Brown: At Our Best

NATHAN Brown says you have to be right on the top of your game to beat Wakefield.

Saints travel to the Rapid Solicitors Stadium on Sunday looking to record their fifth win on the bounce.

But even though the Wildcats have been edged in their last four matches, Brown reckons they are a far better side than the form guide suggests.

“If you watch the game against Warrington, it was a reasonably close affair,” he explained. “They have ‘just’ lost a number of times to good teams and that suggests they are a dangerous team.

“I think they carry more threat than a number of teams and the issue has been, like other teams, that their key players haven’t played a lot of games this year. Sykes is now out and Justin Poore has missed a few matches.

“But, quite simply, to beat Wakefield you have to play well. They have quality with Danny Kirmond, Tim Smith, Kyle Amor and such so if you don’t play well you will lose the game.”

Saints are on a run of six wins in seven matches and that has seen them climb to fifth in Super League.

And they could put themselves in pole position to secure a home tie in the playoffs with a win on Sunday.

“We end the season with Wakefield, Warrington and Hull which isn’t an easy run in,” Brown continued. “But we don’t want an easy run at this time of the year. We’ve played Wigan and Catalan too so this is the best way to prepare for the finals. We have only lost once in around eight weeks so we are in a reasonable run.

“The young props are improving too. They have been working hard with Jamahl Lolesi and Keiron Cunningham in video sessions. Having experienced players back around them has been important as has playing regularly.

“Francis Meli is going well in the centres and he’s played in that position over a number of years. Adam Swift and Tommy Makinson are playing well and Josh Jones is looking good in the back row so having Franny in the centres seems to be working well and make sense. I think we’d all agree that the back row is probably Josh’s number one position now.”

Meanwhile, Mark Percival has had an operation on his shoulder but he should be back for a pre-season campaign that Brown describes as “important for his development at this stage.”

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