Rush: Nothing For Granted

MIKE Rush says he can take nothing for granted as Saints prepare to take on Huddersfield Giants this Sunday.

Although Paul Anderson’s side are in a real indifferent run of form, the Club’s acting head coach drew comparisons with the position St Helens where back in March.

“We’re in good form, but we’re probably in the same position the Giants are in now when we faced Leeds in March,” he said. “That was our first game in charge and no one gave us a chance. We were scratching round for a win and this will be the first week Baloo has had with his side.

“He will want to put his own slant on the team and having Kieron Purtill on board will help them too. That makes them very dangerous indeed.”

Second place is very much still the aim for Saints after their poor start to the season and Rush has targeted the next couple of games as having a massive influence on where they will finish in the Stobart Super League table.

“We can’t start talking about second place really as it isn’t in our hands and we’re reliant on other results,” he added. “We also need to stay in the form we are but our next couple of games are big and will define where we finish in the league this season.

“Bar the Magic Weekend we have been pretty good most weeks. Good Friday would have been different but we lost Laffranchi and Wellens to bans and Jonny Lomax to injury after four minutes. We have been in good form ever since really, but we’d like our best form to come now and up to October 6.

“We’re happy to stay under the radar. Our character has been good recently too. We had to go up through the gears to beat Hull KR and Widnes at the end and in Catalans too. We want to play a brand of football people want to watch and defend well too and because of that we are the second best defensive team in the league.”

Tony Puletua will miss out at the weekend after being banned for his tackle on Gregory Mounis, whilst Mark Flanagan could make a return from a back injury.

Rush continued: “We had a lot of conversation in house and with various people within the game about TPs tackle and we probably made the decision to put in an early guilty plea ‘under duress’ if that is the right term.

“We didn’t want to make the plea but it was probably the best option to make sure Tony was available for the next game. If we had contested it we made have come away with a two game ban and felt like we’d made the wrong decision.

“If that is the idea behind the plea, then it has worked on this occasion.

“TP is my player and I am going to protect him. At this moment in time it is not illegal to make a shoulder charge and I believe he makes good contact with shoulder. I believe there is a little of Mounis falling or starting to fall, but at the end of the day, they deem from the first contact or follow through, that contact is made with the head and therefore it is a sending off.

“I’m not pro or anti shoulder charging but I think we probably need to discuss it in the off season and define the laws.

“We need to remember that one shoulder charge can be different to another. TP’s is different to Sam Moa’s – Sam is travelling forward whilst TP makes contact with his feet planted. The media say shoulder charges, but they are very mechanically different challenges…”

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You can buy from the Ticket Office at the club, by clicking here, or via the Ticket Hotline on 01744 455 052.

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