Robes: We have to turn up at big games

Saints James Roby gets the ball away in the game against  Hull FC in the First Utility  Super League game at Langtree Park
Saints James Roby gets the ball away in the game against Hull FC in the First Utility Super League game at Langtree Park

James Roby admits the Langtree Park trophy 
cupboard will remain bare unless he and his teammates start finding a way to beat their title rivals.

Saints’ excellent early-season form has stuttered to a halt in recent weeks courtesy of demoralising defeats to title rivals Leeds, Wigan and Warrington.

“Losing to Warrington at the weekend doesn’t make us a bad team overnight - we’re still second in the league,” said Roby. “But we’ve not shown what we can do in recent weeks, which is frustrating for the fans and the players.

“The teams we’ve lost to are the bigger teams too. Winning big games is obviously key to winning silverware – and that’s what we want to do. We can’t afford to have poor starts and let the opposition into the game.

“We know that teams like Warrington, Wigan and Leeds are the ones that are likely to be there at the end of the year.

“If you want to win something – you’re going to have to beat them.

“All the players need to improve to get us where we want to be. We need to play to our strengths more too and we need a bit of attitude.”

Saints coach Nathan Brown described the performance in the 41-24 Magic Weekend defeat to Warrington as “unacceptable” and distanced himself from rumours which surfaced after the game linking former Hull KR star Michael Dobson with a Saints switch.

He also pointed to the fact that Saints are still in second place in Super League - just a point behind Leeds.

He said: “We can’t ignore the way we lost at the weekend. It was unacceptable. One thing I learnt last year is that the Saints fans can handle losing at times - but it’s about the manner in which you lose.

“The performance against Warrington was not what we should be delivering to our fans and we need to improve in certain areas against certain teams. We don’t want to be in second or third and we don’t want to lose to Wigan and Leeds. We want to try to do what they’ve done in the last three or four years and be a trophy-winning team.

“If you’d said at the start of the year that, halfway through, us, Wigan and Leeds would be within a point of each other you would have said that was a huge improvement on last year. But if you’re going to do something at the end of the year you’re going to have to confront Wigan, Leeds and Warrington coming at you.

“At times we’ve looked good defensively and at times we’ve looked a bit vulnerable. We need to get better.”