New-look Widnes gave Saints plenty to think about in the mud and rain at Knowsley Road but the home side ultimately proved too strong as they ground out a 40-18 win.
Captain Paul Sculthorpe was Saints' driving force, landing six goals, and Jamie Lyon also had an impressing debut by creating two of the hosts' seven tries.
Millward said: "It was a fantastic effort. The conditions were there for all to see. I thought both teams played well in those conditions. We created opportunities but it was very heavy going out there. I'm pretty happy.
"It was always going to be a heavy night for centres out there but I thought Jamie Lyon had a pleasing debut." Kick-off had been delayed 10 minutes to allow all the 12,935 crowd into the ground and Millward added: "It was a great crowd for a night like that, a great sign for Super League."
Widnes' new coach Frank Endacott was pleased with his players' effort but accepts that a tough season could lie ahead. The former Wigan and New Zealand coach said: "I was disappointed with the result but not disappointed with the effort. I'm pleased with that but there is plenty to work on before the Bradford game next week."
St Helens: Wellens; Gardner, Lyon, Talau, Albert; Sculthorpe, Long; Fozzard, Higham, Anderson, Gilmour, Graham, Wilkin. Substitutes used: Cunningham, Edmondson, Bennett, Roby.
Widnes: Connolly; Emelio, Moule, Whittle, Rowlands; Craigie, Hulse; Whitaker, Millard, O'Neill, Cassidy, Stankevitch, Frame. Substututes used: Hughes, Finnigan, Smith, Fa-alogo.
Referee: R Silverwood (Dewsbury)Reuse content