Simmons lays into defensive frailties

James Roby is stopped in his tracks by a trio of Widnes players
James Roby is stopped in his tracks by a trio of Widnes players

ROYCE Simmons (right) didn’t mince his words when analysing Saints’ shoddy defensive display after Sunday’s 52-20 Karalius Cup victory over neighbours Widnes Vikings at the Stobart Stadium.

“Simply not good enough” was the general theme of the Australian’s response to questions fired at him during the post-match press conference by representatives of the media, keen to gauge his inner-most thoughts after he had watched his new club in competitive action for the first time.

Saints may have run in 10 tries and romped to an easy victory, but it was manner in which they leaked 20 points that angered Simmons who will demand a better attitude in this department when they entertain Huddersfield Giants on Saturday.

The Saints’ supremo said: “Generally, I was not happy with our game and particularly disappointed by our defensive performance.

“Our line was broken too easily and we conceded far too many tries.”

Simmons added: “I feel there needs to be a change of attitude concerning defence.

“Having reached the last five Grand Finals, there is obviously not a great deal wrong with the club but last year we possessed only the fourth best defence in Super League and leaked around 22 points per game which is too many.”

He went on: “Some 50 per cent of the time you don’t have the ball in a game you have to get your defence right.

“Our attitude to attack is good and we want to play entertaining football, but when you haven’t got the ball you need to tackle.

“We seem to put more energy and excitement into the attacking side of our game than defensively and it is an attitude which we will need to change, making it more even.

“We also don’t seem excited enough to hold teams during a set of six and this is something else we will have to work on and continue to do so throughout the season.”