Yates' verdict: Key questions arising from Saints' shock defeat in London

Ryan Morgan. Picture: SWpix
Ryan Morgan. Picture: SWpix
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A number of questions need answering in the aftermath of Saints' stunning and totally unexpected 23-22 golden point defeat against the London Broncos in Sunday's top versus bottom Betfred Super League encounter at Ealing.


Some may be relevant and other might not as the current league leaders bid to claim their sixth Grand Final triumph since the competition started in 1998.

1 - Has defeat against so called no-hopers from the capital city set alarm bells ringing in the Saints' camp now that neighbours Warrington Wolves have moved to within four points of their rivals at the summit of the table? Or is it just a minor blip?

AnswerI would suggest the latter in the light of head coach Justin Holbrook's decision to make multiple changes to his squad - something no one can blame him for doing in what is arguably the toughest sport on the planet - playing on an artificial pitch and when more crucial matches are on the horizon.

Yes, it backfired, but I doubt whether it will affect moral at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

2- Did complacency creep in on the day?

AnswerPossibly, but during the course of a season a team can have an off day - and Saints haven't had too many this year as their standing in the table suggests.

3 - Will it act as a reality check?

Answer: Yes and will be taken on board immediately by the squad.

4 - Will the result be a shot of adrenaline in the arm for rank outsiders Halifax who face Saints in the semi-final of the Coral Challenge Cup next month?

Answer: Of course it will and also give them the kind of boost they need and the realisation that anything can happen in sport on a given day.

But at the same time, I don't give the part-timers a cat in hell's chance of reaching Wembley and the way they have been talking they know that themselves. At the same time, Saints cannot be as off colour as they were against the Broncos when the stakes will be so high.

5 - St Helens have allowed former Melbourne Storm centre Ryan Morgan to move to London on a season's loan and some fans were unsure whether this was a wise move at the time.

Answer: Just because the Aussie scored two tries in the Broncos victory on Sunday doesn't mean Holbrook erred in allowing his fellow countryman more game time elsewhere after bringing in centre Kevin Naiqama

The Fiji international has already proved his value by plundering 12 tries from 17 appearances in 2019 - the same number as Morgan scored in a total of 21 appearances in 2018.

Ealing is more famous for its film studio, which in its hey-day produced such great screen comedy classics as Passport to Pimlico, Whisky Galore and the Lady Killers, than the town's recently 'adopted' Rugby League club but they had the last laugh on Sunday.

Had you been script writer for the films. you couldn't have penned a better ending as far as the Londoners were concerned.

Saints, on the other hand, would have given it an x-rating!.