NATHAN Brown refused to press the panic button after Saints’ humiliating start to the new Super League season against Huddersfield Giants at Langtree Park on Saturday night.
The 40-4 setback was only the seventh occasion the club had conceded 40 or more points in all competitions since the birth of summer rugby in 1996.
But a defiant Brown insisted: “I have been in a lot better positions after round one before and also in a worse situation but we have got to hold our nerve, bind together and head in the right direction.”
The Aussie, who was facing his old club for the first time in a Super League showdown, had to endure seeing a small number of disgruntled fans leaving the stadium 20 minutes from time after the far from gentle Giants had already established a stunning 36-0.
To add insult to injury, the new coach was then subjected to cruel ‘Brownie, Brownie, you’re getting sacked in the morning’ chants from the visitors’ terrace.
A minority of Saints’ followers also booed their players off when the final hooter sounded but it didn’t stop the hard core of loyal supporters responding with “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” in the hope that this was just a one-off horror show which hopefully will not be repeated this season.
Brown said: “We came into the game off the back of two good friendly victories over Huddersfield (26-0) and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats (42-12) where we felt we had improved from one to the other.
“However, at the end of the day you’ve got to get the physical side of the game spot-on. When you achieve that, the ball falls your way but Huddersfield were far superior in that area tonight and hats off to them.
“Half back Danny Brough was also sensational in the first half off the back of what his forwards did and while our performance was disappointing, I still remain optimistic.”
The Aussie added: “We conceded a great deal of possession but I think that was due to the pressure Hddersfield put on us.
“We came off our try line for the whole of the game, unlike the Giants who started from the 20 metre mark, and I doubt whether any of their big guys woke up on Sunday morning feeling sore.
“I obviously feel for our fans following a result like that but we now need to knuckle down, work hard and head in the right direction starting at Widnes on Sunday.”
But Saints won’t find that easy against their near neighbours who started the new season with a confidence-boosting 28-14 win at London Broncos.
The game kicks-off at 3pm.