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|Friday 15th February 2013|
"We put the effort in to still get the two points but we didn't play smart enough."
Saints still await a first home win of the 2013 Super League season as they are held to a 22-22 draw by Hull FC at Langtree Park.
Tries from Anthony Laffranchi, Francis Meli and Jordan Turner help Nathan Brown's side to a 16-12 half-time lead, but Hull stay in it through Jason Crookes and Shannon McDonnell. When Josh Jones barrells over early in the second half the Saints look to have enough daylight to take the spoils, but scores from Tom Briscoe and Richard Whiting tie things up. The influential Daniel Holdsworth just fails to kick what would have been a winning conversion;
"We put the effort in to still get the two points but we didn't play smart enough. We need to improve again next week." observes Brown;
"We did improve from last week but the disappointing thing is that, every time we had them ready to break, we came up with silly errors or they got 50-50 calls."
Black and whites boss Peter Gentle is in a similar state of frustration, mixed with optimism;
"We're still misfiring but there is plenty of character there. The guys are excited and genuinely believe we are a good football team. We're a work in progress and we will get there eventually."
Warrington remain unbeaten, following up last week's draw at Wigan with a bruising 24-16 win at home to Catalan Dragons. Joel Monaghan again scores twice for the Wolves, with further tries from Richie Myler and Rhys Evans proving enough to see off the Frenchmen, who cross through a Damien Blanch double and Zeb Taia's first for the club.
Warrington coach Tony Smith, who never seems to care much for scorelines, is demonstrably unimpressed by an overly physical game;
"It was horribly messy and scrappy." he moans;
"It spoiled what could have been a good game. There was a lack of control and we got dragged into it."
None more so than Ben Westwood, who is at one point seen throwing hay-makers at brave-but-clearly-bonkers Dragons full-back Brent Webb, who is sin-binned not once but twice during the 80 minutes;
"I don't say it was horrible, but messy." is Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous' assessment of proceedings;
"It was a physical, tough game between two big forward packs. We need to be more disciplined with the ball, in defence and with the ref as well." he adds.
More pain for Salford City Reds as they are whacked 42-14 by Leeds Rhinos at Headingley. Brian McDermott's side warm-up for next week's World Club Challenge clash with Melbourne Storm with a routine victory, made all the more miserable for the Reds by a brace of tries from their former star Joel Moon. Paul McShane matches that tally while there are also scores for Stevie Ward, Kallum Watkins and Kevin Sinfield, with the captain booting seven goals also. Salford are on the board through an Ashley Gibson double and a second in consecutive games for Niall Evalds, but are hardly competitive;
"It was scrappy. We didn't get to grips with the game and it was not a great spectacle." admits McDermott;
"We will take the positives and, if we had have had a shocker, we would have waved it off. We wanted to take care of what we could and we did that, to a degree." he adds.
Irrespective of Leeds' patchiness, long suffering Salford boss Phil Veivers is again left to reflect on a drubbing by a superior side;
"We gave them three tries by dropping the ball, but they're a good side who are all playing for positions and we won't take anything from them. They scored 42 points." he laments.
By Stephen Orford
Catch up with more from me at www.steorfordonsaints.blogspot.com
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