KEIRON Purtill was praised by Royce Simmons following Saints’ 28-12 win over Crusaders on Friday night.
The club’s assistant coach was told he is doing a “fantastic job” by his gaffer – because of his continuing work on the side’s defence in recent weeks.
“Our defence was good, especially down our end of the field,” Simmons said. “We held out for long periods and came up with good D when it mattered. We have been working on that and that’s down to Keiron who has been doing a great job improving that side of our game.
“Crusaders came here with a good attitude and although we scored early you could tell we were in for a tough game. They responded well to that try and played good footy.
“But we did enough to get through.”
Saints welcomed back five players – Kyle Eastmond, Josh Perry, Andy Dixon, Jonny Lomax and Lee Gaskell – and Simmons was pleased to report all came through the match with no ill effects.
“I thought all our returnees did well. Gasky started at stand-off but went to the wing when Ade got injured. He has experience there so it made sense to do that.
“Kyle then went into 6 and combined well with Jonny.
“Jonny didn’t just dip his toe in did he? He tackled really well and ran well too. It was a strong performance from all the boys that came in.
“Ade Gardner doesn’t look too good though. It looks like he’s in trouble and his Achillies has gone. We need to wait for the scan and we will try to be positive but I think we won’t be seeing him for a long time. It’s a severe tear or a snap.”