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Super League: Saints' Luke Walsh adjusts quickly to life in England
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St Helens' new Australian half-back Luke Walsh enjoyed his introduction to Super League in the 38-8 win over Warrington Wolves.
Walsh, recruited from NRL club Penrith Panthers, scored one of Saints' six tries and kicked seven goals from seven attempts at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Joel Monaghan had given the Wolves the lead with a try inside two minutes but thereafter it was one-way traffic with Tommy Makinson, James Roby, Kyle Amor, Anthony Laffranchi, Adam Swift and Walsh all touching down for the visitors.
"It was a good performance by everyone I thought," Walsh told Sky Sports.
"The second half was a little bit scrappy, so there is something to work on next week.
"Our defence was good in the first half and the boys dug deep in the second half, it's a good win.
"I enjoyed myself. I'm still getting used to the weather and the ground conditions. For my first go, it was good... It's very different from back home, I'm enjoying it."
St Helens coach Nathan Brown remains keen to keep his players' feet on the ground.
"Warrington as a team have been so successful for so long so to get the result was pleasing," Brown said.
"We're really rapped with what the guys did but we're certainly not going to get carried away. It's a good start but it's about consistently doing well."
On Walsh's performance, Brown said: "He had a lot of good contributions for us, built on the back of some of the forwards' work.
"I thought our game management in the second half was actually quite poor but it's clear to see what Walshy can bring to the team."
Brown was also delighted with the contribution of Walsh's half-back partner Gary Wheeler, who has struggled through injury over the years to break into the Saints first team.
Wheeler got the nod ahead of former New Zealand international Lance Hohaia and Jordan Turner, who reverted to centre and carved out a try for winger Tommy Makinson.
"We trained with lots of people at six in pre-season," Brown added. "Wheels had a nasty injury last year and he was still in rehab for a period of time early in the pre-season.
"But he's trained the best he's ever trained to put himself in position and I think everyone would agree a fit Gary Wheeler is a terrific young player.
"Hopefully his body can hold up but we know we've got Lance there.
"It breaks my heart not playing Lance because he deserves to play every week. He's a terrific player and a great bloke and it's not nice to leave him out but I can't find a spot for everyone."
Warrington, Grand Final runners-up for the last two years, began life without departed former captains Lee Briers and Adrian Morley and with three other forwards sidelined through injury.
"Our kicking game was right up there with one of the worst we've had for a while," said Wolves coach Tony Smith. "We got out-kicked, that's for sure, and around the ruck area we weren't great.
"I thought in the first half both teams competed pretty well and there was not much between us. They were good when they had the ball and we troubled them when we had the ball.
"In the second half they were way better than us. There was too much panic from us. We were chasing the game instead of having patience. It was a bit of a kick in the backside for us.
"I thought Saints were terrific. They got on a roll and did all the little things well."Super League. Click here to bet.
Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Salford Red Devils|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
|First Utility Super League|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
|Friday 19th September|
|St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford|
|Thursday 18th September|
|Wigan 57 - 4 Huddersfield|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Wakefield 18 - 42 Hull K R|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Stevo with skysports.com