Brown: Good Hit Out

NATHAN Brown was pleased Saints got their first pre-season game under their belts as they recorded a 20-0 win over Batley on Friday night.

His side ran in four tries to ease past the Championship outfit in appalling weather.

“The conditions weren’t the best to give us the great game but it was good for us in so many ways,” he said. “They had a real dig and from a physical point of view it was good for the younger players to be in a game like that. Championship sides are always physical and that is what the guys needed.

“We had some blokes coming back who haven’t played for a long time and kids who got to play on the back of another pre-season. We also had younger kids who haven’t played and got the chance to and older fellas who got a hit out too. It served a good purpose for us.

“Mark Flanagan, Gary Wheeler and Ade Gardner all missed chunks of the season and handled themselves well too.”

New scrum-half Luke Walsh missed the game as he rolled his ankle his training and that saw Jon Wilkin take up a familiar spot – after last season anyway – at half back.

“Walshy would have played if it was a proper game,” Brown added. “Wilko played at 7 last year and knows what suits him and the team and he was comfortable. Of course, we would have liked to have played him in the position he will be in this year.

“The likes of Jordan Hand, Carl Forster have had a good pre-season and have done better tonight than this time last year. I thought Josh Jones and Mark Percival went well too.

“Josh is a competent player and whether he is in the centre or second row you know what you’re going to get. Percy has that bit of brilliance about him and is in much better physical shape than this time last year too.

“We have a lot of players who can still play under 19s but some who can’t. We have the partnership with Rochdale and they will take some players as will Whitehaven too. Hopefully this year we have the problem that they are all fit and have to play.”

Saints next pre-season match is James Roby’s Testimonial Match against Wigan on Friday January 31 (8pm).

Sia Soliola, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Adam Swift are all likely to feature.

You can buy tickets here.

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