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Tommy Makinson has real belief that Saints can pull off play-off surprise
DESPITE Friday night’s derby defeat by a red-hot Warrington, wing Tommy Makinson still has real belief that Saints can pull off a shock Super League title win this term.
Although injuries and the lack of a recognised half back have contributed to Saints being cast out of the top four for the first time since 2004, plunging them into sudden death rugby from the off, Makinson believes the team will give it a good crack.
The team’s first job is trying to make the opening round a little easier, with Saints needing to get a point at Hull to make sure of a home tie in the first phase.
Makinson said: “After the run we have been on late in the season, we still have self-belief, we know that we have a brilliant team.
“A lot of people don’t back us because of the way this year has worked out, but me and the rest of the lads still believe we can do it this year - 100 per cent.
“If you look at it, the Super League is wide open and nobody is outstanding.
“Wigan are a great team, but are not playing brilliant, Warrington were excellent on Friday, but we were not the other night and they only beat us by a try and a bit.
“There are a lot of positives – we all believe can win it and I hope we can.”
Saints gave themselves a real mountain to climb against an aggressive, quick-starting Warrington, trailing 22-0 after just 25 minutes.
And that took a pin to a bubble that had building since the win over Wigan, but Saints could take some shreds of comfort from the way the game ended.
Makinson said: “The most disappointing thing for us was the start. We had talked about a big start, especially against such a great side like Warrington, who have such good forwards and are strong across the park.
“But by the time we clicked we were 22-0 down against a great team. That is the game over.
“The first 20 minutes we were shocking, but the last hour we started moving the ball well and the best thing was the way we started defending. With a bit of luck we could have sneaked it.
“We have put on a decent run, although it sounds daft, that Warrington game is not going to get to me or the rest of the lads because we know we nearly had it.”
Saints travel to the KC Stadium on Friday night with their destiny in their own hands – but defeat could open up the possibility of having to start their play-offs in the south of France.
“It is very tough – nobody thought at the start of the season that this last game would mean so much,” said Makinson.
“If we lose and Catalan win then we’ll need our passports out again for a trip to France.
“No disrespect to anyone else, but Catalan away is not a game that you would want – you would rather have a home tie purely for the travel.
“It is such a gruelling trip so we would like to think we can get the job done Friday and see what happens.
“On top of that, it is such a great atmosphere at Langtree Park that we would like to have that first play-off game in front of all our own fans.”
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