Sean Long says poor execution, skill and discipline cost Saints dear as they were beaten by Warrington on Friday night.
“I thought we started off the game with real intent and got some points,” he said. “We were really genuine with how we ran our plays and our completion was good.
“But then we compounded that good start with errors, poor skill, discipline and ruck speed which absolutely killed us. It let them back in the game.
“They were aggressive with their line defence but we knew they were going to do that. We went away from the game plan too but it was poor execution ultimately that cost us. You have to keep hold of the ball if you want to win a footy game. They didn’t drop it in the second and third quarters but every time we got it we dropped it.
“We didn’t earn the right to put on plays. Perhaps after scoring the early try we thought it would be easy.
“At half time we spoke about completion and earning the right to put plays on, but we came out and dropped the ball three times on our first five sets. Poor skill and execution cost us in the end.”
Long says Jon Wilkin felt his hamstring “pull tight” in the warm up and that forced Saints to bring Morgan Knowles off the bench and Dominique Peyroux into the side.
He added: “Morgan was a shining light for us tonight. He played well. It was a bit of upheaval as we had already lost two of our best players to England and then had to take Wilko out. He is a good leader and we lacked a little of that tonight.
“That said, they had six genuine first teamers out too and they wanted it more than us at times which is disappointing. I think we still had enough out there to win the game.
“We now have to dust ourselves down and get ready for the biggest game of the season. We all have to take ownership on this performance, the coaching staff and players, have a look at ourselves and try to come back and improve for Saturday.”