Full-back Coote is making the move to Hull Kingston Rovers from next season, but still has plenty of unfinished business at St Helens. “The season is not finished yet and I’m here to get another premiership,” the Scotland international said
By Marc Bazeley
Last Updated: 18/08/21 6:19pm
Barely 48 hours after his move to Hull Kingston Rovers from 2022 was confirmed, Lachlan Coote played a starring role in St Helens’ 30-14 win away to Wakefield Trinity by scoring a try and kicking four goals.
It was the kind of influential display which has become the norm from the full-back since he switched to Saints from NRL side North Queensland Cowboys for the start of the 2019 season, and his efforts at the Mobile Rocket Stadium that night were saluted by the travelling fans at the final hooter.
That is a sign of the esteem Coote is still held in by the club’s fans, even though salary cap pressure and the emergence of young players like his expected long-term successor Jack Welsby mean he will be departing at the end of the season.
The Scotland international is not done yet either, determined as he is to repay that backing and end his three seasons at Totally Wicked Stadium on a high by signing off with a third-straight Super League Grand Final triumph come October 9.
“That’s what I wanted it to be all about, not so much about me leaving but more the fact what we’ve achieved as a team since I’ve been at this club,” Coote said.
“I think the fans understand sport these days and how everything can come into play like the salary cap and young guys coming through.
“I think for what I’ve done for the club over the last few years, they really showed me some great respect and I’ve got to return the favour. The season is not finished yet and I’m here to get another premiership.”
Coote and St Helens already have one trophy in the bag for 2021, having lifted the Challenge Cup for the first time in 13 years with a 26-12 win over Castleford Tigers at Wembley last month.
A 20-10 defeat at home to the same opponents in Super League last week served as a reminder the job is not done this year, though, and it does not get any easier for the reigning champions because next up is the derby clash with Wigan Warriors as part of Rivals Round, live on Sky Sports on Friday.
Coote admits the mental challenge of resetting and refocusing following that Challenge Cup final triumph, with the added issue of games being postponed due to positive Covid-19 tests, has been tough, but he believes Saints’ squad is in the right frame of mind.
“Just the build-up around Wembley and everything like that, you build up yourself mentally and physically, so it’s a really tough challenge, then winning it is like a big relief, so you got through a stage of being relaxed,” Coote said.
I think for what I’ve done for the club over the last few years, the fans showed me some great respect and I’ve got to return the favour. The season is not finished yet and I’m here to get another premiership.
“It’s weird because when you’re winning Grand Finals there’s nothing to look forward to the week after, so mentally you’ve got to get yourself back up to play the season again.
“I think some teams fall away and don’t really execute that well and we’ve really tried to make it main focus to make sure we don’t fall off a cliff, try to build on the season and finish it on a high again.”
Friday’s trip to the DW Stadium will be the first time St Helens have faced old rivals Wigan on their own patch since 2019, with the regular-season matches during the pandemic-affected 2020 campaign being played behind closed doors at the AJ Bell Stadium and Totally Wicked Stadium, plus their memorable Grand Final clash in Hull.
Coote scored a try and kicked six goals in that 36-10 win, a game which also gave rise to the chant about him sung by Saints fans to the tune of ‘She’s Electric’ by Oasis, and that atmosphere is something he is relishing as the two sides prepare to do battle again.
“I think Saints put up a video of last time we played there and it brought back some fond memories of that performance on the field with the team,” Coote said. “It kick-started that song there as well, so it was really something special there and I almost felt like a rock star.
“The crowds get into it so much. The crowds in Australia cheer when good things happens, but over here it’s another level. It’s something I’d never really experienced and when I did my mind was blown.
“All I’ve copped since I’ve been over here is ‘I don’t care what game you win or lose, just make sure you win against Wigan’. I think that’s just the hate there we’ve got and built. I think it’s great for the game and I just can’t wait to get out there on Friday night.”