SAINTS coach Paul Wellens was asked about some key improvement areas after the win at Huddersfield. These included support play, offloading and a more varied kicking game. He was also asked about the impact of new rules and players' reactions to them.

MC: You worked the inside plays really well today. Sometimes people groan at inside balls, but it was very effective today?

PW: Using inside players like that does a couple of things.

One, it helps you get through the sets a bit without trying things that are too high risk at times.

But also with the personnel that we have on the edge - Mark Percival, Waqa Blake, Curtis Sironen and Matt Whitley - they are players that suit those types of plays as well.

And (with that tactic) off the back of that you're coming back towards middles who have been doing a lot of defending that you can generate a bit of ruck speed. We got all of those things.

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MC: Are you encouraging them to offload more – Curtis Sironen tried to get it away a fair bit and that was quite contagious?

PW: I think again that's an area of improvement for us and particularly now that, obviously ourselves included, all teams are having to make a real effort in terms of tackle height and hitting on the ball or under the ball.

What that does though is obviously make the chances of offloads more common.

And I think we're seeing that within our plays.

So we have guys like Curtis who has made a career off being able to offload the ball, so why wouldn't we use it?

It's just obviously those players in and around him being alert to the fact that there is every chance he might get the ball away and being prepared to stay on the play because if you are sat back waiting for the next play you just might miss an opportunity.

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MC: You said it was early days yet but are you seeing more players up in support for breaks? Is this an improvement on last year because a number of times today plenty of bodies were up when somebody broke?

PW: The signs were there in the first half, we had an inside play which got pulled back for a forward pass which was a close call and those types of plays are going to be really important for us moving forward.

To answer your question, yes, we are seeing signs of improvement.

But again after two rounds, I certainly don't want us to get carried away.

We are in a good spot at the moment and the playing group is feel and really excited about the way they have started the year, they're excited about the weeks ahead, but we need to keep our feet firmly on the ground because tougher challenges await us.

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MC: There was quite a varied kicking game from Lewis Dodd – backed up by a good chase?

PW: Again, we're always trying to identify areas we can improve.

But giving Lewis a little bit more freedom around his last plays probably helped him a little bit.

Quite often we've gone down the path of really prescribing his kicking game where he has to just kick into corners.

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But he's got a lot more to his game than that, and I think in recognising that we allow him the opportunity to express himself.

And I think he put them the opposition under pressure through his last plays tonight.

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MC: Jon Bennison kept his head well in the build up to the Jack Welsby try and took his own one well. Will that game give him some confidence?

PW: Absolutely. I know he was disappointed that he missed out last week but it's not an easy team to pick.

We've always got three or four disappointed players on the sidelines who would much rather be playing.

But one thing I can confidently say about Jon is that every single time he gets an opportunity, every time we place our trust in trust in him, he never lets us down.

And I thought he was excellent again tonight.

MC: What was the reason for Konrad Hurrell absence?

PW: We've had a bit of illness that's gone through the camp through the course of the week.

We had a number of players who really put their hand up and played tonight, though not 100% which you need at times. But Konrad only fell ill later on in the week and in no way, shape or form could he have played tonight.

So as we do in these situations, we shuffle things around, Waqa moved over to the right centre and Jon Bennison got the opportunity on the left wing.

MC: The fans really enjoyed that game and were pretty loud tonight, but that was the sort of game that Rugby League needs to put a smile on its face?

PW: I think so. On the evidence of tonight it shows that despite the changes in the game that have been made, despite a lot of anxiety at the moment around things are happening which I had totally get and totally understand. We're all in the same boat there.

But on the evidence of tonight rugby played in the right way, played with the right discipline can be as attractive, if not more attractive as a game than it's ever been.

MC: Without dwelling on it too much does what is happening (with the cards across the games) unsettle the players building into the game or are they professional enough to block it out?

PW: I didn't see signs of it being unsettling. Look, I think conversations are going to go on down the track around, but this is new to everybody. Let's not forget it's new to referees, new to administrators.

We are going down a new path here and there are always going to be conversations, and discussions that need to take place.

But one thing I do know with our playing group and one thing that I can see when I watch most games on the weekend, is that the players are making a real concerted effort to try and change behaviours. Try and change habits.

We're doing that because we know that's the direction the game has to go in and we as coaches do all that we can to support our players to make sure that we help them because they don't want to miss games. It's as simple as that.