Pisi: Gaffney's strong words are 'a good wake-up call' for Saints squad

Ken Pisi has no problem with Alan Gaffney's up-front approach at Saints (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Ken Pisi has no problem with Alan Gaffney's up-front approach at Saints (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Ken Pisi has no problem with Alan Gaffney's criticism of the Saints players following last Saturday's defeat to Sale.

Technical coaching consultant Gaffney labelled the first-half display in the 34-25 defeat 'absolutely abysmal' and 'depressing'.

And on the players, the experienced Australian said: "Nobody could put their hand up and say they're proud of that.

"We're frustrated here because we don't understand a lot of things that are happening out there.

"Sometimes, even at my age, you feel like can I get out there and do something.

"It was very immature, the way a number of people played.

"In the first two or three minutes, we turned the ball over twice, throwing impossible passes and they score a couple of minutes later.

"How long do the messages we give before we go out on the pitch last?

"Why is that message not sinking in?

"And I'm not talking about inexperienced players - I'm talking about players who have been around a long time and have been in the professional game for a long time.

"You just expect a lot better."

But Pisi, who came on as a replacement during the second half, is not perturbed by Gaffney's strong words about the playing squad.

And instead, the Samoan feels he and his team-mates have to use the 71-year-old's words to drive them to get better.

"That's what coaches are there for," Pisi said.

"We can take their criticism as positive criticism and it just depends how you take it.

"We're always seeking the coaches for advice - that's how rugby is - if you want to get better, you ask the coaches for advice.

"It's a good wake-up call having a guy like that there.

"I've just taken on what he's said to me and just tried to better my game.

"It's a matter of consistency for me. There's a lot of competition in the team and I'm just trying my best in every opportunity I get."

On last weekend's showing against Sale, Pisi said: "We were gutted.

"We made it hard on ourselves because in the first half we didn't start too well.

"We came back in the second half but didn't end up getting there so we're just looking forward to this week's game."

Saints travel to Bath in the Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-finals on Friday evening.

And Pisi said: "It is a chance to win silverware. Other tournaments have passed, but we've still got a chance in this tournament and the boys have been putting in hard work.

"It's a challenge ahead and we will be ready.

"We know Bath will be strong and it will be hard at their home ground, but we're up for the challenge."