SAINTS boss Nathan Brown called for the team to respond better to adversity – and spelled out the importance of a good five-week run of performances in conversation with the Star’s senior sports writer Mike Critchley.
MC: It was a slowish start against Bulls, but there was some nice stuff on show for the first hour?
NB: I thought the first 60 minutes was pretty reasonable. We led comfortably at 40-0 and then the last 20 minutes was not great. But for the first hour it was a reasonably solid performance.
MC: How important – from a match fitness point of view – was it to get a couple of the blokes out there?
NB: Yes, was both to get both Boof and Kyle Amor out there because they haven’t played for a long time.
It was also pleasing to see Willie Manu and Mark Percival in particular produce their best games since coming back from injury. Getting them playing is a big thing.
MC: Percy is going well – and his defence is getting a lot tougher than it was for a slightly built lad.
NB: He is doing well and understands the game well and the more he trains and plays the better he will get.
MC: The crowd really got behind Mose when h was driving it it?
NB: I think his last four or five games have been pretty fair.
He has played a lot of footy now and got his fitness levels u, he is improving all the time and the fans re appreciating what he is doing.
MC: Why did you swap things around in that last quarter?
NB: We wanted to give Robes a bit of a spell because he has played a lot of 80 minute footy this year. The fact that he picked up the cut made us do it quicker, so we had to move a few players around.
MC: That 15 minute spell really overshadowed the good parts of the game – or is that too negative a perspective?
NB: Well we need to have a good five week period. We had a good hour on Friday followed by a spell that was not so good and Bulls dominated a period of the game there.
I said to the guys – we don’t need to buy into the negativity from everyone else around the rugby league who are saying negative things about us.
We know where we are sitting on the table but we also know that we need to get better.
But we don’t need to think it’s all doom and gloom. We know that there’s some good there, but we know there’s some key areas of the game where we need to get better at and that’s the key the five week block.
MC: Looking ahead to next year - any signs of any further recruitment?
NB: We are after another good player. We have salary cap room to bring in another good player and plenty of quota spots. I’d prefer an English player – someone that is here – but we have room under the cap to bring in a quality player.
We want to make sure it is someone who is going to make the squad better.