Nathan Brown answers: A big contribution from Mose Masoe, Sia Soliola and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook

St Helens Star: Sia Soliola Sia Soliola

SAINTS boss Nathan Brown reflected on Sunday’s win over Bradford and looks at some improved displays in conversation with the Star’s senior sports writer Mike Critchley.

MC: Sunday’s performance was a huge improvement on the previous game against London?

NB: Yes, the boys seem to be growing again and getting a bit of consistency. It was good to see the defensive part of our game improve. That was our best display for a while in that area.

I also thought some players had their best game of the year, with a really good contribution from Sia, Louie and Mose. When they do that we are a far better team.

Off the back of that I thought Robes was by far the best player on the field. All 17 players contributed, whereas in previous weeks we have been mixed with some ok and some not so good.

MC: Defensively you got off the line pretty quickly and were in their faces from the off?

NB: It is something we have been working on this past few weeks and something we did not do quite as well against Wigan. Wigan sort of jumped us early on in that game, so we have put a fair bit of time into that in the last couple of weeks and it is good to see the guys taking it on board.

MC: It must have been pleasing to keep them to zero?

NB: Our attack has not been too bad this year, but we were pleased to score all those point.

Limiting them to no points and not even concede a line break against a team that has come off the back of two good results against two very good sides. The guys should take a lot of confidence from that.

MC: Defence is a good habit to develop – even when you are scoring freely at the other end?

NB: Generally the bigger games are won with defence. Good defence takes a lot of pressure off your attack, bad attack puts a lot of pressure on your defence. They are both very important parts of the game.

Attack wise we have been doing pretty well, but defence we are just ok. Leeds are way past everyone in that field and we are similar to the rest of the field.

To catch Leeds, which is what we need to be doing, we need to improve our defence.

MC: The players looked as if they had benefited from the t long turnaround. Is this a good way to draw a line under Easter and the cup and move on?

NB: Easter is hard for everyone, harder for some than others and so the ten day turnaround was beneficial. It is hard for players to back up and every team goes through some sort of patch after when you struggle.

We made the decision to rest players at Widnes, although we lost the cup game we felt it was the right thing to do for our squad.

After giving the boys a few days off they came in and it was by far our best training week and then our best performance at the end of it, so the two go hand in hand.

MC: Magic can be a good springboard into the rest of the season?

NB: We are unfortunately out of the cup so there is no longer any need to rest players, because we will get two or three weeks of rest on those Challenge Cup weekends.

The guys that are out there have the jersey and it is up to others to take that spot off them. Once we get a few more people back from injury there is going to be some competition, so it is about earning your spot and being under pressure to keep it.

MC: Are you due anyone back from injury?

NB: Jordan Turner has a chance of returning but I doubt anybody else will be back for the weekend.

MC: After some of Warrington’s big characters left they were written off pretty early. But they still have plenty of talent that is waiting to click into place. Do you expect a tough game?

NB: It was unfortunate that they lost through injury Ben Westwood, Paul Wood, Ben Harrison and Simon Grix – on top of that they have seen Morley, Carvell and Cooper move on. That is seven forwards – a lot of forward power to lose and that makes them play younger players more consistently. If you do that for a long time it is tough. If you put Westwood and Grix back in, alongside a couple of the younger blokes, then Warrington are fine, aren’t they?

If Westwood plays we will know about it, because he does play and make his presence felt. They are just going through a transition period, coinciding with injury. With all their players on deck they have shown they can play – and they did that to Widnes and Catalan, two teams who are on form.

Both clubs have a mutual respect for each other and play a good style of footy and so it should be a good contest.

MC: This last two seasons Magic has been a major disappointment for Saints. A good performance is important.

NB: The more our younger players play in front of big crowds the better we can get.


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