We must get off to a flier - Royce

Sia Soliola celebrates his try with Jonny Lomax
Sia Soliola celebrates his try with Jonny Lomax
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SAINTS need to be mentally prepared every time they step out into their new Langtree Park Stadium otherwise they could come unstuck.

The stern warning came from head coach Royce Simmons after Friday’s 42-24 victory over Super League newcomers Widnes Vikings in the annual pre-season friendly for the Karalius Cup, which was watched by a near 12,000 crowd.

A far-from-happy Simmons said: “Widnes came to play an intense game, running and tackling hard from the start and showed a great deal of commitment.

“It was a tough hit out as far as we were concerned, and we also learned a few lessons.

“We didn’t show the same intensity as our opponents, and I think we relied too much on the home crowd to pick us up.

“I told the boys during the build-up to the game that if they came with the right mental attitude, they could feed off the noise of the crowd, but if not, then it would not help.”

He added: “Everyone is talking about Langtree Park, and we are all excited about playing there.

“It is a superb facility and will generate a great atmosphere, but we still have to turn up and play, and can’t expect supporters to jump out of their seats and make a tackle or score a try.

“You only win matches by playing well, and can’t rely on the fans to do the job for you.

“We will only win games by good preparation, working hard and being ready both mentally and physically.”

Reflecting on the game in general, Simmons said: “In the first half, we didn’t play or kick well and we were a long way from our best.

“But you have got to remember that it was our first competitive hit out ahead of the new season.

“We improved the longer the game went on, and produced some good individual touches

“Sia Soliola picked us up when he returned during the second half and got our momentum going.

“We kicked better, too, but I was far from happy with our completion rate.”