Ben Barba will make his debut for Saints against Wigan on Friday – and it couldn’t come at a more crucial time of the season.
It’s a crunch derby as both teams chase a top four spot and the former Cronulla Shark admits there isn’t any room for error.
“We would like to be sitting in a better position on the ladder but that is rugby league,” he said. ”Whoever wins this game puts themselves in good stead for the games ahead.
“But we know as a group that everything from here on in is business and I don’t think we can afford to lose another game.
“Friday’s game is important especially with Wigan and Huddersfield winning games and closing the gap.
“All we can do is work hard and learn from the last two weeks, and find that edge to get over the top of teams.”
Much has been said about Barba’s introduction to the Saints and where the star is going to fit in.
Cards are currently being played close to chests – but Ben is happy wherever Justin Holbrook slots him in.
“Wherever Justin puts me I will do a job for the team,” he added. “I feel more comfortable at full back and that is where I have had all my successes in the past, but I know Jonny (Lomax) has played for his country and has done a good job for a long time.
“I am sure we will work pretty well together wherever we play.
“There is a real competition for places and that is a good headache to have.
“All we can do is work hard and get back on that winning trail.”
Saints beat Wigan the last time the two sides met at the Totally Wicked Stadium but Friday’s game will have even more riding on it because of league position.
An ideal time for Barba to make his debut!
“I know what this rivalry is all about – I did my homework and watched some You Tube clips of clashes in the past,” he added. “I am not sure if it is that wild now, but I am definitely looking forward to it.
“It is like it has been set up but I am just glad it is at our stadium and not their ground.
“As a player you want to play in the big games and against the best and there is no better game to do it than a Saints v Wigan match.”
Tickets for the game are on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or logging on here http://saints.retailsportssystems.com/matchtickets.html