Wello’s World - Defensively, it’s a vast improvement

Chris Flannery performed well against Hull FC
Chris Flannery performed well against Hull FC
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FIRST of all, I would like to say how pleased I was with the way we responded defensively at Hull from the embarrassment of the week before – we all recognised that we needed to improve drastically and thankfully the hard work we put in during the week paid off.

When we were preparing for a better defensive performance, we didn’t envisage the amount of defending we would have to do.

Hull had 43 sets with the ball totalling 274 tackles; in comparison, we had 30 sets totalling in 150 tackles.

This lop-sided statistic is down to a number of reasons.

Firstly, with ball in hand, we lost possession coming out of our own half six times, so this is an area we need to be better in, as we put far too much pressure on ourselves.

Secondly, although Hull were finding it difficult to break our defensive line, they finished their sets well and forced us to drop the ball out in 10 occasions in the game. These are referred to as repeat sets and are viewed as the next best thing to scoring a try.

The final reason was that we were on the receiving end of penalties at crucial stages.

I’m not sure that we were that much more ill-disciplined than our opposition but it led to us playing a lot of the game in our own half – this was very frustrating and we certainly felt aggrieved, but unfortunately it is something that sometimes is out of our control.

With 90 seconds left, and being 18-16 down, we received a penalty under the oppositions posts, after a little bit of confusion I deemed the sensible option was to take the two points and come away with a draw.

I take responsibility for those decisions on the field, and I hope come the end of the season it will turn out to be a valuable point.

n IT seems an age since we last had a home game, so it will be great to get back to Langtree Park this Friday when we entertain the Bradford Bulls.

A lot has been made of their financial situation, but with all that going on, they have improved on last year, and credit has to go to Mick Potter, his coaching staff and the players for sticking to the task.

It could be easy for them to use the upheaval as an excuse, but they haven’t. They’ve gone out, got on with the job and have ground out results.

I can’t imagine how difficult it must be as a player to not really know whether you will have a team to play for one week to the next – but it is something they are dealing with, and I take my hat off to everyone at the club.

They are working hard for each other and performing well.

It speaks volumes for them as a group, and they are certainly a team with designs on the top eight, do we are preparing for a tough match.

n I’M sure everyone has spent the early part of the week celebrating the Diamond Jubilee – only Tony Puletua from the current squad can have any recollection of the Coronation, but the Queen being on the throne a remarkable 60 years got me thinking about what else was going on back in 1952.

A horse called Teal won the Grand National, Newcastle United won the FA Cup by beating Arsenal 1-0 at Wembley Stadium, Sir Len Hutton was appointed captain of the England cricket team, and the TV programmes Baywatch and Knight Rider became possible with the birth of actor David Hasselhoff – apparently he liked to be called David Hoff though because he couldn’t be bothered with the Hassle (sorry, bad joke I know).

A bit closer to home Jim Sullivan was appointed head coach at St Helens which heralded the start of a successful era at the club.

Quote of the Week: Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant – Mark Flanagan

Come on you Saints – Wello