’t really enjoy it at the weekend. I am fine with that because it is not part of his game – he tackles really well and run the ball well. If he is not enjoying goal kicking there is no need to do it.

Cootey kicked them all pre-season and went well. But we went into round one and Percy had not missed one for a while at training so let him start.

He is still a good kicker, and could go back to it, but at the moment he can go back to his own game and we will go with Cootey.

MC: Goalkicking would not shape your thoughts on Danny Richardson’s return, would it?

JH: You want a goal kicker that has a great percentage because that is an important part of the game. We are in a country full of footballers so we must have some goalkickers somewhere.

They can all kick all right – Tommy Mak, Jonny Lomax are ok kickers – and we have part time kickers. Robes kicked his first drop goal at the weekend so I may get him kicking (laughing).

But it is a specialist role. Danny is a fantastic goalkicker but you have got to make sure you have all parts of your game too.

St Helens Star:

MC: Robes added a scruffy drop goal - has he put his hand up for your golden point kicker?

JH: He kicked it and then thought had he done the right thing. But under the new rules the clock doesn’t run down in the last five minutes so they had a chance to get the ball back – luckily Theo caught the short kick off.

MC: Another outstanding game from Luke Douglas at Leigh. Is he close to playing his way back in or can you not drop someone from the first team yet?

JH: It is a bit of both. I am watching them and Duggy, James Bentley and obviously Jack Ashworth tried so hard for Leigh. It is just a case of them waiting for an opportunity.

MC: Widnes’ plight is not a good one, particularly for a neighbouring town so steeped in rugby league.

JH: Well it is sad to hear the situation Widnes are in being one of our neighbours and having so many good rugby league players from that area – particularly young players.

For the grassroots you want them to have a senior team to go through for.

I am just hopeful that investors can get involved and keep them going because it is not something anyone is happy to see of any club, let alone one of our neighbours.