Brown impressed by injury-hit Saints

Nathan Brown
Nathan Brown

Saints boss Nathan Brown was impressed with his team’s efforts in beating Widnes 44-22 - but admitted the win came at a cost after a serious injury to Luke Walsh.

The scrum-half was carried off early in the second half after suffering a lower-leg injury which led to a long delay.

Brown said: “That is the nature of the game. He did it making a tackle and it is either a compound leg fracture or a dislocated ankle.”

Saints had led 32-0 but then conceded three quick tries either side of Walsh’s injury, including two for Cameron Phelps.

But Tom Makinson’s third try of the game steadied the ship, while Mose Masoe scored twice.

Brown bemoaned defensive failings during Widnes’ rally but was content with the overall performance.

“Jordan Turner and Mark Percival had good games, but both were responsible for poor reads for two of those tries,” he said.

“Apart from that I thought we played really well given what we had missing. For us to turn the game with our defence I was really proud of the guys.

“I thought JT and Wheels (Turner and Gary Wheeler) were super in the halves when Walsh went off.

“I thought we dominated them - we were great apart from a two-minute period where we had a lapse.”

It was a different story for Vikings boss Denis Betts, who rued the sin-binning of Macgraff Leuluai just before half-time. Makinson and Turner took advantage of the back-rower’s absence by sending each other over for tries early in the second period.

Betts said: “We got back in the game and got a bit of belief, but we conceded 10 points with 12 blokes on the field.

“We got rolled by a big pack and when we tried to come to terms with that we seemed to upset the referee.

“We had no possession in the first half and found it tough.

“St Helens is a tough place to come and play. That is why they are top of the league and going as well as they are going.

“However, it was a big blow for them losing Luke Walsh and injuries like that are not nice to see.”

Betts was himself waiting to see the full impact on half-back Kevin Brown, who came off injured midway through the first half.