St Helens stand-off Lance Hohaia has credited the arrival of Luke Walsh as one of the reasons he is currently playing some of the best rugby of his Super League career.
The 31-year-old New Zealander has put in some impressive performances in recent weeks and knows that the stability the squad has in key areas, now that his halfback partner is fit again after a calf injury, is a real bonus for everyone at the club.
Hohaia was rested for Friday’s trip to Castleford by Saints coach Nathan Brown, but he is likely to be back in the squad for Friday’s televised clash against Wigan at Langtree Park.
“We’ve easily had the best start to a season since I’ve been here,” Hohaia said.
“We had a lot of injuries for long spells last year, but so far this year we’ve had Robes and Jonny playing regularly at hooker and fullback, and me and Luke Walsh at six and seven.
“Playing in one position is much more suitable than moving around and playing in different positions. It’s no secret that we’re doing better on the field because of that.
“I do feel I’ve stepped up my game a bit this year. The last few years have been tough, but I’ve been working hard on my game and persevering. Having Luke come on board has allowed me to adopt my own style and the results are showing on the field.
“It is a good sign that we could still win when we were without Luke for a few weeks. But now he’s back we’ll get better as the season goes on.”
Now in his third season in Super League, Hohaia has plenty of experience of Wigan derby clashes and he is relishing the chance to come up against last season’s double winners again.
“It’s always nice to test yourself against the best. They will be feeling confident, so we’ll face a tough test, and I’m really looking forward to it. The Easter period is always a busy one, but I’m confident we can come out of Friday’s game reasonably well in terms of injuries, form and points.”