NEW Saints coach Royce Simmons admits there’s a lot more to do following his side’s 52-20 Karalius Cup win over Widnes on Sunday.
James Graham led the line with two of ten tries whilst Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Michael Shenton impressed on their ‘debuts’.
But Simmons was unhappy with the defence and says there needs to be an ‘attitude change’ within the club if they are to solve that issue.
“Overall I was disappointed with the defence,” he said. “Our line was broken too many times I thought and it is something we need to address.
“There needs to be an attitude change to the defence at the club. There isn’t a lot wrong as they have been to five finals in the last five years but last year they were fourth best in the league [in terms of defence] leaking around 24 points a game.
“That is too many to do the job.”
He continued: “50 per cent of the time you don’t have the ball so you have to get the defence right. Our attitude to attack is good – we put a lot of energy in it. But I feel we don’t have as much in defence. We don’t seem excited enough to hold people off our line for six tackles. We will have to work on that.”
Royce was, however, pleased with Louie and Michael’s contributions: “They were very good for us. They came in before I was appointed and I am happy that they were. Louie gave us some go forward and played 60 minutes. Michael had limited opportunities but he was dangerous and showed good speed on occasions.”
James Graham will be monitored in the next few days or so after suffering from a back spasm during the match. “We’ll keep an eye on it,” Royce said. “He has had injections in it over the last couple of weeks but flared up. “I thought James played well in the first half – he is a ball carrying forward and can pass before the line or at it. It makes him a very dangerous player.”
Saints’ next pre-season test is a home match with Huddersfield Giants this Saturday January 29.
Tickets for the game at the Stobart Stadium are now on sale and kids can go free.
Kicking off at 3pm, fans can gain entry for £15 into the North Stand – a saving of £5 on regular match prices – with kids going free if you buy a £30 family ticket (two adults two kids).
Concessions are £10 and juniors £5.
South Stand tickets are £21 for adults, £16 concessions, £12 junior with a family ticket for £42.
Away fans will be in the West Stand.
To buy, pop into the Saints Superstore in St Helens Town Centre, call 01744 455 052 or log on to the Saints Superstore.