What the Saints learned from the World Club’s latest challenge against the Roosters !

Full details about What the Saints learned from the World Club’s latest challenge against the Roosters

It’s today’s topic

New coach Paul Wellens believes the Saints can learn lessons from the last time they played in the World Club Challenge before flying out to face Premier League side Penrith Panthers.

The Saints will look to avoid the slump they faced after their 2020 showdown with the Sydney Roosters when they appeared physically and muscularly depleted by getting up to the occasion.

It’s something former coach Christian Wolf cited for the team’s mediocre performance, including back-to-back losses, before the country went into lockdown.

It’s clear from Wellens that the focus in this final month of pre-season is the entirety of the upcoming year, not just the looming challenge for the Panthers full of internationals.

This is something the coach has already discussed with his players – and it can influence the selection.

Wellens said: “Because I feel like I got a really good relationship with the senior players and played alongside a few guys, it’s something I’ve talked about openly and honestly.

“At the end of the year when you play a grand final, you don’t play for a number of weeks after that, so you can kind of throw everything into this game and maybe take some risks with the batters.

“With this Penrith game being the same weekend as the first round of the Premier League season, it’s a bit of a different challenge because we have another 30 games to play when we get back.

“Our pre-season campaign is all about putting ourselves in the best position to defend the Premier League title.

“We got an extra bonus from the Penrith game on top of that which obviously got the players really excited.

“We don’t put all our focus, one mentality in one game but I know our players will rise to this challenge.

“It’s definitely a different way to start your career as a coach. It’s a really exciting challenge for the group of players.

“I’ve said on a number of occasions, it’s an opportunity they took.

“Not just last year, but the last few years and what they’ve accomplished.

“For this group of players to earn this opportunity and get the chance to come down and take on the challenge of playing what we all know are a great team at Penrith is great for the club and something we are all really excited about.”