Saints legend Paul Sculthorpe previews the champions’ Betfred Super League clash with Salford Red Devils at the AJ Bell Stadium at 3pm on Sunday 6 August.
The game against Leeds last Friday was an absolute must-win following two losses to Catalans and Leigh – and the boys certainly delivered.
With a number of casualties, including our two most devastating ball carriers in Alex Walmsley and Agnatius Paasi who we have seen the last of in 2023, it was left to the youngsters to step up and turn things around.
Full credit to Sam Royale, Lewis Baxter and 19-year-old prop George Delaney, who is one of the stars of the future for me.
Coach Paul Wellens was full of praise for the trio. They gave everything in what was a fiery, nip and tuck game… just what you’d expect from these two clubs.
With more first choice forwards unavailable, namely LMS, Sironen, Mata’utia and Batchelor, it showed what good hands the future Saints pack is in.
Jack Welsby, who is that good that the fact he is young himself tends to be forgotten, was the x-factor in Saints’ win over the Rhinos, having a hand in Will Hopoate’s opening try before crossing for two himself. The second one was hailed by Wello as ‘breathtaking’.
Jack is far from the finished article, with improvements to be made especially in the defensive department, but he’s working with one of the best there’s been in that department.
Also, a few subtle additions to his offensive game, but this kid is a natural talent! His ability to see what is in front of him and exploit it is something not a lot of players possess, and there’s no doubt as he continues to work hard and keep getting better he will be the superstar of the Betfred Super League… if he isn’t already.
Next up for the Saints is the Salford Red Devils at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday.
Paul Rowley’s men have lost their last five Super League matches, and I can’t see that run ending this weekend. I’m going for a win for the champions by at least 12 points.