Match Reaction…

KEIRON Cunningham was naturally disappointed following the 24-14 loss to Leeds in the Semi Final of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.

He said: “In the first half you could see that my players were gassed but I knew if we kept within a score or just over a score of Leeds we would be in with a good shout. We did that and finished the first half strong.

“From about 18 mins in we started getting some control of the game and rolling it but we weren’t clinical enough and we forced our hands a bit too much.

“In the second half it was game on at 18-14 but we made a misread on Watkins and it cost us. That is a training drill for us and we do it every single day and shut it down. It was poor attention to detail from that egde and it ended up costing us.

“Life goes on though. I’ll use it as a learning curve for my kids and the juniors in the side.”

He continued: “I thought Andre (Savelio) was phenomenal tonight and more than justified his selection. He has been one of the best forwards in our team and is growing every week. Every cloud has a silver lining and all that.

“That said, I was really disappointed with the start. It’s a semi final game and I think if you are to give penalties in the ruck you have to give them set one. Joe Greenwood was mauled all over on our first set, big Al was pulled back and dove on and there was no penalty. Leeds get a penalty next set.

“The obstruction rule also baffles me. If anyone knows it can they let me know. If you run behind someone and gain an advantage, you cannot continue with that… but that is just me I suppose.

“We had the impetus and if we had done things a little differently when we got in good ball area it might have been a different game. We fought, hung on in there and tried to play even when it was going away from us.

“In the big games you have to play like you’re in a big game. We didn’t do that in the first half and perhaps gave them a little too much respect. Well, we are a good side too and we should have gone out with an ego that we are a good side.

“But you learn how to play in big games by playing in them. It is a good learning curve for the players to play in one tonight. It’s unfortunate we didn’t get the right result but we move forward to the Super 8s, jump on the plane to Catalan and kick on.”

Cunningham confirmed that Joe Greenwood has a shoulder injury whilst Atelea Vea had his knee in a brace.

Both will be assessed in the next few days.

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