SAINTS coach Nathan Brown reviews the win over Castleford and looks ahead to Friday’s clash with Wigan, in conversation with the Star’s Mike Critchley.
MC: Saints played some nice stuff there on Sunday?
NB: Yes, that was the best we have attacked for a little while, which is pleasing. We attacked quite sharply against Cas.
Defensively we did okay at times, with a little bit of inconsistency at times.
MC: Having Lance back at six really complemented Luke Walsh, who was outstanding.
NB: Walshy is doing well and Wilko and Lance are operating well and they, along with Robes, have got some nice little combinations going. But that is what happens, like in all sides, if you can keep them out there and reasonably fit and healthy they can build up some confidence. That was definitely our best attacking performance.
MC: That said, Castleford’s big fellas were causing you some problems in the first half, standing up in the tackle and getting the ball away.
NB: There are quite contrasting styles between them and Wigan – but both are very effective with certain personnel that do things well. This week our middle is going to get challenged physically, quite a fair bit.
MC: It is a different preparation this week – but you know what to expect?
NB: We know what is coming but they probably know where we are coming from too.
In the last game the first half was the best half of footy each year with both sides scoring three tries.
Physically there was a lot of intent in it, but that is where they were far too good last time. They won the physical battle and probably got the result they deserved.
MC: You wont be taking too much notice of last weekend’s Wigan defeat?
NB: If you look who they had missing – O’Loughlin, Bowen, Dudson and Crosby – those blokes did not play so that Waney could freshen them up for the derby. I am taking nothing away from Wakey.
MC: Wigan seem to wheel O’Loughlin out for special occasions.
NB: They do, but whenever he plays he is generally good and his impact on the game – or hopefully lack of it – will have a bearing on the game.
MC: Wigan will be missing a couple through injury and suspension – of those Mickey McIlorum is a big loss. He plants his standard down in the middle and fires them up.
NB: Mickey Mac probably buys into the derby more than anybody. The last couple of games he has certainly made his presence felt – and he hits like a truck.
For bloke his size nobody hits like him. Physically he comes to the party and can rattle the opposition.
He is definitely a player who Wigan will miss.
There’s not many they will miss because they have a huge roster – but Mickey Mac is hard to replace.