Yates’ verdict: Shambolic Saints their own worse enemy

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New Saints boss Justin Holbrook was expected to run the rule over his new charges on television Down Under on Friday night.

If he did, he will now realise the magnitude of the challenge he faces after their crushing 40-18 setback at Warrington.

Seven defeats, five wins and a draw from their opening 13 Betfred Super League matches doesn’t make pretty reading and it could get worse as daunting fixtures are on the horizon - against Castleford Tigers in the sixth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup at Wheldon Road on Saturday followed by a clash with Hull FC at the Magic Weekend, Wigan Warriors at home and a trip to Huddersfield Giants to end the May programme.

Neither does the first match in June offer any solace - away to current league leaders Castleford.

But strange as it may seem, Saints started like a house on fire against the Wire. despite losing skipper Jon Wilkin with a hamstring problem during the warm-up.

Ahead with less than a minute on the clock, they oozed self-belief, attacked with verve, vision, drive and silky handling skills and an early 14-0 advantage was no more than they deserved.

It looked at that stage as if they were about to take the hosts to the cleaners but then, inexplicably, they collapsed like a detonated factory chimney - conceding two later first half tries and five after the interval.

Shambolic Saints, however, were their own worse enemy, spilling possession at an alarming and embarrassing rate as they fought unsuccessfully to keep their heads above water.

Both sides had players in the England 20-man squad selected for the Pacific Test against Samoa in Sydney on Saturday but way understrength Warrington, who needed the points just as desperately as St Helens to improve their far from satisfactory position in the table, coped better in replicating their losses

Over to you, Mr Holbrook and good luck !