Nathan Brown was thrilled to see his side return to the top of Super League after ending their mini slump with a 48-18 victory over London Broncos.
Saints chairman Eamon McManus had described his club’s defeats by Wigan and Leeds as “upsetting as anything” he has experienced in his 14 years at the helm but they bounced back with nine different tryscorers at Langtree Park to leapfrog leaders Leeds, at least for 24 hours.
Australian scrum-half Luke Walsh showed his class with a try and six goals while centre Matty Dawson marked his comeback from a cheekbone injury with a strong performance highlighted by a try.
“Walsh did some really good stuff,” Brown said. “We’re a bit of a growing team and the style and combinations developing.
“It wasn’t our best performance of the year but it was a nice result and it puts the club in a good position in the ladder with a lot to look forward to for the rest of the year.
“Going out of the Cup does put a downer on everybody but we should be happy where we are at this stage.”
The result leaves London still looking for their first win of 2014 but Brown had words of encouragement for the Broncos.
“You’ve got to take your hat off to London,” he said. “Their players turn up with a smile on their face and they compete hard. They don’t give up.”
The visitors could not get out of their own half for most of the first half but they rallied to score tries through Denny Solomona, Thomas Minns and Mike Bishay and Josh Drinkwater kicked three goals in a display that encouraged coach Tony Rea.
“The start was tough for us,” Rea said. “They’re a good side and they were up for it after their chairman had given them a speech.
“We struggled to get some field position.
“But we’re tough and we’re getting better and better. There is a terrific spirit and they are working really hard.
“We need to be smarter but we feel like we’re getting stronger. I love the fight in this team, I love the way they compete.”
The Broncos lost Solomona just before half-time when he crashed into a metal hoarding behind the posts but he had recovered by the end of the match.
“He’s got back spasms so he’s a tough trip back home,” Rea said.