THE exam question facing the Liverpool St Helens coaching team of Martin Jones and Phil Boulton this week is a simple one.
How do you maintain and produce the same level of intensity and performance shown at league leaders Sale FC last week, this week?
For many supporters the 17-3 win at Heywood Road ranks as one of LSH’s best performances in recent times and importantly it lifts them into joint top spot with Sale FC. Jones is well aware of the dangers following such a win but sees the performance as a natural progression from recent weeks.
He said: “After a dreadful first half against Manchester we scored over 60 points in 43 minutes.
“At Leigh the following week we played much the better rugby but were firing only in snatches. Then last Saturday we put it together for the full eighty minutes. The concentration and commitment lasted the whole way through”.
The Moss Laners need not be short of motivation for the visit of Widnes on Saturday. Just a few weeks ago Altrincham Kersal were celebrating their 14-9 win at Heywood Road before losing at home the following week to Widnes. If that’s not enough Widnes travel to LSH looking for a repeat of last year’s 34-17 win, the heaviest defeat seen at Moss Lane for some time.
For Jones and Boulton and their team it will be business as usual, building on the momentum and continuing to do what they do well. Prop Mark Devine suffered a shoulder injury at Sale and is sidelined for three weeks and Dan Filson is currently out with a cruciate ligament injury. John Pape, however, is set to return from a shoulder injury and is likely to be back in contention.