Brown praises players' response

Congleton Guardian: Nathan Brown described Saints' performance as their 'best for a while' Nathan Brown described Saints' performance as their 'best for a while'

St Helens coach Nathan Brown was delighted with his side's response to their public humiliation as they bounced back with a 41-22 win over Huddersfield to maintain second place in the First Utility Super League.

Saints captain Paul Wellens described his side's 41-24 defeat by Warrington at the Magic Weekend as "embarrassing" while Brown cast doubt over his players' attitude, but he could not fault their effort on Friday night.

"The guys did really well," Brown said. "The response to last week's game and the manner of which we started the game was obviously quite pleasing from a defensive point of view.

"The effort and commitment for each other (was) great and the score probably flattered the opposition. I thought it was our best performance against good opposition for a while.

"I'm pleased how we got the physical part of the game right.

"It doesn't mean we're the finished article, we have got to keep working hard and we've got to deliver that type of performance next week."

Saints never looked back after scoring three tries in the first 13 minutes through Gary Wheeler, Lance Hohaia and Wellens, with heavyweight forward Mose Masoe helping to lay a strong platform with a series of powerful bursts that eventually brought him a second try for the club.

"Mos was good tonight," Wellens said. "Tonight he probably showed why we brought him to the club.

"He arrived with an injury and we just had to be patient but now he's set himself a good standard. You'd like to think he can build on that."

Wellens led from the front as he settled back into his old full-back spot in the absence of Jonny Lomax, one of seven regulars sidelined by injury.

Brown added: "Wello is a great competitor. I don't think anyone has got any doubts about what he brings to the team. When he's on the field, we definitely seem to have something going for us. His leadership is first class and that's why it's so important we kept him around.

"You expect your senior players to set a good standard and your young blokes tag on the back of it."

Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson struggled to find any positives as he saw his side's five-match winning run come to an abrupt end.

Winger Ben Blackmore scored two of the Giants' four tries on his first appearance of the season but only after Saints had wrapped up the points by establishing a 28-6 lead.

"We just didn't turn up," Anderson said. "There was no intent in anything we did. When we got down their end we looked dangerous and scored 22 points in a pretty poor performance.

"Our start to the game has to be addressed.

"St Helens clearly responded to some harsh comments from last week."

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