Simmons: We can turn the tide

Rouce Simmons
Rouce Simmons

ROYCE Simmons is demanding an instant reaction from his players after back-to-back defeats to bitter rivals Wigan and Warrington.

The losses at the hands of their fellow title rivals was the first time this season they have suffered successive defeats.

But straight-talking Simmons wants his charges to immediately turn around their fortunes, starting with the visit of in-form Hull FC on Friday night.

“Naturally, the dressing room was a little low at the end of the Warrington game, but after putting so much effort into our fight back and busting our bum to do so, it can get you down,” said Simmons. “However, we must now get back on the horse and will need a couple of good wins to get on track again.”

On the injury front, hooker James Roby aggravated the eye injury he suffered a few weeks ago on Friday night and his fitness will be monitored as the week progresses.

Simmons was last night (Tuesday) also anxiously awaiting the outcome of an RFL disciplinary hearing, where prop forward Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook faced a charge of making dangerous contact with Adrian Morley during the first half of Friday night’s blockbuster.

A ban of any kind would rule him out of the Hull game.

The Humbersiders, who held Saints to a 24-24 draw at the KC Stadium on May Bank Holiday Monday, are in a rich vein of form at the moment.

They have won their last three encounters against Harlequins, Bradford Bulls and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, and are making a concerted effort to cement a top-eight place.

Coach Richard Agar said: “We had a great tussle at the KC Stadium and the return fixture will be another massive test.

“It’s a big game, and anyone watching St Helens in their game at Warrington know just how good they are.”

At the same time, Saints will certainly not be under-estimating their rivals, but if the repeat the same kind of form displayed against Warrington, even in defeat, and get their share of the 50-50 calls, it could be the start of a late challenge for top spot.