SAINTS boss Nathan Brown looks ahead to tonight’s clash with Warrington in conversation with the Star’s Mike Critchley.
MC: It must feel great to complete a league double over Leeds.
NB: Yes, it took a super effort and the guys fought hard for each other. That was the key. We had to hang in there, but Robes and Larney manufactured some really nice plays to get us a result.
MC: A lot was made of Leeds being down to 12 men.
NB: Leeds played very well. The script was supposed to be they win the Challenge Cup, have a drink for three days and turn up flat.
But they turned up and were super with a completion rate of 95 per cent and Kevin Sinfield was controlling the game beautifully with his kicking.
For us to wrestle the game back from them was a good effort. They did well to hang in there and at 12-2 another score it would have been game over.
They had a few chances at the start of the second half to post some points but we held them out.
To score the tries and then set up the field goal, we did the reverse of what Leeds have done to many sides over the years.
To do that in a big game will give the guys plenty of confidence.
MC: Last week you said the team would be hanging its hat on Lance Hohaia. He came up trumps on Friday?
NB: He set up a nice try for Louie when we needed it, and then kicked the field goal when we needed it.
And Robes came up with the other nice play for the try. But as a whole, collectively, we competed hard for each other and that is what we needed to do.
MC: That is going to be the drill for the next five weeks?
NB: We are going to have to play great every week. Some of our stuff was not great at Leeds, but our commitment and effort was good.
We just need to tidy up some areas with regards to the execution of our attack.
MC: A win against Warrington will see you win the shield. Is that an objective or a stepping stone to bigger things?
NB: It would be a good reward for the boys climbing a good few hurdles this year, with the injuries we have had and a reward for our consistency.
The club has not won a trophy for five years, which is a long time for St Helens in the Super League era.
It would be nice for the development of the team to pick something up.
Warrington have a lot to play for too, so if we were to get over them we will have deserved to have picked up that Shield in front of our own fans.
MC: You want to win it under your own steam, rather than relying on Cas slipping up?
NB: We want to go into play-offs with some good confidence. We have had good wins over Wakefield and Leeds and that has been terrific for the belief in the squad.
MC: Warrington come out fired up and can blow teams away early on?
NB: They can physically start as good as any side and that has been the key to their success over the past five years.
The big guys determine if you are going to win the game and the outside backs determine by how much.
The two games we have played this year – our middle came on top in the first one and they got us back at Etihad.