Send us news by text, start your message Star News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Need to secure points will help Saints gear up for play-offs
SAINTS coach Mike Rush believes the urgency to secure the points to book a top four berth is just what Saints need to keep them up to the mark ahead of the play-offs.
The men in the red vee need at least one win from the remaining games against a surprisingly rejuvenated London side and league leaders Wigan to make sure of avoiding going straight into sudden death football.
But Rush believes that urgency will stand them in good stead for when the road to Old Trafford starts in earnest on September 14.
Despite having no fixture this weekend, Saints are treating it like a normal working week as they gear up to make it through to a seventh consecutive Grand Final.
They are in good health, too, with only Chris Flannery, who pulled his calf in training, causing a concern.
Although he needs a head test, after knocking himself out, Australian prop Anthony Laffranchi appears fine.
Also on the credit side, Jon Wilkin will be back after a couple of weeks on the sidelines and Ade Gardner is now fit after a lengthy lay off.
Rush said: “Ade should be able to play some part in a game next weekend, I don’t know whether that is the reserves or the first team after the way Tommy Makinson played last Friday.”
Rush was impressed with the work-rate and endeavour of his two young centres Gary Wheeler and Adam Swift, who returned after lengthy spells away from the first team fold.
Both put themselves about, with Swift’s pace giving Saints an extra dimension, producing a performance that on the whole excited Rush.
“Gary Wheeler was far better in defence than his last first team performance. The positive thing was that he has waited a long time for his opportunity and did really well.
“Swift is a nice runner of the ball and is very balanced and seems to be able to change direction at full pace which is a skill in itself.
“We are still not sure what his best position will be – whether it is full back, wing or centre. But he is a very good outside back and it is exciting for him.
“The way they played gives everyone a little push that with a fully fit squad you can’t rest on your laurels.
“There are plenty of people playing for shirts and that is the pressure you need at the end of the season,” said Rush.
Meanwhile goalkicking wing Jamie Foster will continue his loan spell at Hull on a week-to-week basis.
Rush said: “We have no injuries and Gardsy is coming back. It is an arrangement that suits both us and Hull. “We are mindful of play-offs around the corner so did not wish to commit to anything longer than that in case we do need to recall him.”