Brown - Wire defeat could help our cause

Tony Puletua takes on the Warrington defence during Saints 29-16 loss on Friday.
Tony Puletua takes on the Warrington defence during Saints 29-16 loss on Friday.

Nathan Brown reckons the intensity of the 29-16 loss to local rivals Warrington will stand his side in good stead come the impending play-offs.

But Saints head coach Brown admits there is still plenty of work to do against Hull FC this Friday as a win would secure fifth spot - and a home draw against Hull KR - while a loss could see the club finish as low as seventh.

If Saints were to lose at the KC Stadium, a win for Catalans against a Warrington side already certain of second spot would see Brown’s side face a tough trip to the south of France.

“Playing at home and not having to travel to France would be preferable although we did have a good win in France earlier in the year,” said Brown.

“Whoever you play though, they’re going to be a very strong side, so everyone wants the home ground advantage.

“If you look at the Warrington game, obviously we’d rather not have lost. But, at this stage of the season, I’d much rather play a game with that intensity and lose than play a team that’s got nothing to play for.

“I’m obviously disappointed with the way we started. Physically, with and without the ball, Warrington were a little better than us - and the scoreboard reflected it. We weren’t quite good enough.

“But in the last 60 minutes, particularly in the second half, we had a fair period where we were on top and executed a couple of really nice tries against the best defensive side in the competition.

“The score was 22-16 for a long period and the intensity of the game was far higher than any other game played at the weekend. That’s what you need when you’re heading into the finals.”

Brown, who described Warrington as “the team to beat”, pointed to the bigger picture as to the strides forward Saints have made in the last couple of months.

“If you look where we were 10 weeks ago to where we are now, if we take fifth spot - considering the state of our squad earlier in the year - you’d say that was a reasonable achievement.

“There’s been a few losses we didn’t like, a few performances we didn’t like and a few times when the personnel we had out there probably did the job you would expect them to do.

“But, overall, we’ve been on an upward curve and have played some reasonable footie. We now need to negotiate our way through this week against Hull before sitting down and thinking about where we can get to.”

Brown also revealed that club captain Paul Wellens has held talks with Saints chairman Eamonn McManus about a new contract.

He said: “They’ve spoken and Wello’s leadership is really important for the team - especially at a time when we’re losing experienced players. But that one’s in the hands of Wello and the chairman at the moment.”