St Helens: Alex Walmsley wants strong defence as 'tries look after themselves'

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St Helens prop Alex Walmsley believes that defence will be the key to a strong season for the club in 2017.

Saints reached the play-off semi-finals last season but conceded 641 points in their 30 league games - more than any other side in the top four.

"We spoke in the off-season about our goals of getting to finals and winning trophies," said the 26-year-old.

"You get there with defence. Attack looks after itself, it's the other end of the game we wanted to improve."

St Helens kept a tight defensive line in their 6-4 win over Leeds on the opening night of Super League action.

Walmsley told BBC Radio Merseyside: "Defensively the targets for this season are high. We've set these goals as a team and there's a precedent to keep your spot, there's a lot of good players on the sidelines."

Promoted Leigh Centurions are St Helens' next opponents on 24 February and are also likely to severely test Saints' back line, according to Walmsley.

He added: "The days of going to a game and backing yourself to win have gone. You can't go to any game and think that it's two easy points.

"The whole of Super League is now where anyone can beat anyone. If you're not turning up, you'll get burned.

"Leigh will be a tough team, they've signed some quality players and have a big physical pack. They'll try to bully teams off the park, and it will be another important day for our defence."

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