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Nathan Brown delighted by the two Jons show at Bradford
9:39pm Sunday 24th February 2013 in Sport
SAINTS boss Nathan Brown was delighted with the way his team changes produced a positive impact on the performance at Odsal on Saturday.
With skipper Paul Wellens injured, Jonny Lomax dropped back to full back where his natural talents excelled.
Lomax scored a hat-trick of tries – thus emulating the feat of his skipper in Saints’ last win at Odsal in 2010 – in a performance that could give Brown a headache as to what to do when Wellens is fit again.
Brown said: “Jonny certainly played well. Your best modern day full backs are half backs.
“You saw Billy Slater play last night at Headingley? You look at how Ben Barba plays too. The best modern day full backs are athletic, can pass and kick and see the game well.
“Wello got hurt and Jonny seemed like he was the best next fit.
“When Paul Welllens is fit again he will be playing - so make of that what you will.
“Wello is a very important player for the make-up of our squad and what he brings to the table in lots of areas is very important for the team.”
The other masterstroke involved pairing experienced loose forward with fit again Gary Wheeler in the halves.
Again it was a combination that gave Saints more structure, presence and threat in the middle, compared to previous weeks.
Brown added: “I have watched Jon Wilkin play like a half for a number of years Potts put him at half in a big Challenge Cup game at Leeds one year.
“He is a very controlled player and knows when and why to kick. He gives you a bit of composure and is a good experienced player.
“Jonny is a good player too – we have injuries. Wello and Lance Hohaia are experienced players so we have moved those players around and they did a good job.”
The final score of 36-10 probably flattered Bulls a little, with the home side scoring a six-pointer after the final hooter.
Brown was pleased with his side’s gradual improvement, saying: “In the first 40 minutes we played with discipline and control and in the next 20 we let ourselves down with our ball control and discipline. They put us under the pump a fair bit then.
“But we did things more consistently today against a side that has been playing well.
“We are improving – there’s no doubt about that from rounds 1-2-3-4 we have got better. Some of that is about learning about the players and what works for them and me adjusting to what they can do offensively in particular.
“I am sure we will improve again. History shows that the team gets up for Leeds, Wigan and Warrington.
“Leeds will be a big a challenge.”