Saints Face Vital Month

NATHAN Brown is hoping his side can take the good things out of the defeat to Huddersfield and kick on over the next month.

Saints face the teams around them on the Super League ladder and that means every point is vital if they want to remain in the Play Off hunt.

“We face the teams that are around the same points as us,” Brown said. “They have gone through similar situations as us with form, or lack of it, and bad luck. These games are important for numbers of reasons as if you are within a point of a team they become big contests when you play them for where your eventual position can be.

“We need to play well in them and we can take out of the Huddersfield game the things that were good and improve on the things that were not so good.”

He continued: “In the earlier part of the year Bradford gained some good scalps and have players who are really effective.

“Jarod Sammut is very dangerous. When the ball comes to him he will do things no one expects. It just comes to him and he can be hard to handle. We need to be honest in defence, because if we’re not he will react.”

Saints will be missing Ade Gardner through concussion whilst Anthony Laffranchi is also due to sit out the next couple of weeks.

“We need to be careful with Ade,” Brown added. “Your head and neck are areas that you need to be 100 per cent about. He was not in a very good way after the game. I’d be very surprised if he is available and in any case I wouldn’t be doing him a duty of care to put him in that situation.

“Anthony Walker is likely to be back around the Salford match and Gary Wheeler could be the week after that. They are slowly getting ready.

“Jonny Lomax is getting close too. He contributed in two team sessions last week and we’ll have a better idea after another field session. He’s in a similar position to James Roby though, after all this pain you want to make sure when he comes back he stays back.

“We looked better with Roby in the team on Monday, whilst having a regulation half back helped too.

“We used our tenth half back combination – but we had a regulation half back and a regulation hooker and that showed in our game. I thought at times we looked quite good, but other times we didn’t and on some other occasions their defence had to work hard to stop us.

“I didn’t think there was much in the game. They got a lucky try – a very questionable one – but when you are not winning you don’t get those ones. We had one or two poor lapses in defence and they made us pay. It was a four tries to three game and it was not that they slackened off. I thought we defended our way back into the contest.

“If Gareth O’Brien had not appeared you would not have seen that performance. I thought Jordan Turner contributed quite positively to playing six and he’s been one of our best players this year. He also scored and nearly scored two or three more. He has a good skillset and has a good long term future at the club.

“We’d like to stick with that combination. I know we have only got Gaz for an initial month – but if Warrington stay fit and healthy and they don’t need him we will then look at the future.

“There was a lot more good in that match than what a lot of people saw and I saw a lot of good signs. One of these was with three minutes to go when Huddersfield made a break and we had nine St Helens players in the picture.

“That shows urgency and keenness in the team and that is good, but we need to be more consistent.”

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