1. A look down the team sheet yesterday to see eight of Saints’ best players missing, including three members of brains trust – Coote, Lomax and Roby - brought a few gulps. After all, they were up against Catalans, the only team that has beaten them this year.

O ye of little faith.

There were so many pleasing aspects of the afternoon – from the performance, both individually and team-wise, to the belief that this sort of display instils into the rest of the squad.

Attention will understandably focus on the young guns – but from the off, when it was still game on, the role of Alex Walmsley and Zeb Taia was invaluable.

Walmsley – fully fit again after an horrendous 2018 – was at his rampaging, Herculean best, going through the Dragons defence like a dose of Andrews.

Luke Thompson will be a big loss for the next six weeks, but if Big Al, in tandem with Matty Lees, Jack Ashworth, Kyle Amor, can bring this game every week then Saints will more than cope.

St Helens Star:

2. Some of Saints changes yesterday could not be helped – with Luke Thompson, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Mark Percival sidelined for six weeks and Morgan Knowles suspended for a match.

Tommy Makinson could have played, despite suffering a back spasm last Monday, whilst James Roby, Jonny Lomax and Lachlan Coote were rested to recover from Easter bumps.

Although Saints’ cushion at the Super League summit gives them some breathing space, Holbrook’s confidence in the players coming in gave him confidence to let those key men sit this out.

Matty Costello certainly enjoyed his afternoon, racing in for a hat-trick of tries.

St Helens Star:

And take Aaron Smith – a player who improves and matures with each passing week he exposed to the first team. His try showed some doggedness, deceptive strength and a dash; remind you of anyone?

For so long we have wondered where Roby’s understudy and potential successor is coming from, but Smith is certainly putting his hand up.

And there is an added bonus, it may handicap Roby’s Man of Steel ambitions, but it will be making sure – as best as possible – that the veteran skipper is fit for the crunch games after the experience of the back end of last year. As a strategy it has served Wigan well with their Talisman Sean O’Loughlin – and they have the titles top show it.

St Helens Star:

3. Without wishing to heap expectation and unnecessary pressure on the lad, but Jack Welsby showed again what a prodigious talent he is.

For a lad who only turned 18 last month, Welsby has slotted into the side with aplomb showing that he has both the physical attributes and skill levels to be an outstanding Super League player. You can see why he earned such rave reviews after destroying the Aussie Schoolboys for the England Academy in the autumn.

Welsby has the world at his feet and will certainly be keeping Saints’ star men at one and in the halves on their toes – and will be a very capable deputy when required. He is certainly going to give the coach a nice selection headache going forward. When you are good enough, you are old enough.

St Helens Star:

4. Added to that selection headache was the return of Theo Fages and what was arguably Danny Richardson’s best game since he came back into to the side.

Losing his place at the start of the year – and being sent to Leigh on loan – was probably a fair fall from grace from last year’s Dream Team number seven. But young players will have troughs, among the peaks they will hit in their careers.

And Richardson is still developing aspects of his game, things that can be worked on, namely taking the ball to the line and in defence. He may not be the finished article – but he still has the qualities to be an outstanding number seven and one we should persevere with. The last couple of weeks we have seen positive signs again.

St Helens Star:

5. With Lachlan Coote not playing, it meant that the West Stand had to park the Electric song this week and revert to the old classics. I think we all accept that the Coote song is a belter, even if it probably needs a chorus. But it is funny how some players get a song – and yet others go unrecognised in verse. I recall speaking to one very established player in the early noughties, who jokingly bemoaned the fact that Barry Ward had been there five minutes and had the Scaff sing his name in a song and yet he had been there years and was still waiting for his anthem.

St Helens Star:

6. It was pleasing to see an 11,000 plus crowd for the game. It was a third daytime game in a row – in a season where evenings dominate, and I am sure plenty of folk have enjoyed taking their families to the match.

Read: 30 years ago today and Saints' darkest hour>

Yesterday’s crowd was helped by the ticket initiative with community clubs – and the more the Saints can do of this the better. Not only did it mean we were not looking at an empty East Stand, but it meant that it will have given some fans an experience that they would have otherwise not sampled, but also put some cash in those organisations’ coffers too.