Paul Wellens condemns St Helens players, sparking rugby league..
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Paul Wellens condemns St Helens players, sparking rugby league debate.

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St Helens head coach Paul Wellens has revealed what “shocked” him and caused him to question his team’s desire in their Challenge Cup defeat.

Warrington Wolves defeated Saints 31-8 at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Sunday in their quarter-final match, and Wellens was plainly displeased with his team’s performance.

Speaking after the game in a press conference broadcast on SaintsTV, one of his main concerns seems to be a perceived lack of motivation among his players.

He stated, “What we must understand is that teams do not come here now and roll over to have their bellies tickled.

“You need to earn everything. So, if you’re rolling up your sleeves for 10 minutes and the opponents are flying off the line, expect to get hammered. That is the game.

“We don’t have quite enough of that at the time. It matters if we force a pass or don’t exactly nail a play.”Especially when you add them all together.”

St Helens lacking “calm” as Wellens bemoans approach

While the final score was 31-8, the game was quite tight for the first 50 minutes until the floodgates opened, which was due in part to St Helens’ failure to complete sets and establish territory.

Instead, the Red Vee attempted to force plays, as Wellens mentioned, and he argued that older players should know better: “We’ve got a lot of experienced players out there to give the team some direction, particularly when you’re out there in the heat of battle.”

“You need to keep your cool, be calm, and have clarity.

“That wasn’t what was needed in the situation, especially since it was 13-8.” Obviously, we made things much more difficult for ourselves since I believe we lacked patience today’.
Rohan Smith’s Leeds Rhinos have used short kicks effectively this season, especially two weeks ago against Warrington.

However, at one point in the game, St Helens’ short drop-out proved ineffective, allowing James Harrison to extend Wire’s lead.

Wellens stated, “I was surprised when at 18 minutes to go, we went for a short kick-off.

“That is not us. I’m not suggesting it’s a bad tactic. Some teams do, while others do not. We do not.

“We kick the ball further, we’re aggressive on defense, we work hard, we get the ball back on the floor, and we go after them again.

“With 18 minutes remaining and two tries required, I believe short kick-offs are unnecessary.

“But I think it was a reflection of where we were as a team. We almost wanted things to be easier.”

St Helens meet Hull FC at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday at 8 p.m.

 

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