Alex Walmsley says St Helens were “found out” by Wakefield and Salford in recent weeks and believes the champions have fallen a long way off their best.
Saints needed a golden point Jack Welsby drop goal to scrape past relegation-threatened Wakefield a fortnight ago. They were then outplayed by Salford in a rampant Red Devils win at the AJ Bell Stadium. Paul Rowley’s side won 44-12 to inflict the heaviest defeat on the league leaders for six years.
And speaking exclusively to this week’s Love Rugby League Podcast, giant forward Walmsley, who will lead England’s pack at the World Cup this autumn, says Saints are getting what they deserve for allowing their standards to fall.
“The Salford game was a couple of weeks in the making,” he admitted.
“I thought Salford attacked exceptionally and really put us to the sword. It’s been a long time since we’ve been at the end of something like that. It was quite a humbling experience if I’m honest.
“I’m not going to sit here and toss out excuses, that is not a mindset we have as a team or a club. We have been given a good reminder of what it takes for us to be our best and we have been far from that recently.”
Alex Walmsley: We need to get ourselves out of this little hole
Despite the wobble of the last fortnight, Kristian Woolf’s side remain four points clear of a chasing pack being led by bitter rivals Wigan. But what has gone wrong?
“We have been trying to put our finger on the reason for our lack of performances.” Walmsley explained.
“It has been quite underwhelming for a side that prides itself on energy, on working hard. In both of those games we didn’t have energy and weren’t outworking the opposition. You are going to get found out eventually if you don’t work the opposition.
“We have some big players to come back into the team but that is no excuse. We have good young lads who have stepped up at a really high level.
“We’re in a good spot, four points clear. We are there because we have been in good form for the majority of the season. The last two weeks have just reminded us what we need to do to get ourselves out of this little hole.”