12:08pm Thursday 3rd April 2014
By Mike Critchley
SAINTS are sitting pretty at the top of the league - the only unbeaten side left in Super League.
Even despite a recent spate of injuries and suspensions Saints have kept on their winning roll, playing some thrilling rugby.
There is a real belief among the fans that this class of 2014 could be the one to end the trophy drought that has seen Saints without a trophy for five seasons.
Here are ten reasons why there has been such a bounce.
1. Luke Walsh. Saints' first hard-nosed organisational scrum half since Sean Long left in 2009 is really pulling the strings and bossing the team.
2. Goal kicking - that's Luke Walsh again with his deadly accuracy with the boot seeing Saints, up until his recent injury, go up in sixes rather than fours.
3. A pack that can mix it with the best of them. New signings Kyle Amor, Mose Masoe and still to play Richard Beaumont have added to LMS, Anthony Laffranchi, Alex Walmsley and a host of youngsters to give Saints a front row that can soak it up and dish it out.
4. A fit James Roby. Two injuries wrecked his 2013 season - he won't get that unlucky again. And playing behind a big pack will give him the perfect platform to show why he was sought after in the NRL. Last week's contribution against Leeds of 57 tackles and a great kicking game underlined that value.
5. Characters - Maybe even aside from their playing contribution, Mose Masoe (above) and Kyle Amor look set to be real cult heroes on the terraces and bring colour to match days.
6. Tommy's one-handed touchdowns. Flying wing Tommy Makinson has made touching down in the tightest of corners his speciality - and the crowd love it.
7. A fast back three. With Jonny Lomax finding his vocation as an attacking full back, his link up with prolific scorer Adam Swift and flyer Tommy Makinson gives Saints some real pace.
8. Langtree Park. For a couple of years after the departure from Knowsley Road Saints home games didn't feel like home. But now the grumbles about cladding have gone and the team is turning it on we have seen the rocking atmosphere return to home games. The ground was bouncing against Leeds last week and the players respond to it.
9. Young talent. The silver lining of last terms injury cloud means that several of the youngsters who were blooded last term - Greg Richards, Anthony Walker, Luke Thompson, Joe Greenwood and Mark Percival (above) are all a year older and their presence adds depth to the squad. Again, they really earned their spurs against Leeds.
10. Nathan Brown's boys. This is now the coach's team and made up of the players Brown has brought in, kept and slotted in the positions he feels they suit best.
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