Leigh Leopards take on Super League Champions and World Champions St Helens tonight and Derek Beaumont is fearing a backlash after the Saints’ loss to Leeds Rhinos last week.
He told the Red Vee YouTube channel:
“I actually sent Rushy and Eamon a few quid and asked them to keep your lads on the juice a little bit longer so you were still hungover when you got to work, but I think they must have going till the Leeds game.
“Now the worst thing you can have is a Saints side that’s been beat when they come to you.
“I was buzzing one minute that we’d beat Hull KR, which as much as I knew our lads could do it I knew it would be a tough gig so it was brilliant for them.
“Then I saw Saints had lost and I was just like ‘oh nooo’.”
He has nothing but respect for the Saints:
“What you guys have done out there is superb for the game and we’re making a thing about it. We want to champion the fact that you come in as the Champions.
“It’s not a gimmick or a disrespectful thing, it’s a genuine thing that I feel. I had a long conversation with Eamon about it and I don’t think you’ve been given enough respect as a club for what you’ve actually put into that. The time, effort, money, commitment, backlash of the jet lag and everything that it was always going to do and having a fixture postponed.
“But I think that is the biggest club achievement, certainly in Super League, and beating a team like Penrith and to do it in that manner. The brand new coach with Wello, we should all be proud of that, we should be united and should be championing that.
“We should have all got behind it and of course we’ve got rivalry, we want to beat you, you want to beat us. You hate Wigan, Wigan hate Saints, well we all hate Wigan they say just like we all hate Leeds.
“But for a game like that I saw St Helens representing British rugby.”