Garry Schofield Column: My prediction for St Helens in Super League 2024

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josie andrews
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Garry Schofield Column: My prediction for St Helens in Super League 2024

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The Garry Schofield Column: My prediction for St Helens in Super League 2024

FOR St Helens, it’s a case of life without Roby, although they’ve played a blinder by keeping him at the club as part of Paul Wellens’ coaching team.

As with Sean O’Loughlin, who made the transition to the backroom staff at Wigan, James was a leader on the field. He knows the DNA of the club and the players relate to him and respect him, because he’s been there and done it – very well.

Roby didn’t finish a storied career the way he would have liked to, although let’s not forget Saints’ superb World Club Challenge triumph twelve months ago.

But they couldn’t follow up with either Challenge Cup or Grand Final success – and that will have hurt.

Winning Super Leaguer five times running was always going to be a big ask, especially with a new coach, albeit one who knows the club very well.

Wellens, a winner to his core, will have been stung as much as, if not more than, anyone within the walls if a great institution.

Having to watch on as their arch-rivals Wigan claimed the crown will have added to the pain, and frustration, and if it’s possible, heightened Saints’ desire to get back to what had been business as usual.

While Roby won’t be out on the field, Saints have got themselves a good successor in Daryl Clark, a different type of hooker admittedly, but an experienced one who is still capable of producing high-quality performances.

And he’ll be part of a pack that is equal to any in Super League.

Saints also have plenty of pace and skill among the backs, with Jack Welsby still on board, despite interest from Australia, and now Waqa Blake coming in on the back of a great try-scoring record in the NRL with Penrith and Parramatta.

My biggest worry with Saints is the halfback pairing of Jonny Lomax, who understandably is showing a few signs of having played for a long time now, and Lewis Dodd.

Lewis is a great performer on his day, but these two must be both more creative and more consistent.

St Helens – 2nd ... ague-2024/
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage. #18thMan
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