‘Title race is still all about us’

Saints head coach Nathan Brown
Saints head coach Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown has told his players their destiny is still in their own hands as they prepare for the pivotal clash with Huddersfield.

The Saints head coach refused to publicly criticise his players after the crushing 39-12 home defeat against Warrington last week because season-ending injuries to key players Luke Walsh, Jonny Lomax and Jon Wilkin have hampered their potency.

A win or draw against his old side at the John Smith’s Stadium on Friday would seal the League Leader’s Shield - but a loss would give Castleford the chance to claim the trophy on points difference less than 24 hours later with a win away at Catalans.

Brown said: “We haven’t really thought about the possibility of not winning the League Leader’s Shield because we’re preparing to do well. We’re not preparing to lose.

“Hopefully we can go there and put in a good performance then, after that, regardless of what happens we’ll be looking at a home semi final. We’ve got a lot to look forward to. We’re preparing well and will go there confident that we can do well.

“We control our own destiny and nobody else in the competition does and what will happen will happen. Either we’ll play really well and win or we won’t and we’ll dust ourselves off and start thinking about the next game.

“We would really like to pick up the League Leader’s Shield though, as I’m sure Cas would.”

Brown denied that nerves - with the trophy in sight - had played any part in Saints’ failure against the Wolves, instead admitting that “Warrington were too good for us on the night”.