MARK Percival believes St Helens’ shock Super League loss can see them bounce back better – starting with piling the misery and relegation woes on to Leeds.
The three-times champions lost their last game in the competition in the shock result of the season at previously winless Toulouse.
But centre Percival believes some good can come from defeat, it can make Saints even stronger as their humble attitude pays off.
He said: “We knew someone was going to beat us.
“And you can learn from getting beaten sometimes. That happened last year, we got beaten a few times, but it’s about how you come back from that.
“There are things we can improve – this team’s never comfortable – and not everything can go your way on the day.
“People from the outside may say, ‘St Helens are a really good team,’ but we’re just working that hard for each other.
“That’s what I feel sometimes other teams can miss. I don’t whether they’re working hard for each other for 80 minutes but that’s what we do.
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“No matter what people see from the outside, we’re just doing our job. We’re just trying to keep our heads down.
“We can never settle on what we’ve done in the past. Now we’ve been beaten, it’s about how we respond.”
St Helens v Leeds may have been 10th against top going into this weekend but the reputation of the clubs – and having Jamie Jones-Buchanan as Rhinos’ interim boss – make it much more than that.
And Saints boss Kristian Woolf admitted: “They’re not sitting where they’d like to be sitting but most people, including myself, would’ve said they’re a top four side.
“And Leeds v St Helens is a rivalry. We’ve got to prepare for the best that Leeds have got, that’s something you’ve got to get used to with this team. That comes with the territory of success.
“I’ve been an interim coach and it as some advantages, you know you’re only there for the short term and you’re basically giving it a crack for whatever time you’ve got.”
Tonight’s clash also has personal motivations as Leeds’ James Bentley faces his former club and legendary hooker James Roby makes his 500th appearance for his hometown club.
Not that there will be much fanfare as Woolf added: “We know exactly what to expect – James Bentley knows what to expect as well.
“And Robes’ is an unbelievable achievement – one we’ll never see again if I’m honest. You’ve got to be a special player and person to be able to do that.
“But I don’t think you’ll get too much different from him. He’ll prepare and act the same. I can’t see him wanting anything different, he won’t want the fuss to be about him.”
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