KC Looking For Response

KEIRON Cunningham is looking for his players to respond when they travel to Catalans this week.

Saints get their Super 8s campaign underway with a tricky trip to the Dragons on Saturday.

And the Head Coach is sure his charges will want to put things right following their Semi Final exit from the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.

“It still stings and it will do,” he said. “You will always wonder whether you would should have done things differently as a coach and as a player but you have to pay credit to Leeds. They are a good side and perhaps we gave them too much respect at the start.

“They started well, were quick and offloaded the ball and it hurt us. That burnt us but we regained some momentum and had a golden patch. We were good at the end of the first half and the second too.

“But little things win big games; little turns and bounces and we didn’t get those and a couple of decisions too.

“When you have the momentum of the game they go for you. At 18-14 we dropped the ball and then kicked out on the full. Leeds put up a bomb, got a repeat set and scored. All credit to them.

“We had our chances to win the game – or at least have a shot of doing – but they hung on in there and took their chances. Life goes on and we now have to get stuck into the Super 8s and get focused on this trip this week.”

Saints have been handed a tough start to the Super 8s – but Cunningham has no complaints.

“We knew the format before it was drawn when we would play teams and we knew that if we finish first or second we would have to go to Catalan,” he continued. “It could have easily been Hull FC or Hull KR who finish eighth so we can have no complaints and we will get on with it.

“We have to be in the top four to have aspirations of going to Old Trafford – so we know what is at stake and what we need to do.

“Catalans have had a bit of a break but I would rather head in to a match having played the week before. The boys will stinging from the loss and hopefully will respond and will want to do the right thing – and rectify a few wrongs.”

Saints will have to make some changes from last week’s side with Atelea Vea out for “a number of weeks” with a knee injury.

Cunningham is also waiting for details on Joe Greenwood’s shoulder problem and at this stage isn’t sure whether he will play or not this weekend.

“I’m heartbroken for Til. He was brilliant on Friday and changed the course of the game. He has worked hard in his rehab and if anyone deserved to have a real good crack at this part of the year it was him. He is an ultimate professional though and will crack on, do the right thing and if anyone can make it back it will be him.

“We have a few players to assess but Greg Richards and Luke Thompson can drop in. They are both in good form and will play a part.

“We will go over on the Saturday and come back in the same day. Every game counts in the Super 8s and with a home game next Friday we have to recover and be as fit as we can. This will help and make sure we don’t lose valuable days.”

Tickets for Saints Super 8s Fixtures can be found here.

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