Meet The Challenge

KEIRON Cunningham says there’s never a good time to go to Headingley – but they are ready to meet the challenge of the Rhinos this Friday.

Saints travel to Leeds for a crunch First Utility Super League tie with the home side sat on two points out of a possible ten so far.

But the head coach says this will count for nothing when the two sides meet.

“It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, there is never a good time to go to Leeds,” he said. “They are a great side, regardless of scorelines and going over there is never easy. I loved going there as a player and now as a coach too. I love the ground, the atmosphere and games between us are always classics. They have skill across the board.

“It’s two of the biggest clubs in the history of Super League going at each other. I know the players enjoy playing there and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Saints head into the game with three wins on the bounce to sit fourth in the table.

And, according to Cunningham they produced probably their most professional performance to date when they beat Wakefield last week.

“Wakefield came to us with adversity and our motto was to meet fire with fire,” he continued. “We knew they would come here and play. We stuck to the plan and our first half was probably near faultless.

“I thought our halves were outstanding and their kicking game made a big difference. We have the highest ‘kicks retained’ count in the comp – and we’re happy with that as it is something we wanted to get better at. It was a real professional performance.

“It was good to see Joe Greenwood back too. He did a good tidy job for us. He started last year on fire and worked hard in pre-season but he had been a little scratchy in places this year.

“He’s clearly been working hard away from the training field and has taken his chance with open arms. It is hard not to pick him now.

“Andre (Savelio) did well against the Roosters but I thought he wasn’t too great against Hull KR. If Greg (Richards) or Thommo (Luke Thompson) don’t perform then he will slot in. They will all contribute for us this year; they are the future of the club and will lead us to great things.

“Basically, there’s three people fighting for two spots – but that is good for competition in the squad.

“It is a never a personal thing – it’s just hard not to pick Greg or Thommo at the moment.”

Cunningham also confirmed that Adam Swift suffered an ankle injury in the win over Wakefield and will be out for some time.

“He has a couple of options but it won’t be a short turnaround,” he said.

Tickets for Saints’ trip to Leeds this Friday March 18 (8pm) remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.

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