Saints Lacked Strong Middle

NATHAN Brown pinpointed the lack of ‘grunt in the middle’ as the main reason Saints lost at Hull FC on Friday night.

His side were handed a 19-12 defeat at the KC Stadium.

“There were a number of things we didn’t do so well,” he said. “Their middle was far better than ours. With the new people we have in the halves we knew we needed to help them and to make life easier we needed our forwards to do better.

“It’s fair to say that they weren’t as good today as they have been in the last five or six weeks.

“I thought they (Hull) rolled down the field easily and we probably helped them with our kicking game. We have a number of things to look at.

“We have seen what we are working with and now we have to look at the way we want to play and what suits them (our halfbacks) best.”

He continued: “Every time we did some good things we compounded it with a bad one. When we did get flow we did something that wasn’t so good. Richard Horne has been throwing dummies at the line for years and he made two line breaks tonight. That summed up our middle I thought. When we’ve won over here we stop those breaks.

“There were players standing in tackles and offloading with big blokes on top of them.

“Our middle has been good lately and we aren’t sitting where we are because we haven’t been good in that part of the game. But, it doesn’t really matter who your personnel are – if your middle isn’t as good as the opposition, you will be under pressure.

“It’s back to the drawing board. We will look at the structure of our attack and see what we can do as players and staff to help. We need 17 players who are contributing positively and there were a fair few that weren’t a 7 out of 10 tonight.”

Saints took home the Steve Prescott Cup with a five-point aggregate win and remain top of the table after Leeds lost to Bradford.

But that was little consolation to Brown.

“I’m not happy because we’ve lost. We’ve had a good training week, come off the back of a decent block of results and not won. Leeds going down – a win would have put us in a stronger position.”

Brown also confirmed after the game to Sky Sports News that Jon Wilkin won’t return for the rest of the year.

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