Under pressure

Sia Soliola
Sia Soliola

UNDER pressure head coach Royce Simmons faces a few critical weeks which could either make or break Saints already stuttering season.

Without a win in their last four Stobart Super League games – and lying an unprecedented ninth in the table – there is no guarantee they are about to turn the corner.

Not when they are faced with a trip to Bradford Bulls on Saturday, followed by a home fixture against Grand Final winners Leeds Rhinos on Sunday week, and then the visit of Warrington Wolves on the final Friday of the month.

And then lying in wait on Good Friday are arch-rivals Wigan Warriors.

Simmons said: “The present situation is worrying, particularly as we have some tough-looking games coming up.

“We have not achieved the goals we set earlier in the season and that is devastating as far as I am concerned.

“We will have to continue working hard in training, sticking together with no finger pointing and hope the right results will come our way.”

The Aussie could not hide his bitter disappointment after seeing Saints crash to a 22-10 defeat against Hull FC at Langtree Park on Friday night.

He said “We’ve suffered a couple of close defeats and suddenly doubt creeps in.

“You lose form over a few weeks but against Hull we hit rock bottom.

“We have not been playing like a top two or three side and against Hull, it hit home that every player needs to be at the peak of his game.”

Simmons cited lack of communication on the park as one of the reasons behind their poor form against the Humbersiders.

He said: “There was no communication out there whatsoever, and we didn’t seem to know what we were doing.

“We were all over the shop.

“I’m the coach of this club and even I didn’t know what we were doing at different stages of the match.

“It certainly wasn’t what we had planned.”

Preparations for the Bradford clash have not been helped by seven players being away earlier this week on England training duty, and others are suffering from bumps and bruises following the Hull match.

In addition, Sia Soliola, is not expected to be fit after being the victim of an alleged assault over the weekend.