I MENTIONED last week that we would be looking for a much improved performance from our Challenge Cup tie against the same opponents – and that is certainly what we got.
In the build-up to the game, we spoke in-house about the need to be more ruthless.
When we get into a commanding position, we have to ensure we hammer home our advantage, and the commitment we made to this at the weekend was fantastic.
We looked more like the confident, free-flowing team that we know we are.
We scored some fantastic tries, and it was a great evening for young Adam Swift, who grabbed his first career hat-trick in only his second appearance. He certainly took his opportunities very well.
Anthony Laffranchi is also carving out a reputation a try-scoring front-row forward, and there aren’t many of those knocking around Super League.
He’s getting the taste for scoring so much that he was fuming after the game as he felt he should have also had a hat-trick.
Boof, as he is known to the lads, has been excellent for us – the ultimate professional, and a great example to our younger players in terms of his attitude and work ethic.
He hasn’t said much at training, but I know he will be pumped up with the “He comes from Italy” chant that rings around Langtree Park, I’ve told him he should be privileged to share a terrace chant with Roberto Mancini.
Most pleasing about the performance was our defensive effort – to keep any team pointless takes a great deal of effort and concentration, and it’s something we can take a bit of satisfaction from.
The was one particular moment when Widnes broke away and we had three men who had worked hard to get back and hold up the opposition player over the try-line.
It’s these types of efforts which we need to continue with, as it could be the difference between winning and losing a big game.
n OUR attentions this weekend turn back to the Challenge Cup, as we take on Oldham at Langtree Park.
Most people will be expecting us to win the game on Friday, and we can’t shy away from that, but we know we cannot underestimate our opponents.
They will be looking forward to it, and have a few St Helens lads in their ranks – Paul Clough’s brother John for one – wanting to do well.
Cloughy was ecstatic after the draw was made – the opportunity to play against his brother in such a prestigious competition may have been the reason, but the rest of us just reckon it was because he can share a lift to the game saving himself at least £2.10 in petrol.
n Congratulations to Steve Prescott and Paul Sculthorpe on the completion of their recent challenge, in which they ran the Paris Marathon, cycled to the English Channel, kayaked across, cycled to London, and then completed the London Marathon.
It leaves you fatigued just to read about it, so I take my hat off to them both for what was no doubt a huge effort.
Even Cloughy made a donation, so it must be impressive.
n AS part of our training schedule this season, we have been having weekly visits from Nisha, from Northwest Pilates and Yoga, who are based in Claughton Street.
I must admit that a few of the lads were at first sceptical in the alternative training methods, but have very quickly had their minds changed and have found it very beneficial.
This type of training serves many purposes, such as injury prevention, building core strength and increased flexibility.
Gary Wheeler and Lee Gaskell, in particular, have found that they can manoeuvre their bodies into positions they never thought possible.
Keep your eyes peeled as we could soon see the first try celebrated by doing the splits.
All the best - Wello