Roby: We must forget derby defeat

James Roby
James Roby

JAMES Roby says Saints will banish all thoughts of their derby day debacle in the build-up to Friday’s crunch game against pacesetters Warrington.

Saints face free-scoring Wolves at the Halliwell Jones Stadium knowing a loss will undermine their championship credentials.

Past performances will count for little as two of the big guns go head-to-head, but defending an astonishing away record against their bitter rivals could give St Helens a psychological edge to build on.

They haven’t lost on a visit to Warrington, whether at their present home or at Wilderspool, since the 2001 season.

And it is the kind of remarkable stat they will be desperately keen to extend at least another year.

And England star Roby, one of Saints only ever-present performers this season, knows there is little point dwelling on last Friday’s dismal showing against the old enemy.

“It is very important that we put the Wigan defeat to bed as quickly as possible and concentrate on what will be a difficult task against Warrington,” said Roby.

“We will look at the video of last Friday’s defeat and try to analysis where we went wrong and move on.

“It wasn’t the be all and end all, but we will need to kick on from here.”

Earlier this season Saints crashed to a 25-18 home defeat against Wolves, and that was the first time they had been overturned by their nears neighbours in 30 meetings.

It’s a setback they will want to remedy and avoid an unwanted double, but the Carnegie Challenge Cup holders – and many people’s tip to win the Grand Final for the first time in their history – will be a tough nut to crack.

At the same time they have been vulnerable in front of their own fans, with three of their five league defeats coming at the Halliwell Jones Stadium against Catalans Dragons, Hull FC, and more recently, Salford City Reds.

And there is no reason why Saints can’t become their fourth conquerors.

Prop Josh Perry is expected to return to the squad after a one-match absence due to a hamstring injury.

Winger Jamie Foster is also likely to be declared fit, despite having 20 stitches in a head wound picked against Wigan, which forced him to sit out most of the derby.

But there is a question mark over the fitness of centre Michael Shenton, who hasn’t missed a competitive match all season.

He suffered knee and ankle damage against Wigan, and underwent a scan on Monday.

Meanwhile, the club still has a small allocation of stand tickets for Friday’s game, and these can be purchased from the town centre store or online.