Kylie Leuluai

There is always the option of improvement whether you win, lose or draw, and for St Helens coach Nathan Brown, he knows improvement is necessary – after his side lost 20-12 to Leeds at Langtree Park.

With St Helens fielding a few inexperienced players, it was teenager Mark Percival that made the biggest impact, having a hand in the Saints two tries – but there was bad news, however, as Gary Wheeler joined the long list of injuries at the club.

Despite the loss, Brown believes there was plenty to take out of the game and knows that his side can get better as the season progresses.

“We had four young kids out there who had eight or nine games between them and they handled themselves well,” the former Huddersfield boss, who is yet to see his new side win at home this season, said Brown.

“We also had a new half-back and full-back and we lost our five-eighth to injury.

“It’s going to get a lot better, I’m very confident of that. After our first game, we’ve got a lot better each week and there were periods today when we did pretty well against the best team in the comp.

“We got beat by a good side tonight but we scored three tries apiece so weren’t a long way away. I thought the better side won the game but the young guys got a bit more experience.”

It was a different story for Leeds boss Brian McDermott, however, who had nothing but praise for his players following their victory, after their recent hard-fought World Club Challenge loss to the Melbourne Storm.

“We had a fair amount of adversity with the motorway being shut,” McDermott said.

“We only got the right kit on five minutes before the kick-off.

“On the back of last week, when we put a lot of energy – emotionally and physically – into the Melbourne game. The question was always going to be whether we could get up again but we did and it was very pleasing.

“In fairness, Saints had one or two fellas missing but it was always going to come down to how much energy we had in that game and it shows some character there.”

By ricky

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