SAINTS coach Paul Wellens reflected on some aspects of the defeat at Leigh when the Star’s Mike Critchley caught up with him this week.

MC: A good start, but do you have to analyse what went wrong after 12-0?

PW: Defensively we had some warning signs earlier on in the game and the 12-0 scoreline masked that a bit.

I was happy with where we were at 20-25 minutes and felt we could go on and win the game, but our levels dropped significantly in the second half and to Leigh’s credit they played really well also.

Those two things combined really put us under pressure and and a couple of big moments at the back end of the game put us under even more pressure and then you get the result that you get.

It is a massive learn for us and one that you have to take on the chin and improve.

St Helens Star:

MC: Why did Alex Walmsley start on the bench?

PW: Alex’s training was disrupted because he had an infection that caused him to feel a little unwell and he did not quite get the training exposure that we would have liked him to.

It was a late call on Al on whether he would play and I did not want to go into the game with players not wondering whether they would be starting or on the bench, so to make it cleaner I started Agnatius.

We thought Al could bring something off the bench.

MC: There’s a lot of talk about the physical fatigue - but do you have to factor in the emotional comedown from that win in Australia that may still be being felt?

PW: It is a challenge for the players, and as a coach I have to acknowledge that and how much they have invested going over there, and how much they have invested in the years previously - and the fact that a lot of these guys have come off the back of a World Cup. There is a lot of things gone into it.

Sometimes it is more the mental and emotional fatigue than the physical stuff.

But one thing I have stressed to the group is that we are going to have to rise to that challenge.

But we have a game this weekend, the weekend after and the weekend after that - nobody is going to give us time off - we have to deal with what is in front of us, it is a challenge, but one we have to rise to.

One thing this group has done in recent years is rise to challenges.

St Helens Star:

MC: Do you have to be an arm round the shoulder or a kick up the backside coach in these situations?

PW: A bit of both. There are a few areas where we have had a drop in standards and where that happens it is important that we let the players know that it is unacceptable.

There are certain situations where you are sympathetic with your players and what they have been through.

It is finding the right balance there - and some players have been in this team a lot longer than others as well. You judge each individual case on its merit.

St Helens Star:

MC: On Friday you pulled off the old trick of winning a scrum against the feed. Is that something you are planning on springing regularly?

PW: It is probably something that has gone out of the game - winning against the feed - but what you are seeing now with teams trapping the ball in the scrum, particularly when attacking the opponents line.

With it is no longer being a differential penalty, teams are increasingly trapping the ball to try and catch their opponents offside.

From a personal perspective it is not a rule I particularly like. I like the NRL stance - how they have gone away from being able to do it.

I think it is messy, but that is just my personal viewpoint.

Every now and then we are going to push in the scrum if teams decide they want to trap it.