SAINTS boss Nathan Brown reviews the Cas game and looks ahead to a packed Easter schedule, in conversation with the Star’s senior sports writer Mike Critchley.
MC: There must be some real belief in the team to keep pulling off last-ditch wins?
NB: The boys have got a lot of confidence in each other, which is good. And in the last couple of weeks they have had to come up with big plays at the end of games in high pressured situations – and they have done it very well is a sign of some confidence.
MC: There were some remarkable passages of play for th last two tries?
NB: Brilliant weren’t they. I suppose the second half of last week was our best half of footy for some weeks and that coincided with players clicking back into gear after some chopping and changing through injury and suspension.
Cas were very good in first half and our defence was not where it needed to be and they exploited it, although they did score all their tries from kicks and intercepts, apart from one.
Although our defence was not too good around the ruck, when it had to come up under pressure it did ok. We were not as good as we needed to be in the first half and the second half it was a reverse.
MC: Bringing Wello on and shifting Josh Jones to centres proved a bit of a game changer?
NB: Wello had a good impact on the team in numbers of areas and the intensity of our defence definitely improved when Wello was on and Jonesy had a nice impact for us.
I felt a bit for Matty Dawson, because his game was going fine, but we wanted to get the team back to the most natural we could get it back to before we got all the injuries.
MC: Jonny Lomax is international class at the moment?
NB: He is a terrific player and just continues to get better. The last few weeks we probably haven’t used him as well as we could with the changes in personnel but his impact on our defence and offence is high.
These days if you are going to be a side that is winning trophies, your full back has to be one of your best players, that is the reality of it. Fortunately we have Jonny here at this club and he has has a terrific impact on our team. Full back is a tough, tough spot.
MC: How do you plan for this tough block of fixtures?
NB: We will do our best against Wigan and put our best, fit available team out.
Everyone wants to be a part of the Good Friday game – and then we will come in Saturday and see where we are at and that is the best way of putting it.
We have got a lot of players playing against Leeds that if they are not playing on Friday can play some part on the Monday.
We have plans in place, but those best plans can come undone. The reality is that the key thing is what happens on Friday – not the result but how the players pull up.
MC: How do think Wigan have adjusted to their change in personnel?
NB: Wigan have done really well. The systems they are using have worked for four of five years. Waney is brining people into that system and it still works well.
From a team point I don’t see them as any worse than last year. They have systems and believe in it, new players just keepo ticking over. Last year they lost four and brought four in and everyone thought the world was caving in but they went and did the double. Waney has done a great job there.
Of those new players Matty Bowen was always going to get better once the field hardened up and weather got warmer. He is quick.