St Helens coach Nathan Brown will not allow his players to get carried away by their win over Super League champions Leeds but he is hoping it means they have turned the corner.
Saints ended their five-match losing run in spectacular fashion, coming from 16-0 down to secure a 30-22 victory at Headingley that lifts them back into the top eight and breathes new life into their season.
“We’ve a long way to go but hopefully this is the start of what we’d like to think is a new section for us,” Brown said.
“We’ve got Warrington next and then Huddersfield so in the next three or four weeks, we’ll get a good gauge. One win doesn’t make a summer, does it?”
Brown’s hopes of a pick-me-up after his team’s enforced 16-day lay-off looked forlorn when Leeds scored three tries in the first 20 minutes through Kallum Watkins, Joel Moon and Rob Burrow.
But Saints pulled two tries back in six minutes before half-time through Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Sia Soliola and ran in three more in a 10-minute spell early in the second half, two of them by goalkicking winger Tom Makinson, who finished with 14 points.
Then, after Leeds threatened a fightback of their own, 18-year-old prop Luke Thompson, playing only his third Super League match, went over for the match-clinching try.
“I expected us to do a lot better because we had a lot of experienced players back,” Brown added.
“I wasn’t saying we were going to win the game but I was confident we were going to do well. At 16-0, I was thinking maybe I’ve got it wrong. I wasn’t sure where we were going to be honest with you.
“But in the last 60 minutes we did really well. To come from 16-0 down against a good side like Leeds, you’ve got to give a lot of credit to the boys.”
Veterans Paul Wellens and Jon Wilkin were at the heart of Saints’ revival while Brown was also delighted with the performances of inexperienced trio Alex Walmsley, Marc Percival and young Thompson.
“At the start of the year I wasn’t expecting any of those guys to be in our team but the reality is, if we had everyone fit tomorrow, they would be playing,” he said.
“Big Alex is doing very, very well for us. The tempo of the game always seem to lift in our favour when he comes on the field.”