Super League: Nathan Brown hails Paul Wellens impact after Saints defy Castleford
Last Updated: 11/04/14 11:33pm
St Helens coach Nathan Brown paid tribute to the long-serving Paul Wellens after he sparked a stunning fightback that earned his side a 30-28 victory on his record-breaking Super League appearance.
The 34-year-old Saints captain took to the field at the start of the second half with his side trailing 24-6 after being completely outplayed by hosts Castleford.
However, with Wellens leading the way at stand-off, the visitors stormed back to keep their 100 per cent record intact, with the captain scoring one of their three late tries to register his 1,000th on his 414th Super League appearance.
"He's an amazing player and an amazing captain for us," Brown said. "It's no coincidence that when Wello went on the field the commitment from each player was better.
"The boys have got a lot of respect for him and, as far as captains go, and I don't think there's any better around."
Castleford, beaten just once in their first seven games, looked set to take over at the top of the table after an impressive first half.
Captain Michael Shenton scored two tries, Jake Webster and Grant Millington also touched down and the Tigers had two other efforts disallowed by the video referee as they led 24-6.
The arrival of Wellens sparked new life into St Helens and they cut the gap to 10 points with tries from Jonny Lomax and Tom Makinson, but Castleford looked to have sewn up the win when winger Justin Carney went over for his side's fifth try on 59 minutes.
However, it was all one-way traffic in the final quarter, with Jordan Turner and Wellens scoring tries that brought Saints within touching distance and left winger Adam Swift went over for the match-winner three minutes from the end.
"It's disappointing," Castleford coach Daryl Powell said. "It was a new Cas in the first half, old Cas second half. I thought the second half was very poor from us.
"We allowed a team that can play a fair bit of rugby league back into the game. There are some hard lessons to be learned. I thought we should have won the game.
"I'm not sure the video ref got all the decisions right, but I'm not going to blame anybody but us.
"I thought we had them by the short and curlies at half-time, but we released the pressure valve."
It was the second time in six days that Saints came back from the dead to snatch an unlikely victory.
They recovered a 16-8 deficit at Huddersfield to reach the last 16 of the Challenge Cup and Friday's eight win from eight matches has enabled them to open up a three-point lead.
"Daryl has got them playing some really nice stuff," Brown said. "Through the middle of the field they were far superior to us.
"They were standing in tackles and coming through us. We were never going to turn it around unless we went to meet them and tidy up some areas around that part of our defence.
"We've proven this year that we're a handy team when we do those things well."
First Utility Super League
Thu 6th Aug - Super 8's
Wigan WarriorsvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 7th Aug - Super 8's
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Hull FC
Leeds RhinosvsWarrington Wolves
Sat 8th Aug - Super 8's
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Thu 13th Aug - Super 8's
Castleford TigersvsWarrington Wolves
Fri 14th Aug - Super 8's
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
St Helens0 - 0Hull FC
Thu 20th Aug - Super 8's
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 21st Aug - Super 8's
Hull FC0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Sat 22nd Aug - Super 8's
Catalans DragonsvsCastleford Tigers
Thu 3rd Sep - Super 8's
Huddersfield GiantsvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 4th Sep - Super 8's
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sat 5th Sep - Super 8's
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Sun 6th Sep - Super 8's
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Thu 10th Sep - Super 8's
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 11th Sep - Super 8's
Wigan WarriorsvsHull FC
Sat 12th Sep - Super 8's
Catalans DragonsvsLeeds Rhinos
Sun 13th Sep - Super 8's
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Thu 17th Sep - Super 8's
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 18th Sep - Super 8's
Hull FC0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 19th Sep - Super 8's
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Fri 25th Sep - Super 8's
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Hull FC0 - 0Catalans Dragons
St Helens0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Super League 2014, round eight
Tony Rea praises the uber-experienced Paul Wellens and Jamie Peacock in his Super League review.
Catalan Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous hailed the performance of Elliott Whitehead in the 42-20 win over Widnes.
Elliott Whitehead helped himself to a hat-trick of tries as Catalan Dragons eased past Widnes 42-20 in Perpignan.
- Peacock proud of milestone
- Sandercock - Very pleasing
- Opening salvo pleases Harris
- Wane unhappy with attitude
- Wigan too strong for Broncos
- Rhinos make Wildcats suffer
- Wolves exposed by sharp Rovers
- Devils race seven past Bulls
- Saints comeback stuns Tigers
- Dragons v Vikings: Teams
- Lynch relishes Saints test
- Radford praise for forwards
- Giants see Black and White
- Saints boss praises Tigers
- Warriors v Broncos: Teams
- Wolves v Rovers: Teams
- Rhinos v Wildcats: Teams
- Tigers v Saints: Teams
- Bulls v Red Devils: Teams
- Pivotal game for Hull, Giants
- Hull v Giants: Teams
- Charnley out for two months