Photo by St Helens RLFC
Curtis Sironen has praised the Magic Weekend concept and his teammates after St Helens fought back to edge Wigan on the opening day of action at St James’ Park.
Jonny Lomax scored with 90 seconds left and John Bennison converted to hand Saints a dramatic 20-18 victory.
Sironen was playing in his first Magic Weekend in Super League and enjoyed the experience in Newcastle.
“It’s unreal,” he told Everything Rugby League.
“Getting to play at a famous Premier League stadium, I’m a bit of a Premier League fan. Getting to play here is pretty cool.
“It was good, getting a win helps a lot as well. But just the atmosphere, it was pretty exciting. I’m looking forward to watching the other games too.”
Despite having 12 men in the final quarter, Wigan looked to have the win secured when Bevan French crossed for his second try with 10 minutes.
But late tries to Regan Grace and Lomax ensured St Helens snuck home sensationally at the death.
Sironen believes a ‘never say die’ attitude is part of Saints DNA.
“It’s instilled in the culture,” the forward said.
“We’re got quite a few of our most experienced guys out too, and guys come in and you just hang in there. We just play tough and wore teams down a bit and if we can get an opportunity hopefully we can ice it.
“Last week we were a bit unlucky but this week we hung in there and got the money. Awesome to get a win against Wigan too, it was my first win against them.
“I’ve only played them in the Challenge Cup and they beat us, so a derby win is good too.
“St Helens is a good club to be at. If you work hard and do your job you get respected for that.”
Saints coach Kristian Woolf was proud of the character his players showed.
“We were a bit unlucky to be behind on the scoreboard at halftime,” Sironen admitted.
🗣️ The boss reacts to a dramatic derby victory!#COYS
— St.Helens R.F.C. (@Saints1890) July 9, 2022
“We had a lot of ball but made a lot of errors and made it hard for ourselves. Kristian was just proud how we showed that character to dig in and stay in the game.
“Even when French scored that try at the end, we didn’t drop our heads. Maybe a lot of teams would.
“We just grinded out a win and found points at the end. That’s what we pride ourselves on.
“We’ve got the two points and put a bit of breathing room in between us and Wigan is always good.”
Wigan prop Brad Singleton was sent off for a high shot on Sironen in the second half.
“I’m alright. I just got hit in the neck a bit awkward,” the Australian said.
“I passed my HIA, so I’ll be right for next week. It was just a bit of an awkward one, but that’s footy.”