Foster focused

Jamie Foster
Jamie Foster

JAMIE Foster and his team-mates are currently in a rich vein of form.

And they will be keeping their fingers crossed that it continues as Saints face a daunting Easter weekend programme – a short Good Friday trip to defending champions Wigan Warriors, and then a home fixture against third-placed Castleford Tigers on Monday.

The 20-year-old winger, who topped the century mark in points for the season during Friday’s 52-6 victory over Wakefield, said: “Both are tough fixtures but there are no easy games in Super League which is more competitive than ever.

“Naturally, we will be concentrating on one game at a time and hope the results go our way.”

Saints’ fans are, in particular, already licking their lips in anticipation of the clash against Wigan – arguably the biggest derby game in the 13-a-side code – and being a local lad Foster has already been caught up in the unique post-match atmosphere.

He said: “There is a tremendous buzz in the town, and when I went into Tesco the other day, people were stopping and asking me all kind of questions, including our injury situation.

Saints are likely to go into the derby encounter without several key players, but on one or two occasions recently, they have faced a similar problem and still emerged triumphant.

Foster, who has scored seven tries and landed 40 goals from six starts and three substitute appearance, said: “I have played in derby matches at different levels, and it doesn’t seem to matter if you go into the game under-strength.

“Everyone raises their game an extra notch for occasions like this, and it will be no different as far as we are concerned on Friday.”

Foster started the season on the substitutes’ bench when the two old rivals met at the Millennium Stadium – a match which ended in a 16-16 draw – but soon forced his way into the starting line-up and hasn’t looked back since.

“I must admit I was disappointed when only named as a sub against Wigan, but coach Royce Simmons has now given me an extended run from the start and I am determined to hold on to my shirt.”

Saints go into the derby boasting an unbeaten run of five matches, but following two early-season home defeats against Warrington and Harlequins, doubts were cast over their ability to compete for top spot.

Now they lie second in the table – a point adrift of Huddersfield Giants – and seem to be getting their act together.

Foster explained: “We started the season under a new coach, who obviously had fresh ideas and several new players and it took us a while to gel.