SUNDAY’S performance at Wakefield was probably our worst since our defeat at the Etihad Stadium at the end of May.
The first half, in particular, was very poor, especially from a defensive point of view, which is made all the more frustrating by the fact we have been very strong in that area in recent weeks.
During the second half, we improved slightly and managed to get ourselves in a position from which we should have gone on and won the game.
But through a combination of errors and a lack of composure in the latter stages, we presented the opposition with numerous opportunities to win the game, which they gladly accepted.
When you lose a couple of games you can over analyse the reasons behind the defeats, quite often it’s just down to the fact that you’ve neglected the basics of the game.
And I believe this to be the case with ourselves.
We need to get back to doing the basics well, too many one-on-one missed tackles was an issue for us, while tackling strongly and in numbers will help us control the speed of the ruck area.
In doing that, we will have more energy to invest into effective attacking plays.
We recognise as a group that we need to improve if we are to make it a successful 2012.
It’s not ideal when you suffer a loss in form at this stage of the season, but the chance to improve is in our own hands.
A couple of weeks ago, we were looking to forge our way into the top two.
Now we have a fight on our hands to stay in the top four, but I remain confident that we can get some good results in the next few weeks to cement the top four finish and go into the play-offs in a positive frame of mind.
n IT’S a short turnaround this week with Sunday’s game being followed by a Friday night fixture.
This usually isn’t ideal but, in our case, I think it’s exactly what we need.
We are eager to get back on the field and perform much better, and we get that opportunity against Castleford.
They, like ourselves, have lost a couple of games recently, but we certainly can’t afford to underestimate them.
They have a lot of potent attacking threats, and full-back Richard Owen and stand-off Rangi Chase are two players that immediately spring to mind.
Their coach Ian Millward is obviously very familiar to us at St Helens, and I know having worked under him in my earlier days at Saints that he likes his teams to play in a flamboyant style.
In his time at St Helens, he was very innovative, quite often coming up with good plays to break down the opposition defence, so our concentration levels have to be very high on Friday night.
n THE Olympics have now drawn to a close, and I’m sure, like me, everyone has thoroughly enjoyed the last couple of weeks, whether you are into the specific events or not.
The success that Team GB had made it all the more enjoyable, and the great successes will surely go on to inspire the younger generations.
I feel it is very important that we capitalise on the momentum created from the Olympics, and that we see a huge increase in participation in many, many sports.
This should start within the schools, as I’ve often felt that sport within our schools on the whole isn’t deemed as important as it should be.
This is the perfect opportunity to change that thought process using the Olympic games as a catalyst while it’s still very fresh in people’s minds.
Quote of the Week: Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”– Josh Jones
All the best – Wello