SAINTS boss Justin Holbrook covered plenty of ground when the Star’s Mike Critchley caught up with him.

MC: The win almost felt better after absences had been explained?

JH: From my point of view it was a massive win considering the late disruption.

Robes was the only one we knew midweek who would not play.

But Percy got a virus, Zeb’s wife had the baby on the morning of the match and Big Al had to leave at 20 past six when his wife went into labour.

St Helens Star:

MC: With Robes, is it a long term issue or a case of managing him week to week?

JH: It is a case of managing his little niggles that pop up. We know how big and important player he is so if he is right to play we will play him.

Our approach is probably not too dissimilar to the way Wigan use Sean O’Loughlin.

Lockers will always get up for the big games – and that is what Robes will do. It is about us being smart with Robes.

We are lucky enough to have a replacement like Aaron Smith who I have a lot of confidence in, he is more than capable of playing Super League in our side. So while we have got that luxury we will use it.

St Helens Star:

MC: Will Welsby, (Above) Smith, Bentley's exposure to a game like benefit them and the team long term?

JH: It was great for young Jack Welsby, scoring his first try in his second game. James Bentley did not think he was going to play at all until about 6.30 and played well considering that.

It was great to give those you guys a go.

MC: You ended up being forced to rotate the squad, which some fans had been asking for.

JH: I know lack of rotation was not the reason we did not win those big games last year.

If you look at 2017 when I came in and we had to win virtually every game to qualify for the semis, nobody said at the back end of the year ‘are you going to rest James Roby?’

And we were the best side in that semi (at Cas) and could have won the comp that year.

We do want to be smart with the process though.

St Helens Star:

MC: Kyle Amor’s best game for a good while and aggressive from the first carry?

JH: I thought he made a really good impact for us. He was disappointed not to play the previous couple of weeks and he came on and showed a lot of effort, enthusiasm and energy at the start of the second half. I am happy for him and he is working really hard and wants to be in the 17.

MC: After losing Theo, Jonny Lomax became dominant half, but we also saw Joseph Paulo get his hands on the ball and take a distributive lead second half. Is that the role you have for him?

JH: That is the role he is going to play and we are just bringing him in slowly in terms of his contribution to the team. He really stepped up and did a big job for us and played a big part in Kyle scoring his try and got his hands on the ball a lot and carried strongly too. He showed signs of what he is going to provide for our team this year.

St Helens Star:

MC: Did you enjoy the Thatto game on Saturday?

JH: I did, I took two of my boys and stood behind the posts where they kept holding up North Wales right up to save tries late in the game.

Vote for Matty Norton try>

It was just a really enjoyable game to go and watch rugby and relax at a local community club, see a great game and a great win.

It is great for our game in St Helens – and to have them through to the fifth round of the Challenge Cup in such great style.

Interview with Zeb Taia>

MC: The Women's Super League kicks off this weekend. Development there have been good for the sport.

JH: It is a big season for the Women’s game. The more seasons they get the more awareness there will be and people will know about it.

Another year about to kick off is exciting. They have been getting a bit more exposure, which is good. The more the better.