Brown says Saints must learn to play without star man

St Helens coach Nathan Brown wants his players to become more flexible, and adapt to life without James Roby on the field.

Although Saints beat Bradford Bulls 46-22 on Friday, they allowed the Bulls back into the game late on, after running up a 40-0 lead in the first 50 minutes.

Brown feels that the lesson his players must learn is how to cope when players are forced to switch positions.

“I thought ‘Larney’ [Lance Hohaia] went to 9 and actually played well, so Larney’s contribution at 9 was good,” said the Australian.

Jordan Turner played at 6 and was fine, but the team didn’t seem to respond well. The two individuals who played the positions I thought did well.

“But as a team we certainly didn’t respond well. That’s something we need to look at.

“We need to do well if ‘Robes’ [James Roby] is off the field, which we have done in the past.

“We learned last year to play without Robes. Obviously we’re far better when he’s on the field, as we should be, because he’s such a high-quality player.

“But the team itself probably didn’t respond well, but I thought the individuals that played the positions when they moved did quite well.”

Some good news for the Saints was the return to action of prop Kyle Amor and forward Anthony Laffranchi after spells out with injury.

“They’ve pulled up well, which is pleasing for us and the squad in general,” Brown added.

“I thought Kyle [Amor]’s first stint was really good, and I thought ‘Boof’ [Anthony Laffranchi] had a nice solid period when he was out there, he was on before and after halftime.

“Kyle come back out there and was little bit sluggish for his second stint, but that’s what you get when you’ve been out for three and half months, I suppose.”

Amor himself was delighted to be back, after missing 11 weeks with a knee injury.

“It was good to be back and it’s nice that we have players coming back from injury now,” he told Saints’ official website.

“The important thing is we get a good run of games and make a stake for the Grand Final.

“It was a game of two halves really and we were happy with how it went for 50-odd minutes. But we fell away and that gives us plenty to focus on in the next few weeks.

“We were dominant and there wasn’t a way back for them, but in the end our effort wasn’t where it should have been and I would include myself in that too. It is something we can learn from as a group.

“With all due respect to Bradford we have tougher days ahead and we can’t toss up efforts like that.

“We’ve been top for most of the year and we want to stay there.”

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