Nathan Brown expects a different Huddersfield Giants for Super League opener

Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown

First published in Sport St Helens Star: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Sports Writer

SAINTS coach Nathan Brown drew plenty of positives from his first sight of his team in action on Friday night.

After watching the men in the red vee win 26-0 against his former Huddersfield Giants side Brown said: “To keep them to nil was obviously pleasing – but Huddersfield had three or four forwards missing and that is going to be a big strength in their game this year, with the size they have got.

“But to keep them to nil, especially in the first half when they had Broughy and Robbo and some good experienced players in key positions, was really pleasing.

“Both sides started off with some reasonable contact, but there is a little bit of competition for positions. If you look at both clubs there is a bit of depth in the forwards, so for a first out hit-out we can be reasonably happy.

“But if we are going to catch up with Leeds and Warrington we have got a bit of work to do.”

He was happy with the way some of the combinations worked, but said there was more to come.

Brown said: “With some of the stuff we are trying to do, it is still a work in progress but I was really happy with Jonny Lomax, who came up with some really nice stuff.

“His involvement was really pleasing – he has worked hard on some things and looked quite good a few times, which is a real plus for the team and the club going forward.

“As a whole most people contributed and for a first hit out it wasn’t too bad but if we are to catch the sides that are winning all the trophies we are to catch the sides that are winning all the trophies we have got some work to do.”

The whole squad got a good run out, with Brown pleased with his first look at some of the younger players in action.

He said: “Joe Greenwood had a nice start and stood out a bit at times. All the young front rowers seemed to contribute and Mark Percival on the wing came up with a few things under pressure.

“The sets of kids on both sides gave us something to look at.”

Brown was not getting carried away and expects a different Huddersfield for the opening Super League encounter.

He said: “It was a friendly, but I’d rather that to be the score in two week. It is a friendly so you have to take that as it is. It is the first time I have ever gone up against a former club in 20 odd years of pro rugby league.

“A big part of Huddersfield’s game will be their power and they have got four international forwards not playing tonight. I have no doubt at all that they will be a very hard team to beat and if they keep their best players fit and healthy.”

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