JUSTIN Holbrook gave his thoughts to the Star’s Mike Critchley this week after another big victory.

MC: You must have been pleased with what that win says about the club as a whole?

JH: It was great and it showed that we have a good squad here, not just a top 17.

Going into the game I felt it was the right thing to do to leave players out and that we had a side to win that game. A lot of people said it was bit risky, but we did not see it that way at all.

Off the back of the Friday and Monday games being played in extreme heat conditions over Easter we had to be smart about it.

I always said I would not rest players for no reason, but we had plenty of reasons to rest players due to those factors.

We brought in some young fresh faces worked out great.

St Helens Star:

MC: We have seen under-strength teams put out where there has been a preparedness to take the hit of a loss. There was no sense of that on Sunday.

JH: No. That is why it was important for us as staff and the players to know that. I made it clear why we were making those changes and everyone was on board with it. We knew we had a job to do.

We had the luxury of Alex (Walmsley) and Zebby (Taia) missing the Monday game and I thought their impact was huge.

Big Al captained the side and he led with his actions and Zebby had the best came I can remember for us. Those two helped and then the complement of the young guys just playing so well.

St Helens Star:

Jack Welsby is a handful and is playing so well, Matty Costello got a hat-trick and Aaron Smith was very good. Then James Bentley and Joe Batchelor both got a bit of a taste again. It worked out really well.

MC: There was a big lead from Big Al - bumping players off for fun.

JH: Big Al was tremendous, but so too was Matty Lees.

We talk about the busy Easter period, but he played all games and played massive minutes for us and that was great to see. We have a great combination and mix in our squad.

St Helens Star:

MC: After a busy Easter, do the players get a break?

JH: We have given the players three days off. We don’t get a break during the year. While everyone enjoyed their Easter and we got some great weather we were playing or preparing to play rugby league every day.

I am not saying that in a bad way – I loved watching the boys play all three games, but it is taxing physically on them and mentally on us.

Read: Early team news for Sunday at Hull KR>

With us having a Sunday game it has worked out well as if we had been playing Thursday or Friday we would have been straight back in.

They have three days off and some have gone away. It is a good chance to the freshen up quickly.

MC: Is this a change in approach from yourself – after what happened last year – or is it a reaction to current circumstances and the crop of players available to you?

JH: It is a reaction to the current situation. The first is the mid 20 degree temperature on Good Friday

Also the young players we have are 12 months on and more than capable of stepping in at any time.

This time last year Matty Lees was just finding his feet, Aaron Smith and Matt Costello were not ready, and we did not have a Jack Welsby. We are in a better position this year to be be able to change the first team around because of all of those factors.

We can be a lot smarter about it because of a number of those reasons.

St Helens Star:

MC: James Roby has lost ground on Man of Steel standings due to his absences. Is that a small price to pay?

JH: That is why we are lucky that our club captain is who he is - a team member first and foremost. We need everyone on that ‘team first’ – and we are working on it - over their individual accolades. We didn’t get any real joy out of last year despite a lot of individual awards. It is about getting the team awards – we are on the right track but there is a long way to go.

St Helens Star:

MC: On that note you must be pleased with Aaron Smith's development - someone you can have confidence in as James Roby's understudy.

JH: Aaron Smith is a tough player for someone who off the pitch is so soft natured. He is a such a quiet, polite guy which is unlike a lot of other number nines.

We have another gentleman in James Roby and Aaron Smith is following in his footsteps.

Plenty of other nines can be a grubby type of player – but that is the position they are in.

The way Aaron is playing is tremendous – and playing in a tough fashion, which we need him to.