It’s time to reflect on the year that’s gone … so sit back, grab a brew and some leftovers and enjoy our review of an action packed season.
Today we begin with what happened in January through to March.
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Saints continued their pre-season preparation with a trip to the Lake District and Cassius Camps. Day one took in a 45km mountain bike ride followed by clay pigeon shooting and a physical challenge.
The lads camped in a local hall overnight and were then treated to a long hike around Grisdale.
And it set them in good stead too as their first pre-season friendly saw them beat Widnes 16-0 – Ryan Morgan, Luke Douglas, Tommy Lee and Adam Walker all featuring for the first time.
Sadly, our other debutant, Matty Smith, suffered a broken leg in the clash that would rule him out for a while.
Saints’ next pre-season friendly was against eventual Grand Finalists Castleford Tigers, but they couldn’t match the intensity of the win over the Vikings, eventually losing 22-6.
In-between, Kyle Amor, Joe Greenwood, Jonny Lomax, Mark Percival, James Roby and Matty Smith were all named in England’s Elite Squad.
Saints got their 2017 campaign off to a great start with a 6-4 win over Leeds Rhinos.
Theo Fages scored the winner in a performance that saw quality defence on both sides.
Joe Greenwood played in the match but in the following weeks moved to Gold Coast Titans with Zeb Taia coming the other way.
Taia wasn’t ready for Saints’ next fixture – a trip to newly promoted Leigh who had narrowly lost to Leeds a week previous.
A poor start cost Saints too as they went down 24-16.
The following Monday, Luke Douglas was sidelined with a hand injury but there was better news as Taia linked up with his new club at the back end of the month.
Saints entered March looking to climb back up the ladder after an indifferent start … but were downed late by Wakefield 16-12 at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
A much better performance followed on the road at Hull FC, but the Airlie Birds took the spoils 24-14.
Saints were admittedly disjoined after losing their new half back – but they steadied the ship with a fantastic win in Catalans – Fages producing the pass of the season.
There’s no arguments over that!
Better was to follow as Smith returned to guide Saints to a comprehensive 31-6 win over Warrington – Adam Swift bagging two tries.
The wins got Saints up the table but a loss at Salford checked progress a little; the side failing to overcome a 14-0 deficit.
Tomorrow, we will reflect on April, May and June.