NATHAN Brown looks back at Saints’ awful display at Hull KR, in conversation with the Star’s senior sports writer Mike Critchley.
MC: That was a massive comedown from the previous week’s high. Have you worked out what went wrong?
NB: It was shocking. I don’t know what it is with Hull KR and Saints but we’ve certainly found ways not to do well there. Injuries, sendings off and bad performances – it’s certainly been a bad place for a fair period of time.
MC: The team drifted and gifted Rovers the chances to take hold of that game?
NB: When we went there I was thinking we had had the big performance against Cas followed by the big Wigan game and I thought if we could have toughed out a win that would have been a nice result for us.
We gifted them those intercept tries, which can happen – that is just part of play.
When we got to 14-10 I was happy given how poorly we had played and what we had handed them.
I thought if we had gone out and turned ourselves around we may have been able to grind out a victory.
But the second half was not where we need to be. Sometimes you play bad, but effort wise we were not where we needed to be.
MC: Is it a major worry that when the dam bursts it bursts big style?
NB: It has happened on those two occasions. I told the guys it was disappointing but on the positive front in between there were great results against Wigan and Cas, two teams up at the top.
Among the bad there is good but it is just the lack of consistency which is a concern.
And whilst we are first it does not feel like we are first.
We need to put a good five to six weeks of footy together.
It is not that we need to win six in a row, but we have to come off the field and know that we have competed and played with a reasonable amount of consistency.
If you do that you win your share of games and finish in the top four.
If you have a bad three weeks all of a sudden you are in a fight to be fifth or sixth, let alone top four.
MC: Does this defeat undo all that good work from beating Wigan because bad losses do seem to hang heavier?
NB: Well would you rather get beat by 40 by Wigan?
The reality is a fit Wigan is going to be there at the end and you are going to have to beat them to do anything.
And with them Cas are third – a point off Leeds. So in theory we have beaten two sides that you have to beat get to Old Trafford.
If we had been beaten by those but then won at Hull KR everybody would be saying that ‘you only beat the easy sides.’ Am I happy about that? No way.
I am more disappointed with the Hull KR loss than the Catalan loss because you do have a couple of performances in a year where your energy levels are down, you are not up to where you need to be and things don’t go as well.
Although you can have two a year you are not supposed to have them in a four week span and that is the disappointing thing for me.
Sometimes you make errors and have off days.
On Sunday some blokes had the worst games they have had for the club since I have been here.
If we get our attitude right and our mind right and have a good six week block we can give ourselves a chance.
We have had a lot of good players not playing and losing blokes in key positions does hurt.
Although we have won some games without Luke Walsh this year the other day we would have done a lot of things better with him.
But you have still got to get the attitude right.
Good wins do not allow you to put in a poor or mediocre one.
MC: Because Gary Wheeler has not really got his eye in this season the team is really exposed at half back when injuries strike.
Is that a concern?
NB: It is an issue for us because we then have to move people around and change positions.
In honesty the Lance-Wilko combination on the left hand side has been super all year.
So when we move Wilko to half back it breaks that combination up and that is not ideal and not something you like to do.
But that is the nature of where we are at as a team.
MC: What is the update on Luke Walsh?
NB: Definitely still out this week but is hopeful of playing the following week. Kyle Amor will play this week.
MC: Physically have the team come through Sunday unscathed?
NB: Yes, it was more a case of a few dented egos.
Lots of players handle defeat differently – some are devastated others take it on the chin and get on with it but that does not mean that are not hurting.
Everyone is different.