ROYCE Simmons was pleased Saints got a point out of their trip to the KC Stadium… but reflected on what could have been.
A 40-yard penalty from Jamie Foster gave Saints a share of the spoils in an excellent engage Super League tie with Hull FC.
“Yes, we could have won but they would have been unhappy not to win too,” he said. “Our ball control in first half was poor – it was fifty per cent at best – and that tells you you will come in down at half time and burn a lot of energy tackling.
“If you would have said at half time we would get a point, I would have taken it.
“But I did say to the lads in the sheds we could get back into the game.
“We fell into bit of an old trap though. When you get on top and get momentum, good field position and score some tries, when the opposition gets the ball, sometimes you can drop off defensively. That’s what we did at the back end of the game.
“Our attitude to defense wasn’t as good as it should be – but we burned a lot of energy in the first half so it was understandable.”
He continued: “Jon Wilkin really got our kicking game going in the second half. We normally ask him to do around three or four down the left hand side but in the halves he had to do most of it and did really well.
“Of course I would be hoping Kyle Eastmond plays better in the future but I thought in the back end he ran it well and cleared our lines with some great kicks too. He hasn’t played for three to four weeks so he was going to be a little rusty but I have no doubt he will get better next week. I thought as both halves went on he got better.
“Nathan Ashe has also been out with an injury and could have had a chance in the team earlier if he hadn’t been injured. He made his first run out since his knee injury in the 20s last week, at full back, and he played well but was huffing and puffing a bit.
“I knew he was good enough, but didn’t know how long he would last. At the end of the day though he was the last back I had fit at the club.
“And I thought he did well. I thought we might get him on at the end, but he had to come in earlier [because of injury] and did really good. He didn’t panic and put some good passes out to the centres.
“When he gets his fitness and strength up there will be a good future for him.”
Chris Flannery should be back for Saturday’s Challenge Cup Fourth Round tie with Sheffield Eagles, but Simmons says there are doubts over Tony Puletua and Francis Meli.
But with injuries throughout the club it is very unlikely anyone will be omitted or rested at the weekend.