Brown: Confidence is still high

Saints coach Nathan Brown
Saints coach Nathan Brown

Saints bid to get their Super League campaign back on track when they host struggling London Broncos at Langtree Park on Thursday night.

The wheels came off Saints’ campaign when their 100 percent record was shattered by three defeats in nine days.

Back-to-back losses over Easter saw them slip from top spot to third in the table and their misery was compounded by their exit from the Challenge Cup at the hands of big rivals Leeds.

“Confidence in the camp is still good,” coach Nathan Brown said. “We were the best side in the comp for five weeks and then we toughed out some wins without playing as well as we know we can. We haven’t regained that momentum yet.

“People can see it as excuses, but it is reality that we’ve had a number of players returning from lay-offs as well as personnel changes and that has affected the flow of our team. We know what we are capable of but we have to improve and do things consistently well.

“We just haven’t been good enough to beat Wigan and Leeds in two very good games.

“We do a lot of good stuff in defence, but there are some minor issues. We have to start the game better. We are all responsible for it - the coaches, staff and playing group - and we are looking at how we can do it better.”

The visit of the Londoners, who have lost all 11 league and cup matches so far this year, provides Brown’s boys with the perfect opportunity to return to the top of the table, at least for 24 hours, but the coach is not taking the Broncos lightly.

“London had a difficult start to the season but have made a lot of improvements,” Brown said. “They led Wigan and Warrington for a while in their matches and nearly beat Catalan too.

“Their players turn up with the attitude to do their best and when you’re hungry like that you give yourselves a good shot.

“It’s a game where we will need turn up with the same attitude as if we’re playing a Leeds or Wigan. If we don’t we will get ourselves in trouble.”

The Broncos had a weekend off after losing in the first round of the Challenge Cup and captain Matt Cook is hoping they can take advantage of Saints’ hectic schedule.

“Hopefully we can give it to them,” Cook said. “They’ll be a bit tired, bruised and battered after going against Leeds Rhinos in the Challenge Cup.

“They’ve had three tough games and we want to make sure we give them another tough day at the office on Thursday.

“It’s unfortunate we are out of the Challenge Cup, but at the same time it’s nice to freshen the legs and get some more ball work done.

“It gives us a bit more time working together as a team, time that we need. We still haven’t been together as long as we would have liked but the extra ball sessions have been great.

“We’ve used the time well and hopefully it’ll stand us in good stead going in against St Helens on Thursday night.”

Former St Helens hooker Scott Moore misses out on a reunion with his old team-mates because of suspension while centre Jordan Turner and Kyle Amor have joined Saints’ injury list.