St Helens stand-off Jordan Turner believes he can see comparisons between the class of 2016 and the Saints squad that became Super League champions two years ago, and he claims that sorting his future out has helped to produce his best form.
Turner, who recently agreed a deal to join Canberra Raiders in the NRL next year, was exceptional again on Thursday night as Saints extended their winning run to six games with a vital 18-20 victory at the Halliwell Jones Stadium against Warrington to solidify their place in the top four.
Turner, nominated as man of the match, and the recipient of three Albert Goldthorpe Medal points for his performance, refused to get carried away, saying there is still work to be done. But with Saints conceding just 50 points in their last four games, he told League Express that he can see a resilience that was present when they won the Grand Final in 2014.
“I’ve said it a few times, but we’ve been rubbish with the ball for the last couple of weeks,” Turner told League Express.
“What’s getting us through these games is our defence and our effort for each other.
“It’s quite similar to the way the team was playing in 2014 when we won the competition. Defensively back then we were outstanding without being great with the ball.
“I don’t like to make comparisons, but a lot of people wrote us off in 2014 and it seems to be the same sort of thing again, which we like.
“We’re not getting ahead of ourselves though; we know we’ve not done anything this year, but we need to keep picking up wins to keep in the hunt for the big prize.
“The run-in to the Grand Final and the big match itself are won with things like effort and never giving up, so it’s certainly heartening.”
Turner has thrived at stand-off alongside Luke Walsh in recent weeks, and he admitted that the speculation over his future being put to bed has allowed him to concentrate on the remainder of the season.
“It really has helped me,” Turner said when asked about finalising his plans for 2017.
“It was one of the toughest periods of my career because I love playing for this club.
“I don’t like making excuses, but my form wasn’t great earlier in the year and there was a lot on my mind. Once I got things put to bed and concentrated solely on St Helens you can see that I’m happy with how things are going.”