REFLECTING on the weekend’s performance my first thought is that we are a team very much moving in the right direction, we continued to play with a lot of energy and again defended very well.
As a team we have been working very hard in training at different aspects of our defence and it’s necessary to do this, but one area that you can’t work on is your commitment to the defensive structures. Defence is 99 per cent attitude and in recent weeks we have shown that we are prepared to put in the hard work without the ball.
With ball in hand we are also creating a lot of opportunities for ourselves and the fact we scored 46 points is a reflection of this.
However, we realise that we also missed quite a few chances with either the last pass going astray or taking the wrong option.
This is certainly an area where we can improve but as players we take great confidence from the fact that despite a comfortable scoreline we still have plenty of improvement in us.
I believe that we are entering the stage of the season were teams start to have one eye on the play-offs and you want to be playing consistently well.
It’s common that throughout a season your form can fluctuate but at this stage you really want to be playing with a high intensity because it’s not something that you can just switch on when the business end of the season comes around.
ONE of the talking points in rugby league over the past week has been the issue of the shoulder charge tackle, ourselves in particular affected by losing Tony Puletua through suspension after his sending off at Catalan the previous week.
The issue is not only been a talking point over here but also in Australia’s NRL competition were there have been incidents leading to players’ suspensions.
Unlike rugby union a shoulder charge type tackle isn’t illegal in our game and that’s why a lot of players find some decisions frustrating.
Tony’s sending off came as a huge surprise to us last week and the reaction of the Catalan players didn’t suggest that they were particularly incensed by the incident either.
I think that there has to be some dialogue between the officials, players and even medical staff to determine what is and isn’t an illegal tackle in those situations and whether there are significant risks that could lead to serious injury.
At the moment it is a huge grey area and players are unsure where they stand when it comes to such incidents.
We pride ourselves on playing a tough sport that pushes the physical boundaries and unlike football we choose to try and hide pain rather than roll around the floor in a bid to win an Oscar nomination. I’m sure that a sensible decision will be reached but the sooner the better in my opinion.
LAST week it escaped my attention that my team-mate and good friend Jon Wilkin made his 250th appearance for the club, if I had known he would have led the team out in Catalan as at St Helens we like to recognise such achievements.
I did feel a little guilty when I found out but the way Wilko looks after himself I’m sure he will be at the club for many years yet and 300 and 350 appearances are not beyond him and if I was a betting man there will be a few more on top of that.
Over the years I think I’ve grown to know Wilko quite well as we spend quite a lot of time together away from rugby much to our partners’ frustration as when we are together we tend to behave like two-year-olds (wetting our nappies being the exception).
If I was asked to describe Wilko I would say that he is very forward-thinking, a busy man whose diary is burgeoning with appointments and probably only the Prime Minister has a busier schedule and then even that’s a close call.
Quote of the week: You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do. (Nathan Ashe)
Come on you Saints - Wello