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Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook determined that crushing defeats won't wreck season
SAINTS prop Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook is determined that the two recent crushing defeats will not scupper the team’s hopes of silverware for the rest of the season.
It is going to be tough – and the recent losses to Wigan and Leeds have underlined that taking out the top prizes is about more than assembling a top-notch squad on paper.
The team’s disappointing Challenge Cup exit at Headingley now means that all Saints’ eggs are now in the Grand Final basket.
And so the long, hard slog to Old Trafford begins with Saints needing to pick up their game to the level it was at four or five weeks ago.
McCarthy-Scarsbrook would be among the players who would admit to taking a dip in form since being one of a trio of players ruled out with suspension.
It is no surprise them that the team as a whole went off the boil, culminating in those crucial defeats, that have done much to deflate the promising start of the campaign.
Nevertheless the chatty Londoner is determined that he, and his colleagues, will get back into the swing of things to get the show back on the road.
He said: “The Leeds defeat was just one of those things. We just have to get back on it now.
“We have had a couple of bad defeats recently as a club and as a squad. We don’t like losing so hopefully we can bounce back with these next few games.
“We had injuries and suspensions leading into this patch, but as a squad we let ourselves down. We did not play to our full potential – there were some silly mistakes – by myself and from some of the other guys.
“It is just a case of eliminating those silly mistakes from our game and then hopefully we will stop being 12-0 down after 12 minutes.
“If we can do that we can compete with the best because we have a very good defence and attack.”
Beating London last Thursday has got the show back on the road but a tougher game follows this Sunday and then even more so thereafter when a Magic encounter with Warrington is followed closely by a vengeance seeking Huddersfield side.
These are big games that will show if Saints are not only capable of getting back on the horse, but also ride it all the way to the Theatre of Dreams.
To get the results out of those next three games, lessons must be learned.
McCathy-Scarsbrook feels they have the quality of personnel to do just that and re-discover the touch they had in February and March.
“We are turning over a lot of ball – obviously we need to work on that as players to get our skills right. That has been down to couple of brain explosions and some silly knock ons and that means we are wasting energy defending,” he said.
“We won nine games on the trot so losing two games does not make us a bad team. Morale will be a bit down because nobody likes losing but we have a good squad and coaching team that can pick us up and show us where we are going wrong and how we can pick it up and go forward.
He took to the field against his former club London sporting eight stitches – his battle scar from the defeat at Headingley.
And although the opposition was undeniably weaker, he will have got a little bit of a confidence booster back from his personal performance against the Broncos.
Focus, clichéd as it sounds, is on picking it up match by match.
But there are some games within this next batch that will need extra special attention – most notably at Magic against the off colour Wolves who have hardly hit their straps this season after having the stuffing knocked out of them by Saints on the opening night.
“We are taking one at a time – but the Etihad will be another big experience and hopefully we can come away from there with two points.
“You have to regroup as a team – senior players Wilko, Wello and Robes will get us in and tell us what to do,” he said.
As for McCarthy-Scarsbrook’s own game, coach Brown has made no secret of the fact that he prefers to have his really big men foraging in the middle and denting the line and would prefer to use the mobile Londoner’s skilset differently – running a little wider.
“Browny likes me out wider at second row and loose. It helps me having someone the size of Mose running at the opposition, as well as Big Alex and Kyle – and Richard Beaumont to come,” he said.