Yates’ verdict: Position not befitting of the club

Assistant coach Sean Long
Assistant coach Sean Long
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The 1960s smash hit ‘Glad All Over’ boomed out over the loud speakers at the end of Widnes’ shock 16-14 home victory over neighbours St Helens at the Select Security Stadium..

It was sweet music to the ears of the Vikings’ players and their fans but not for out of tune Saints who have now lost six of their 11 matches and occupy an unacceptable eighth spot in the table and not befitting one of the so-called giants of the Betfred Super League.

Defeat was hard to swallow, especially against a club anchored at the foot of the table and going into the game with just one win under their belts.

Maybe two tough games over the Easter period against defending champions Wigan Warriors on Good Friday and early pacemakers Castleford Tigers’ visit to the Totally Wicked Stadium three days later took it toil on the six-times trophy holders.

But this can’t be used as a ready-made excuse as Widnes faced both Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves during the same period and on Friday night had more fuel in the tank, emphasised by their last surge to collect maximum points. after overturning a 14-12 deficit.

Admittedly, Saints were without four key players, Tommy Makinson, James Roby, Ryan Morgan and Jonny Lomax, against what on paper appeared to be one of the Vikings strongest teams of the season so far but the bottom line is that the hosts merited their victory.

It was far from a riveting encounter with both sides guilty of dropping the ball like it was a red-hot potato and positive and clinical moves few and far between.

Saints never scaled the heights achieved over Easter when they looked on the verge of turning the corner results-wise. Now its back to the drawing board in preparation for Friday’s home game against neighbours Leigh Centurions

No one, however, can question the time and effort which is being put in by coaches Jamahl Lolesi, Sean Long and Derek Traynor, but long-term stability is needed at the top and hopefully chief executive Mike Rush, who is Down Under, on a ‘scouting mission’ will find an answer sooner rather than later.

But that won’t be an easy task three months into a season when coaches and assistant coaches are settled in their roles.