LANCE Hohaia reckons Saints’ injury run is the worst he’s ever come across - but insists he and his teammates can still win the Super League crown.
The experienced utility player, 30, admitted that injuries had “played a big part this year” - with key player James Roby, who has already missed a large chunk of the year, now set to miss the remainder of the regular season.
Speaking ahead of Monday’s eagerly anticipated clash with arch-rivals Wigan, the popular Kiwi said: “I’ve never known a run of injuries like it. I’ve been involved in rugby league for 12 or 13 years but the amount of injuries we’ve suffered is the worst I’ve ever come across.
“They’ve been in key positions too, and that’s really hurt us. When James Roby and Jonny Lomax were both out at the same time we really missed them.
“Looking at the league table - based on previous years - you could say we’ve been below average this season. But every year is different. Squads change and players come and go, but it has been tough and frustrating for everyone at times.
“Having said that, a lot of the younger players have put their hands up this year and showed what they are capable of. Guys like Luke Thompson and Mark Percival have played some good football - even when things weren’t going so well - and brought a lot of enthusiasm into the squad. The signs are good for the future.
“This year has really tested the depth of our squad but there’s no reason why we can’t make the play-offs and get to the Grand Final again.”
Hohaia told of his frustration at picking up a couple of injury niggles throughout 2013 and singled out the Challenge Cup exit to Hull KR as the low point of the season.
He also revealed how much he had enjoyed playing for the Exiles against England earlier this summer - albeit admitting that lining up against club-mate James Roby was a “strange” experience.
He added: “The Challenge Cup loss was definitely the lowest point both for me personally and for the rest of the boys. But we’ve been slowly clawing our way back into a bit of form ever since.
“Everyone always asks me what it’s like to be regarded as a versatile player - but it’s something I’ve had thoughout my career. It sometimes means I get a slot in the side but not necessarily in the position I would most like to play. But I’m playing for a good club and doing something I love so I can’t complain.
“Physically, I feel good again now. I’m good to go.”