SAINTS skipper James Roby spoke of missing out “by centimetres” after the team’s 20-12 World Club Challenge defeat by Sydney Roosters.

Roby, back for his first game of the 2020 campaign, was proud of Saints’ effort in what was a fill-blooded, no quarter asked encounter in front of a noisy 16,000 crowd.

But he rued those missed opportunities which would have changed the complexion of the game.

Roby said: “It was a very tough game and a very close game, but full credit to the Roosters.

“We created quite a few chances there, and in another game I think you capitalise on them and scoreline could have been very different.

“If you ask Roosters they will admit that they have been in a really tough game.”

Saints took an early lead when Roby – back following groin surgery on the off-season - teed up Theo Fages who in turn sent Luke Thompson storming over.

But they were left to rue the spell after half time when they had opportunities to go back in front after Roosters had twice replied.

“There was just a little bit of execution missing, sometimes it goes your way – other times it doesn’t. It is the bounce of the ball, and there were a couple of times when he went to the screen and we are talking centimetres off scoring tries.

“We can’t get too downhearted by it – we have played the world’s best team in Sydney Roosters and come out looking good in my opinion.

“I am proud of the effort – a few little bits did not go our way, but on the whole it is probably a lesson for us going forward,” Roby said.