CAUTIOUS Nathan Brown has urged his players to focus on which St Helens players will be in action rather than those who won’t.
Saints head to Huddersfield for today’s top-of-the-table Super League XVI clash (5.00) lacking the services of a whole host of senior players.
Missing for the visitors through injury will be experienced campaigners Leon Pryce, Kyle Eastmond, Tony Puletua, Chris Flannery, Scott Moore, Paul Clough, Gary Wheeler and Jonny Lomax.
All eight would expect to be included in a full-strength Saints line-up, meaning new head coach Royce Simmons – the former Wests Tigers assistant coach in the Australian NRL took over at the beginning of the season – has been forced to pin in his faith in the club’s rising stars.
But the Giants were faced with a similar situation two months ago when they entertained an injury-hit Wigan side and suffered a largely-unexpected 20-6 home defeat.
And Brown is anxious to avoid a repeat this time around.
“I’m sure people will talk a lot in the build-up to this game about the half-a-dozen players who won’t be playing,” said Brown.
“But we’d rather talk about the big number of internationals in the St Helens side who will be running out against us. That’s what our focus is all about.
“And we also won’t ignore the influence of their top young blokes who have been coming through.
“Regardless of who turns out for them, they remain a very strong club, as their results have shown.
“They went into this weekend’s rounds of matches equal first and could count themselves very unlucky not to have won at Wigan over Easter.
“The sign of a winning club is one who can overcome a long list of injuries and still keep producing the performances and get the right results, and Saints this season are doing just this.
“And this is something we’re striving to be at the Giants.
“We are getting there, and hopefully we’ll be able to show that again this weekend.
“Our recent record against the top teams has been good. We’ve beaten the leaders, Warrington, twice, and also won at Leeds a month ago.
“It would be good to add St Helens to that list and start to put a poor moth firmly behind us.”