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Hohaia's hard work prescription to get Saints through tough Easter spell
GET your head down and work hard seems to be the prescription Lance Hohaia has adopted for most of his career.
It is a strategy that has served the Kiwi World Cup winner well, so he is not about the change it now and get carried away with Saints’ perfect start to the season.
With plenty of youngsters in the ranks, it is a steady, cool-headed approach that will rub off on those around him.
Three years into his four year deal at Saints, the 31-year-old New Zealander is arguable playing his best rugby in the red vee, with commanding games against Leeds and Huddersfield catching the eye.
Saints go into the tough block of Easter games with perfect record in the league and their name in the next round of the cup.
Hohaia said: “It’s a long way to go but so far so good. We just have to keep working hard, but it is a good sign that we can win without playing our best, especially without injured and suspended players.”
Hohaia was given a week off against Castleford to allow time for some injuries to heal, but he will be raring to go for the Wigan game.
Although coach Nathan Brown trialled Jordan Turner at 6 in the friendlies to start and then handed Gary Wheeler the stand-off shirt for the opening Super League games, Hohaia never thought another period on the sidelines beckoned.
“For me it was about persevering and working hard which is what I’ve always done during my career.
“I knew the opportunities would come and I have taken them and am fairly comfortable with the way things are going. I just want to maintain some consistency and the guys are the same. Even though we are sitting where we are, we have all got improvement in us.”
Hohaia has caught the eye with some good performances in the halves – and he has benefited from his pairing with Luke Walsh.
“I have been able to build something with Walshy and he is a big reason why we are going well – an out and out half back for more than 12 moths.
“There is no doubt things are going well. The forwards are giving us backs a platform to do what we can.”
He is back in the squad for Friday’s visit of Wigan ahead of a really tough eight day spell.
Hohaia said: “Wigan is going to be great. They are always tough games and they have set the standard.”
After that saints travel to Widnes on Easter Monday before making the trip to Leeds in the Challenge Cup the following Saturday.
“Ideally you would want more rest in between the games but we just have to get out the on the field and put in the best performance we can. That is what we are paid to do.
“The Easter period is tough. Four games in two weeks tough, but it is about looking after your body when you have down time.
“The guys know what they need to do when they go home. It is about how you use your energy. That is definitely important at this time of the year, the trainers and coaching staff have been good, the sessions are short and sharp – and most of post game has been about about recovery.
“Touch wood we will come out of Easter with some decent points and not too many injuries and good shape.”
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