PAUL Wellens says Saints showed plenty of character and learnt lessons as they dipped 18-12 to Wigan on Saturday.
The Club’s Joint Captain, who has played in all of Saints’ 11 successive Cup Semi Finals, believes enough was thrown at the Warriors, but it lacked the cutting edge needed to break the defence.
“We threw a lot at them and gave it our all,” he said, “but I thought we didn’t throw enough quality at them. We lacked a little bit of depth – and I would include myself in that – on the edges and we weren’t direct enough.
“We did this in the first half and it’s easier to defend against that than when a team plays direct.
“We dominated the first half and unfortunately went in down. I was glad to get a good tackle on Josh Charnley but they sprang the ball wide very quickly.
“We now have to move forward though and the next time we have an opportunity to play Wigan, and I feel confident we will, we will need to be more direct and make the most of the opportunities.”
Fellow Club Captain James Graham played through the pain barrier for the Saints – and Wellens led the tributes.
“Jammer is phenomenal. There was one play towards the end where he caught the ball and fell on the floor – I can imagine 13000 people thinking what is he doing… but we knew exactly what he was doing. He was putting his body on the line.
“I didn’t expect him to play and there were times in the match he could barely walk. That says a lot about him and his character that we would do what is better for the team instead of his own health.
“He is immense but we are all disappointed we haven’t got the right result. But there is character in the team to move forward and it is certainly something we can build on.”
Wellens is set to make his 400th appearance for the Saints in Friday’s home Super League tie with Huddersfield Giants.
Kicking off at 8pm, tickets are now on sale from the Club Shop in St Helens Town Centre, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on to www.saintssuperstore.com