SAINTS coach Mike Rush was lost for words after seeing his side narrowly beat Widnes Vikings 40-38 in the fourth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup.
His side, who at one point lead 40-16 in the game, were caught napping in the final twenty minutes and it was only a miss kick from Patrick Ah Van in the last few minutes that separated the two teams.
“In the last few minutes we were poor,” admitted the Acting Head Coach. “Going down to twelve men is the obvious answer (for the Widnes tries) I think we panicked a little bit so we’ve got to look at ourselves a little bit there. But having said that our kicking game went a little bit awash, maybe a few people tried to solve things amongst themselves rather than as a collective.”
Despite the victory, Rush was not happy with the overall performance of his team: “We’ve got to get better than that, that’s not good enough.”
His side were cruising late in the second half, but Widnes scoring 24 unanswered points meant a nervous ending for all involved.
“24 points in front nobody should catch you because lets be fair if he (Ah Van) kicks the goal we go into golden point and they very nearly did catch us. Its’ a feeling of disappointment in the dressing room rather than relief to be honest “
Rush did pay tribute to debutant Adam Swift who played despite the loss of his Grandfather, Harold Swift MBE, just hours before kick off: “Harold was not only a massive part of Adam’s life but he was a massive part of local rugby league in St Helens. He was chairman of Blackbrook, I played at Blackbrook for nearly 12 years and I’ve known Harold for 28 years, he was an absolute gentleman. It was a massive and a brave decision by Adam.
“I wasn’t going to get into his mind to see how he was feeling, I spoke to both him and his father and both were insistent that he was playing and I thought the kid did fantastic today. He’s got super feet, a real athlete, if he keeps his feet on the floor and works hard then like a lot of young players at this club they’ll get their chance and he can go as far as he wants to go.”