SAINTS coach Paul Wellens gave his reaction to Sunday's pre-season friendly win over Salford.

MC: You will have been happy with the first 40, but also pleased with how that game kept its shape in the second-half when the young lads came on?

PW: Both teams made considerable changes in that second-half. But you know what I was pleased about with our young players is that they worked really hard for each other.

That was in competitiveness and, like the guys who took the field in the first 40 minutes, when the opportunity to play presented itself they took it and obviously scored a few good tries off the back of that?

St Helens Star:

MC: Dayon Sambou's name will be on the lips of a fair few supporters after that that effort?

PW: I am delighted for him, again it is a trial game but you watch these young kids come into the first team environment.

You see how much it means to all the young lads who took the field today, it's great to see the smiles on the faces when they come back into the gesture.

They've obviously really enjoyed the experience of being out there, not just Dayon, Jonny, Owen or George – it is great for them all. It's fantastic that as a club we can give these young players an opportunity.

MC: Three new signings had different sorts of games, but you must have been pleased with what they brought?

PW: I am very happy. For Waqa it was just about getting out there and building a few combinations - he hasn't been with us that long but he's fitted in really well.

For Matty Whitley as well - again it is about getting out and pulling a Saints jersey on and I know that something he has wanted to do for a long time.

It was great to see him do that and obviously he picked up a nice try as well by running a play that has been a bit of a pet play for him, something he does really well.

I also thought Daryl Clark’s first 30 minutes was excellent. I am not surprised because I knew what we were signing.

He is a quality player, my plan was really to play him a bit longer, but I was pretty happy with what I saw in the first 30 and didn't feel the need to expose him to anymore.

MC: Re-assuring to see a bloke you have signed with a reputation of being quick from dummy half going 70 metres from their attack?

PW: That's what he is capable of and when he gets in the clear he backs himself. Although he is a little bit older he is showing no signs of slowing up. He showed in 30 minutes that he can give us a lot this year.

St Helens Star:

MC: Matt Whitley got absolutely whacked with his first carry, but he got his rewards for his work in that game?

PW: There's many reasons why we were in the market for a player like Matt. He is tough and doesn't mind carrying the ball in strongly, doesn't mind taking a whack every now and again.

He's not what you would consider a big back rower but I think that helps him. He's got some subtleties to his game, late bits of movement that deceive the defensive line. It was great to see and they obviously get rewards for.

MC: Have you worked out how that's going to knit together for a week one given the fact that how well you are blessed there (in the back row)?

PW: Quite a bit of a head scratching as obviously we are hoping that Morgan Knowles and Matty Lees come back into recognition so I've got some tough calls to make, but to be honest, it was exactly the same last year.

But also what we found last year is that you need your squad. So there will be obviously a number of disappointed players who will not make the team in Round One but they will have to be ready because they might be needed in Round Two or three or four.

Part and parcel of being in a squad is that you handle the disappointments when they come along and you get ready for your opportunities when they present themselves.

MC: Have you tweaked the way George Delaney is running, he was running at pace and a bit more at gaps?

PW: I try to strike a fine balance with George because his raw attributes are what make him the player that he is,.

But there's certainly some subtleties that he can add to his game that can help us and I think, for example, when he makes a break in the first half, he starts to understand now what playing with James Bell is like and he might get a ball late in the line.

So he's worked hard on his skill to be able to put himself in a position where, like it did today, that shows up, he's able to take advantage of it.

We continue to work with George on his game, but his raw attributes, making him who he is but if we can just tweak a few things and add some subtleties, then a bit like Jake (Wingfield) he has shown he’s an outstanding player.