Saints paid a heavy price for failing to match Wolves intensity, says Nathan Brown (From St Helens Star)
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Saints paid a heavy price for failing to match Wolves intensity
SAINTS boss Nathan Brown says his side must learn the lessons of their home defeat by Warrington – but believes the Wolves are the team to beat.
He was speaking after seeing his team blown away by a more aggressive pack, with fit-again Ben Harrison proving a revelation as the big, ball carrying back row.
Although Saints recovered, they had left themselves with too much to do – and now have a big task on their hands if they are to clinch a home draw in the sudden death phase.
Brown said: "I think we got beat by the best side in the competition.
"Tony has been resting his players to give them a final tilt.
"They've a powerful squad and I still think they're the team to beat."
Saints probably paid a price for leaving Sia Soliola and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook on the bench – the game was over by the time they entered the fray.
Saints also looked much better when Lance Hohaia switched from the halves to hooker, with Paul Wellens coming on to offer a simple, but effective style at half back.
“Physically we weren't in it at the beginning, they were very good and they started well with a lot of intent with and without the ball," Brown said.
"We had a 20-minute period when just didn't go with them.
"When they are on the up they play chicken on the advantage line and we were the chickens tonight.
"They chance their arm, get the bounces and get the possession. But when we started to aim up in defence and got the ball we won some field position and executed some decent plays.
"I know we have James Roby back next week but it doesn't matter who is in the team, we need to come up physically.
"The thing I have always liked about Warrington is they defend well. They attack with their defence and are the only side in the comp that can do it for a sustained period.
“You need to be good in those periods and for 20 minutes we didn't go with them."
Saints did pull it back to a one score lead, but probably were left to rue not goung for goal with ten minutes to play – a score that would have really thrown the game back into the melting pot.
Instead they ran it, coughed up the ball on the third tackle with a kick, and then allowed Wolves to seal it with a late score on the hooter.
Brown continued: "There is some good to come out of the game with how we played in the second half, but we have to learn the lessons from not starting with the right intensity.
"We eventually did adjust our intensity and got back in the contest. We had opportunities but that can't excuse how we started. When we got the physicality right we showed what we could do."
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