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RugbyL: Brown expects great things from Saints

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Nathan Brown believes St Helens will advance in the Super League play-offs with their confidence at an all-time high after a 46-10 demolition of Hull KR in their elimination match.

Adam Swift ran in a hat-trick of tries as the Saints scored eight in total, with imports Francis Meli, Sia Soliola and Lance Hohaia also crossing in the victory.

With fifth to eighth from the regular Super League season contesting elimination play-off matches, St Helens now join Hull FC in advancing to the preliminary semi-finals.

There the Saints and Hull FC, who defeated Catalan Dragons, will face Leeds and Huddersfield respectively after their losses in the first to fourth qualifying play-off matches.

League Leaders' Shield winners Huddersfield lost to Wigan while second-placed Warrington beat Leeds with the Warriors and Wolves progressing to the outright semi-finals and enjoying a week off.

And St Helens coach Brown, who failed to lead St George to a NRL Grand Final when in charge, admits they will take a vast amount from their elimination play-off win over Hull KR.

"I thought the first half was really pleasing and we came expecting a really tough game. They are a big side with crafty players," said Brown.

"We were playing well on the right edge and we got it going. We have some confidence now. We have a big task against Leeds but we should go there thinking we can do OK.

"The guys want to do well and it will be a really good game."

Meanwhile, Warrington coach Tony Smith saluted Ben Westwood's four-try performance in the Wolves' 40-20 qualifying play-off win over defending champions Leeds.

"It was great for Ben to get some of the accolades," said Smith. "He works his cotton socks off every week doing the rough and tough stuff.

"He doesn't always get the spoils but he got a bit of the cream and put a cherry on top."

Elsewhere, Catalan Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous couldn't hide his disappointment that Steve Menzies's storied career ended with a 14-4 defeat to Hull FC in their play-off elimination encounter at a wet KC Stadium.

The 39-year-old will now return to his native Australia and NRL outfit Manly as a club ambassador and Catalan coach Frayssinous admitted his regret that Menzies wasn't waving goodbye to his career on better terms.

"It's an emotional dressing room. It's disappointing that we say goodbye in that way," said Frayssinous.

"He has been one of the best overseas players we've had at the Dragons, if not the best, and we wanted to give him at least one more week."

Australian duo Blake Green and Pat Richards starred as Wigan Warriors beat League Leaders' Shield winners Huddersfield 22-8 but coach Shaun Wane's isn't about to start dreaming of Grand Final glory.

The win secured Wigan an outright semi-final place and a week off while Huddersfield have a second chance in the preliminary semi-finals where they face Hull FC.

"We're not getting carried away," said Wigan coach Wane. "It was a good win against worthy league leaders but we've still got two games to play."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130915/rugbyl-brown-expects-great-things-saints