Brown: It’s just not good enough

Saints coach Nathan Brown
Saints coach Nathan Brown

Saints coach Nathan Brown admits his side suffered several defensive “brain snaps” in their Easter to forget.

After losing the big Good Friday clash against rivals Wigan, an under-strength Saints side lost to Widnes on Easter Monday before the first XIII were knocked out of the Challenge Cup by Leeds.

Brown said: “It’s not any one individual but people are just having a real brain snap and it’s just not quite good enough. If you leak a couple of early tries against the better sides you’re always chasing your tail trying to get it back.

“Against both Wigan and Leeds we made silly errors before the games turned into good contests. There’s been a lot of good stuff with our defence but there’s also one or two minor things we need to correct.”

Saints have also been rocked once more by an injury jinx, leaving captain Paul Wellens, Tom Makinson, Josh Jones and Sia Soliola the only first-team players to have featured in every match this season.

The latest victims are centre Jordan Turner and prop Kyle Amor who have both been ruled out for an indefinite period.

Turner fractured a bone in his foot during Saturday’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup defeat at Leeds - even though he played the full 80 minutes - while Amor suffered a knee problem which forced him to watch part of the tie on crutches.

It is the second time this year that the pair have been sidelined after picking up unrelated injuries, much to the frustration of Brown.

Saints had gone into the Roses battle without several other injured players, including Willie Manu, Anthony Laffrachi, Matty Dawson and Richard Beaumont - the latter still to pull on a Saints’ shirt this year due to a long-standing groin problem and who last week was sent to a specialist in a bid to find a cure.

A realistic Brown said: “Injuries are part and parcel of the sport and we will just have to soldier on with the players available.”

After a flying start to the new campaign, in which the Aussie head coach described Saints as “the best team in the competition at the time”, injuries and suspensions have kicked-in and the three successive defeats tell their own story.

But ahead of tomorrow night’s home game against struggling London Broncos, who have still to taste victory after 11 league and cup outings, Brown refuted any suggestions that Saints were facing a confidence crisis.

He said: “Look, you need to put everything into perspective. We have lost to both Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos in the space of eight days - two teams in better form than ourselves at this moment in time.

“We were also beaten by Widnes Vikings in this period when we fielded a relatively inexperienced side due to the crucial cup tie at Leeds being on the horizon.

“In similar circumstances, I would do the same again and don’t regret that decision. It gave the younger players some valuable Super League experience.”

Despite the Broncos being anchored close to the foot of the table - only avoiding bottom spot due to Bradford Bulls being docked six points after

entering administration - Brown will not be taking the Londoners lightly.

He added: “They led Warrinton 16-14 at half-time in March before losing 44-16 and were in front at one stage when facing Wigan at the DW Stadium the following month before narrowly losing to the Catalan Dragons so we will show them the respect they deserve.

“We will have to approach the game in the right frame of mind - treating them as if they are a Wigan or Leeds - otherwise we might get into trouble.”

Tickets for the round 10 fixture, which kicks-off at 8pm, are still available at Langtree Park.