SAINTS blasted off a few cobwebs yesterday with their first game under new boss Kristian Woolf - a 36-6 triumph over London Broncos.

The fog was not ideal for the players and especially not the spectators but the game did have plenty of talking points.

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1. First off, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook take a bow. Saints' first born and bred Cockney since Cliff Watson has certainly made the town his home since heading north in 2011.

The turnout - on such a miserable day - reflected his popularity among the fans.

One of the team's characters LMS stamps his personality on to the environment at Saints. Playing wise his impact from his sheer energy, enthusiasm - and a fair bit of speed - have been a useful asset to the team - and hopefully that will continue for a good while yet.

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2. London gave a combative performance and proved to be good opposition for Saints - particularly in the way they got up and into them.

Although they have understandably lost some players from last term, the team has not fallen apart on relegation and Danny Ward - who spoke really well afterwards - can hopefully mould this team into promotion challengers.

The Super League is better for a presence in the capital - even if Saints did lose all three games they played in London last term.

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3. It is hard to read too much into friendlies - but it was was pleasing to see Alex Walmsley's contribution from the off.

Sometimes players who have a long season, and then back it up with a tour, can take a while picking it back up.

There was none of that from Big Al - who led from the front with some thunderous charges into the heart of a determined London defence.

And that augurs well for the season start against Salford on 31 January.

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4. Replacing Big Al for the first time since August, we saw a welcome return for front rower Matty Lees.

The England Knights prop, and last year's Super League young player of the year, suffered that horrendous perforated bowel in the game against Leeds last August. It was an injury that surgeons explained at the time that they only see in car crash victims.

You would expect a degree of trepidation from anyone going into a full contact game after enduring that, but there was no sign of that from Lees.

He gave two good stints off the bench, and got better as the game went on.

His return, plus the continued advancement of Jack Ashworth, will ensure some selection headaches for the coach when it comes to the big men.

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5. The fog made viewing difficult - and it must have been tougher for the fans packed into the West Stand.

But what they would have taken delight in seeing was the figure of Welsh wonder Regan Grace racing towards them.

It showed the value of having real pace in the team - with the wingman catching the ball inside his own 10m area, then with a wiggle and a step he was into open field.

After that 90-metre special the crowd could go home happy. You go through the history of wingmen - your Volls, Sullivans, Alberts and Ledgers - nothing gets the fans jumping out of their seats more than a flier.

Amazing Grace is pure box office.

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6. For the last 25 minutes we got the opportunity to see some of the younger squad members - those who had played the night before at Oldham's first team.

For many it will have been a first glimpse at young scrum half Lewis Dodd.

And the 17-year-old showed some nice touches - and can thread the ball through - and run it it when needed.

With Danny Richardson moving on to Castleford, there were questions as to where the half back cover would come from if anything were to happen to Theo Fages or Jonny Lomax this term.

It is early days yet, but nonetheless clear that in Dodd and Jack Welsby - who started on the wing yesterday - Saints have a couple of really talented players on their hands who will get their rewards for their ability and application.