Saints need to get over Grand Final loss


Lance Hohaia says St Helens‘ inconsistent form at the start of the new campaign could be a result of last season’s fifth consecutive Grand Final defeat.

Hohaia, 28, is a new face in Royce Simmons’ squad this season, which has managed just two wins and a draw from their first five Super League outings.

Before his arrival, St Helens went down 32-16 to Leeds in the Super League Grand Final in October, the fourth time they have lost to the Rhinos at Old Trafford in recent years.

The New Zealand international said: “We’ve played well in parts over our last three games but I don’t think our form has been great all year.

“We didn’t play well in our trial game either. Perhaps there are a few doubts after the Grand Final? Five losses in five years can be tough to get over mentally.”

St Helens won their opening two games against London and Salford, before drawing at Hull KR. The dramatic home defeat to Catalan followed, and they were involved in another close one last weekend, going down 17-16 at Huddersfield.

Hohaia added: “One thing I have noticed about St Helens is that we are expected to win every week – and that’s a pressure everyone has – and rightly so. We have a great squad here. We are only five games into the season but we know we need to string some performances together.”

Hohaia joined the club from New Zealand Warriors on a four-year deal, and will be expected to fill in at hooker for the match against Hull this weekend, in the absence of James Roby.


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