I WAS delighted to see Saints return to winning ways – and back to the top of the Betfred Super League – at the weekend.

After a very disappointing defeat against Warrington the previous week, losing to nil for the first time since 2016, we bounced back brilliantly to beat Hull FC 32-18 at the KC Stadium on Sunday.

The Black and Whites got the better of what was a tight first-half – played for the most part in the middle of the field – going into the interval with a 6-2 lead. However, after the break, Saints turned on the style.

A Jonny Lomax-inspired eleven-minute window saw the champions run in four tries to virtually see off the previously undefeated Hull.Lomax had a hand in three of the tries, and again showed why he is one of the favourites to land the Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel Award.

The difference from last week to this week was, in my opinion, obvious.

The forward pack won their battle, allowing time and space for the halves and edges to play. Alex Walmsley back in the fray was an obvious boost - and it was also great to see both Morgan Knowles and Tommy Makinson return to action after off-season surgery.

Anyone questioning the team after last week’s loss… maybe think again. I see no reason why, if we are lucky with injuries, we can’t be as dominant as 2019.

Elsewhere in the Betfred Super League, Warrington suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Wakefield, which just goes to show how drastically things can differ from week to week. I say shock, but inconsistency has been the case for the Wire in Super League lately.

Anyway, back to the mighty Saints – and what a week we have in store.

It’s the return of the Betfred World Club Challenge on Saturday, as we go against back-to-back Aussie champs, the Sydney Roosters, at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Betfred have Saints at 10/3 to triumph, with the Roosters strong 1/4 favourites.

In regards to the opposition, it’s difficult to know the form they’re in coming into this, given they haven’t played a competitive game yet this season. Also, they’ve made a number of changes to their team since that NRL Grand Final win in October – namely Cooper Cronk (retired) and Latrell Mitchell (Souths).

However, it is still a team littered with superstars, including James Tedesco, Luke Keary and Daniel Tupou, and I have no doubt they will be fully prepared and coming to win.

I probably agree with Betfred that Roosters are favourites, but I also know the talent this Saints team possesses. If we turn out a clinical performance – we can win.

We have to beat them at their own game, being patient, controlling the ball and field position, and taking our opportunities when we get them.

I’m looking forward to what promises to be a great game between the two best teams over the last two years in their respective competitions.

Paul Sculthorpe