With 27 rounds of Super League completed we are now entering what is commonly referred to as the “business end” of the season.
At the start of the year our ambitions were certainly to finish higher than fifth position but given the difficult start to the season and the number of injuries we’ve had we can be pretty satisfied with our position, especially with our strong finish to the season which gives us huge confidence entering the play offs.
It was an important victory for us on Friday at Hull which has secured us a home play off tie against Hull KR on Saturday evening.
We were a little scratchy early on in the game and struggled to find some cohesion but later in the contest we managed to stamp our authority on the game and scored some great tries.
Adam Swift again chipped in with a couple of scores and like all good wingers he certainly knows his way to the try line.
It’s really pleasing to see Swifty playing regularly after a frustrating year with injuries, in the time he’s been in the side he has shown how good a player he is and his performance at Hull on Friday was again excellent.
We have plenty of speed at the back with Tommy, Jonny and Swifty and invariably when they get some open space they can finish those opportunities, its good to see them all playing with confidence and enjoying their rugby.
g This weekend’s game itself will certainly be a tough encounter against a side that have already beaten us three times this season.
Hull KR have a lot of very good players and with Michael Dobson at half back pulling the strings they become a very dangerous proposition.
We know that we will have to perform well to progress as its “do or die” for both teams and I’m pretty sure that will be evident in the effort and commitment on show.
There are different permutations on who we could face the following week should we progress but as a group we are looking no further ahead than this weekends game.
g Jonny Lomax will make 100th Saints appearance in Saturdays game and I’m a believer career milestones whilst not being the priority should always be recognised.
It’s all the more pleasing that Jonny has come through the clubs junior system and is one of the most hardworking players you will come across.
He’s an example to all aspiring young players. Jonny has great ability and is a special player in terms of the things he can produce on the field but its his effort, commitment and professionalism in training that helps him to get the best out himself.
In Rugby League we often see players will great ability fall short of the mark because they think ability alone is enough to get them as far as they want.
But to get to the very top you need a great work ethic and a hunger to train hard to harness the ability you have, players like Jamie Lyon, Paul Sculthorpe and Keiron Cunningham are renowned for having great ability but its no coincidence that they were all fantastic trainers who constantly strived to be the best they could.
I believe Jonny falls into that category and is so professional he claims his regular sun bed sessions are nothing to do with wanting to appear as a bronzed Adonis but more to top up his vitamin D.
One thing is for certain is that this weekend’s game is the last of the year at Langtree Park, we as players recognise that our home form this year hasn’t been great and that’s certainly something we will look to improve on in 2014.
However we have enjoyed some great nights, most notably out derby victory against Wigan a couple of months ago. On behalf of the players I would like to thank you all for your continued support at Langtree Park and we hope to reward it with some success in the play offs.
Thanks for the support - Wello