SAINTS boss Paul Wellens gave his reaction to his side's 40-4 win over London Broncos on the opening round of Super League.

First half tries from Lewis Dodd, Jack Welsby, Alex Walmsley and Tommy Makinson put them 20-0 up at the break.

That tally was doubled in the second half with tries from Daryl Clark, Jonny Lomax and a brace from debutant Matt Whitley.

St Helens Star:

What Paul Wellens said in his post London game press conference.

MC: Are you happy with that first 80 minutes of the year?

PW: Yes, relatively happy. I just said to the team then that there's a lot to like about what we did tonight and particularly coming into a game where we face a bit of an unknown in terms of the opposition that we were playing.

We knew they were going to come and be really competitive and show the best version of themselves.

And I thought they competed really hard but it was a bit of an unknown for us.

We got some joy with some of the things that we practised in in preseason, which was pleasing.

The were periods where we kind of dropped our standards a little bit and put ourselves under pressure and that is a learn for us moving forward, but all in all, I have to be pretty happy.

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MC: The way you started and the way you opened them up, there's almost an expectation of a cricket score and is that is that dangerous then?

PW: When you start a game like that, sometimes there is that expectation.

But in Super League that's just not a reality. You've got to be able to do the tough stuff and do the tough stuff well for prolonged periods.

And I knew that London were going to dig in. They probably got caught cold a little bit at the start of that game.

But they certainly showed their character in the way they fought back into the game and so there's a lot to like about what we did. But we certainly wasn't expecting to go out there and just continue to rack up points.

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MC: Is that the challenge when you when you open them up with ease to try and keep your shape that you probably need week-in week- out when you play the tougher teams?

PW: I think so. When you score tries as quickly like that there can be a tendency to think that you're just going to find points at will.

I spoke to the team all week around what London are going to hang their hats on and that's a willingness to come and compete and keep turning off for each other.

And we got that from them and to their credit, they made it very difficult for us at times as well.

So we had to be a little bit patient. But again, we got some points at the back end of the second-half through being patient.

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MC: Can we talk about the way James Bell created the first two tries, he got that great way of delivering that ball at the line, hasn’t he?

PW: He's unique in terms of what he brings as a player. He's got a real crafty skill set and quite often troubles as at training with the way he plays.

Our middle unit really complement each other really well though - you've got obviously the destructive ball carriers like Alex Walmsley, George Delaney, Matty Lees but then you've got players like Jake Wingfield, James Bell and Morgan Knowles who can open up with the skill as well.

So as long as they keep finding that balance, put the tough stuff first. It can be very threatening with ball in hand.

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MC: Looking at a couple of debutants – great debut from Daryl Clark but do you intend playing him so long each week or was that because Moses Mbye wasn't available.

PW: Daryl was excellent today, but if Moses would have been there Daryl probably wouldn't have played as long, but we know that he's capable of doing 80 minutes.

Obviously we took him off of the back end to give Jake Wingfield a bit of a spell at 9.

I was delighted with the debutants.

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Waqa Blake has only been with us a few weeks and he was cramping up towards the back end of that game because he's not had the level of training into him you'd want to throughout of course pf pre season.

But he will only get better with time Daryl was excellent and I think quite rightly was awarded the Man of the match there.

Matty Whitley was first class. Matty was a player who was in our scholarship and didn't quite make it through, he went away to Widnes and ended up at Catalans and has come full circle back to us.

I think it showed what it meant to him to put on a Saints jersey tonight.

MC: He finds ways to run such good lines close to the line and just seems effortless?

PW: It is what I love about players who play to their strengths. He’s not what you would call the biggest back rower, but I think sometimes – and it showed tonight - that works to his advantage.

He has little subtle changes of his lines late at the defensive line which trouble teams.

And he got a couple of tries off the back of it tonight.

He got one in the pre-season trial doing the same thing.

So it's kind of a play he has run for a good number of years and has some success with it, with Catalans as well. So as long as he keeps getting joy with that type of stuff, we'll be happy.

MC: Sounds like the West Stand have already got a song for him – he certainly left with a smile on his face?

PW: That will mean a lot to him - I know it will. Obviously, growing up being a Saints fan - he's pulled on jersey tonight for his debut and already they are singing his name on the terraces.

That’s every Saints fan’s dream so I'm delighted for him. He's shown over the last three years he’s a high quality player, who understands Super League and has shown he’s going to be a real asset to us through the course of the year.

MC: Going back to Waqa Blake – he played on the wing. Is this something that you're going to mix and match throughout the year or are you simply picking your best four three-quarters and fitting them into the backline?

PW: We have to be flexible there. We've got a number of players who can play different positions. Waqa has shown in the NRL that he's played both on the wing and in the centre. I think centre is obviously his preferred position but we have to be flexible.

Mark Percival was always going to play during the week but we were deciding whether we give him an extra week in terms of training, but he was desperate to play.

If he hadn't played it, Waqa would have probably played centre so having that flexibility is good.

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MC: Was it always the plan to take Mark Percival off after an hour?

PW: We were always going limit Percy's game time.

Obviously, you need things to go in your favour, there in terms of your rotations and not having any disruption elsewhere.

So if he needed to play the 80 we were comfortable with him doing that.

But once the game got to the stage, it did and obviously we had Ben Davies on the bench there it was the sensible option to get Ben out there and give Percy a bit of a bit of a break.

MC: Jonny’s first game as official club captain and he produced a carbon copy of his of his scoring pass to Tommy Makinson from a fortnight ago. He has a great eye for that for that opportunity?

PW: He has done that for a long time and I am obviously delighted for Jonny to captain the team for the first game tonight.

He had some really classy touches out there, like we know he is, he is real classy player. But what I loved more about tonight was Jonny sets the standard around effort - more so than most – every single week.

There was a point late on in the second-half where London got away down the left edge and Jonny turns up with a desperation tackle on Hakim Miloudi.

That means more to me, but it also means more to the players than the classy touches that he does put on.

But when you have a combination of both, that's what makes players world class.

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MC: Is it too early, looking at last night's game and tonight's game, to give an assessment on the effects of any sort on the rules around the ruck?

PW: It is going to a kind of a work in progress. I didn’t think the game was that quick tonight – it was slow in comparison to what we watched last night, but for whatever reason that was I would have to watch the game back.

But I'm a big supporter, as I've mentioned a few times, in cleaning the ruck area and making the games quicker. I think it brings your more exciting players into play and makes it much more attractive product for us all to watch.