Brown Seeks Response

SAINTS know a win this Friday at Huddersfield would see the League Leaders Shield back in their trophy cabinet for the first time since 2008.

But more importantly, it would give them a solid foundation as they prepare for the playoffs.

It’s not been an easy year for Saints, especially in terms of injuries to key personnel, but the facts are clear – one more point would see them top the table.

A superb achievement.

“Winning the Shield would be good for the playing group, the fans and the club moving forward,” Head Coach Nathan Brown said. “When I came to St Helens I was brought here for a reason.

“We had a lot of older players and had to restructure. This is the first year of St Helens becoming younger and moving into a new era. They will grow over the next few years and the League Leaders Shield would be a good start to what could be a good era over the next five or so years.

“All successful sides have a starting point and hopefully this will be a starting point for this group of players.”

Saints head into the match at the John Smith’s Stadium having to again restructure following the loss of another key player.

Fullback Shannon McDonnell will miss the next six weeks with a broken jaw which thankfully doesn’t need surgery whilst a decision on the fitness of Alex Walmsley will be taken today (Thursday).

“Shannon has been really unfortunate and I feel for him,” Brown continued. “He did the injury making a tackle in the first minute and there seemed to be nothing in it. But, injuries like that are part and parcel of the game and we all know how tough it is. Bodies have got bigger, collisions more frequent and as a result injuries like that can happen.

“We’ll see how Alex Walmsley fairs this week but we think whatever injury he has will be short term. If we have to move someone to bring someone else in we will do. We feel there are one or two combinations that could do well for us.

“Generally after a defeat we have responded well. After the loss in Hull we played some good entertaining football to beat Wakefield and at Leeds we hung on in there, defended like our lives depended on it and our pressure told at the end.

“Those wins were big for us and we’ve had some good wins on the road too. We have beaten Leeds, Wigan and Warrington on their own patches.

“Huddersfield will present a different challenge to Warrington but it will all come down to the attitude and commitment of the players. Forwards win matches; the outside backs decide by how much.

“Both teams have a lot to play for and therefore the intensity and commitment from both will be big.

“Huddersfield have been high on ladder for a long period and have maintained that consistency by having a consistent team. We beat them in the Cup and had a good win at Langtree Park and although this match comes under different circumstances I think it will be a high quality game too.”

Tickets for the game remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.

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