Courageous Effort

DOWN your first choice number one… and then your half back… most sides would have crumbled but Saints took on the Champions and were within seconds of pulling off a memorable win.

It was a day when the youngsters came of age with Tommy Makinson filling in for Paul Wellens at full back and heroes across the field.

But sadly, it just wasn’t enough on the day as Wigan ran out 28-24 winners.

After the match, Royce Simmons paid tribute to his side.

“It was a tremendous effort to get to 10-0 particularly after we made a few mistakes in the opening stages,” he said. “We got caught up in the emotion of the game and pushed a few passes, but then we played a great period of around 30 minutes and I was more than happy with that.

“But when you lose your full back and half back – two of your crucial players – then it not only affects your performance but also your interchanges. We lost two there and we couldn’t spell the forwards on a hot day as we would have liked.

“We tried to get through it, but lost our way and Wigan took advantage. Then we got organised again and clawed our way back, but fatigue set in and that told in the end.

“Perhaps if we would have had four interchanges at the end instead of two, we get the points, but it was a courageous effort.”

He continued: “I don’t want to comment on the Wheeler tackle. The league will look at that. Wheeler told me he kicked and had time to look up, but the league has a good procedure and I’m sure they will handle that.

“He has done his AC joint and will be out for a long time. That’s our third half out now so Jonny [Lomax] will certainly get a good run out this weekend!

“Wello had a needle before the game on his ankle, like a few players, but that didn’t work. He won’t be around for a couple of days and there could be a few around him.

“There’s a few lads that were in the 20s getting a surprise tomorrow!

“It was a great game of football in afull stadium with the fans really into it… it’s better than laying 2000 bricks isn’t it? Rugby League was the winner today but Saints didn’t get a point.”

Simmons also revealed that Kyle Eastmond was considered for the Easter fixtures but hasn’t been able to train because of a serious chest infection.

“We did some kick and catching with him on Monday and the doctor came in and said he should be in hospital. We did some tests and thankfully he hasn’t got pneumonia. We tried to give him a hard 10 minutes today so see if we could get him out come the Castleford game, but we couldn’t get ten off him on the treadmill, so he won’t be available.”

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