Case For Defence

MIKE Rush is looking for a repeat performance defensively as Saints prepare to take on Bradford Bulls on Friday.

His side faced 45 sets over at the KC Stadium making more than 120 tackles more than their Hull opponents.

“We defended a lot better than we did at Magic, that goes without saying,” he said, “but we needed the lion’s share of possession if we were going to get over a team like Hull. We had something like 23 sets but when we did get into their zone, we scored three tries in five attempts.

“The lads knew what they did at Magic wasn’t good enough and it was on our minds during the week. But I would have loved to have seen the scoreline if we would have had the same possession as them. They had eight drop outs and four ‘back to ones’ too.

“We compounded some of that though with errors in yardage. A couple of individuals made some errors and those are areas we can rectify and work on. But when you have made more than 360 tackles it is harder to attack well. 

“Jon Wilkin made 55 alone, Roby 48; Lance was excellent defensively too… but the short side try from Danny Tickle was a disappointing one. In the main we were good though and we have to take that into Friday’s match.”

Saints expect to welcome back Anthony Laffranchi and Francis Meli for the Bradford test but are set to lose Ade Gardner for around six to 12 weeks as he recovers from a knee injury.

Only time will tell if changes are to be made though and Rush admits the young backline of Tommy Makinson, Josh Jones and Adam Swift did well.

“They have big futures in the game if we blood them right,” he continued. “We don’t want to over expose them and create monsters. They have some real ability. Adam Swift took his try on Sunday really well. It was also good to see Lee Gaskell get 20 minutes too. He showed a couple of good touches and that gets him back in the fold.

“Friday’s game is pretty big for us as we can go fourth. We have to play Catalans, Huddersfield and Warrington as well as the teams below us and the ‘four’ is in our grasp really if we put in a run.

“Bradford will be a real test. They have done well with everything that has gone on behind the scenes. They have picked up a couple of injuries and the tight turnaround will test their squad.

“Young John Bateman has excelled since he has come in and Luke Gale is always a threat. They are a big side too so we are expecting a tough match.”

Tickets for the Stobart Super League Round 17 match against Bradford Bulls (8pm kick off) are on sale from the ticket office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.

The game is sponsored by Vinyline.

Principal Club Partners

LWC Logo

Platinum Club Partners

Kinaxia Logistics logo
Elcons Logo
Astar Recruitment logo

Associate Club Partners

St Helens College logo

Official Club Partners

Box Holders