Yates' verdict: There can be no clocking off in cup tie against Giants

Well below par but still good enough to extend their 100 per cent Betfred Super League record to five matches and remain top of the table.

Saturday, 1st May 2021, 10:07 am
Updated Saturday, 1st May 2021, 10:10 am
James Roby takes on the Leigh defence

That, in a nutshell. summed up Saints' performance at struggling Leigh Centurions on Friday night and judging by his post-match comments head coach Kristian Woolf wasn't a happy bunny.

''Our heads weren't where they should have been in terms of what we expect from the players,'' said the Aussie boss, who felt at times his team was indisciplined and their ball handling poor.

But, despite a lacklustre 80 minutes. they still managed to eke out a 22-12 victory over a side who had more than their fair share of the ball and on another day the scoreline could have been reversed.

No one has lowered Saints' colours so far this season but in one or two early games they have been guilty of stepping off the gas in short spells and handing the initiative to their rivals.

It's something they can't afford to repeat in the tough fixtures ahead, including Friday's Betfred Challenge Cup quarter final clash with the Huddersfield Giants at Emerald Headingley.

The club last won the iconic trophy in 2008, beating Hull FC at Wembley, and now is the time to replicate that long overdue achievement.

Whether powerhouse forward James Bentley will be fit to face the Tykes depends on the result of scan on a leg injury he picked up at Leigh, but today Woolf wouldn't speculate on the issue other than keeping his fingers crossed it is not too serious and then adding ominously: ''On the other hand, it could be a long term injury.''

Since earning a regular first team slot, the former Bradford forward has been one of Saints' most consistent players and any long-term absence will be a body blow to the defending champions.