LOUIE McCarthy-Scarsbrook was very sorry to see his former club London Broncos relegated last Sunday – meaning that the capital will have no representation in Super League for the first time since its inception.
However, don’t mistake that attitude for the south Londoner feeling sorry for the club that gave him a pathway into rugby league.
And although the likeable, mobile front rower has plenty of friends still at Broncos, there will be no old pals act from him as Saints aim to continue their grip on top spot and finish the year with the League Leaders’ Shield.
McCarthy-Scarsbrook, who has hit a fine run of form during the past four weeks, said: "It was really disappointing to see London go down and when I saw they had, my heart sank a little bit.
"I made some good friends down there and the back room staff were excellent. When I was there they had kids from 5 to 16 playing and then they would be taken into the Academy and through to the first team like me.
"They have a lot of youngsters coming through and they will be blooded throughout next season. Perhaps it was a little too early for them this year.”
He is confident that the patient work building a rugby league hinterland beyond the first team will pay dividends as the Londoners plot their way back into the top flight.
"They have set out their intent by bringing in some old heads to help those youngsters and hopefully that intent is to bounce straight back up and not stay in the Championship.
"One thing I know about London; and it was the same when I was there - and I've told the lads here - is that they are a team that never gives up. Even when they are getting pumped they won't give up or they will be hooked and off. That has stayed with them all year.
"We ran away with the game at Langtree Park and they kept coming. If you go there expecting to win then we will have a tricky time."
With Mose Masoe beginning to make a few dents in the opposition line, that has coincided with McCarthy-Scarsbrook’s game picking up too in the last month.
He has certainly been able to use his turn of pace to penetrate the line – and has cut out some of the sloppy ball carries that were proving costly.
"My form has been better over recent weeks,” he said.
“I had a mid-season dip but have got closer to where I was. There is a lot of competition in the pack too.
"Mose Masoe, Alex Walmsley, Anthony Laffranchi and Kyle Amor are fit with the likes of Greg Richards and Luke Thompson chewing at the bit to get going.
"As a team we are frustrated with leaking tries late on as they are making our wins look closer than they are. That happened on Friday.
"We've had some bad losses and that is down to us as players not performing well. When we do click we are a dangerous team. It is up to us to go out with right mentality and not just think we are going to come away with two points. That is important this week; we need to have a hardnosed mentality.
"It is tight at the top and our goal is to finish top before the play-offs. We have been there for a while now and we don't want to get knocked off because of poor performances."