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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 February 2007, 00:06 GMT
Wellens happy to silence critics
By Elizabeth Hudson
BBC Sport at the Reebok Stadium

St Helens full-back Paul Wellens
Wellens also won the competition with Saints back in 2001

St Helens full-back Paul Wellens believes the World Club Challenge victory over the Brisbane Broncos has put the club's mini-crisis behind them.

Saints went in to the game under pressure after back-to-back defeats in Super League, but put in an outstanding display to defeat the Broncos 18-14.

"We were always confident of being able to put in a big performance against the Broncos," Wellens told BBC Sport.

"It's a cliché but you don't become a bad team overnight."

Wellens added: "People might say we've had this game in the back of our minds over the past couple of weeks in the Super League but that wasn't the case.

"We performed poorly two weeks in a row and we are our own harshest critics.

"We sat down this week and talked about this game and our performance tonight has given our supporters something to cheer about."

Wellens was a solid presence at full-back for Saints, who welcomed back Paul Sculthorpe after six months out with a knee problem.

He also pinpointed Ade Gardner's score late in the opening half as being one of the turning points of the game.

To be world club champions for the second time is special

St Helens full-back Paul Wellens

"Getting the score before half-time was absolutely crucial. If we had gone in at the break 8-0 down it would have been a difficult deficit to come back from.

"Going in only two points down gave us a real chance of winning the game and we were able to put in the performance to allow us to do that.

"To be world club champions for the second time is special - especially for me as a Saints lad."

But with Saints struggling in the Super League, Wellens knows that they must improve, starting with Bradford next Friday.

"We don't get much of a chance to enjoy the win," he said.

"But now that we have found some form, hopefully we can build on that in next week's game and for the rest of the season."

St Helens 18-14 Brisbane Broncos
23 Feb 07 |  Rugby League
World Club Challenge
22 Feb 07 |  Rugby League
Hard act to follow
21 Feb 07 |  Rugby League
Times are tough, admits Anderson
20 Feb 07 |  Rugby League
Broncos expect Saints to hit form
20 Feb 07 |  Rugby League
Wakefield 29-22 St Helens
18 Feb 07 |  Super League
Lockyer pleased with warm-up win
15 Feb 07 |  Rugby League
St Helens 26-4 Hull FC
14 Oct 06 |  Super League
Broncos edge Storm for NRL title
01 Oct 06 |  International


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