KC Wary Of Tigers Backlash

SAINTS will head into Sunday’s game at Castleford expecting a backlash from the Tigers.

Daryl Powell’s side lost 58-16 to Hull KR at the weekend but Keiron Cunningham says there won’t be a repeat of that performance.

However, Saints will bounce into the clash fresh from an extended turnaround between fixtures – and a great 38-34 win over Leeds at Langtree Park.

“Castleford’s defeat to Hull KR was a blip for me,” he said. “Hull KR had a point to prove and were in a lull. There’s always a point when you come out of that and unfortunately for Daryl it was against the Tigers. They are also down on troops but I’m sure they will be fully fit when we play them this week.

“These games are usually free flowing with plenty of points, but we don’t want to be on the end of that.”

Saints’ win over Leeds wasn’t one for the fainthearted and Cunningham admits he had to watch it more than once before he could review it without nerves.

“You always try and pick the bones out of a game,” he explained. “Friday was a real rollercoaster and it was good to come out of it with a smile. Some games are open no matter how hard you work in the build-up. We had to try and find a way to win and we did that.

“It was two points on the league ladder and we move on to Sunday’s game. We’ll take a game like that but we don’t want to make a habit of it.

“It was a good entertaining game but perhaps not for me and Brian Mc. The fans have been asking for entertainment and they got it but now I want my structure back! No seriously, it was a good game and I had to watch it twice before I didn’t feel the nerves. Some of the stuff we did with the ball was fantastic.

“We haven’t had chance to forge relationships with key personnel because we haven’t had the players together. It was the first time Theo (Fages) played with Mark Percival and had Jonny Lomax coming out of the back. The longer we can do that and keep them fit the better it will be for us – and the defence too.

“I need stability on the edges and whichever players do that for me will play.”

He continued: “It was great to see Jonny out there. He will come back to reality on Sunday that this is what he does for a living. He is in the clouds at the moment after what happened on Friday! It has been emotional for everyone. I know what it means for the local players and what it means to play for this club.

“We were as frustrated as he and the fans were – we know what he can do on the field as he gives us a different dimension. I suppose Wigan are going through that with Sam Tomkins at the moment as well. Jonny gives us that extra dimension but we can’t look too far ahead with him. We will look at Cas game and then go from there.

“Jonny is the most professional player I know. He was due to come back a few weeks ago but had a minor issue. I was watching him leading up to that comeback and it was mouth-watering and frightening at what was to come. We have to nurture him through and look after him because the longer he stays fit the better it is for us.

“We have a fair bit of pace out there now. Mark Percival did well on his return and Atelea Vea will get better. Defensively he wasn’t where he should be, but he was brilliant with the ball in hand.

“History shows us with his injuries that Til will be better defensively this week.”

Matty Dawson suffered concussion on Friday and will have the usual checks before he can be considered for Sunday’s game.

Dominique Peyroux isn’t far off and has a chance this week whilst Adam Swift is set to return in the next couple of weeks.

Tickets for Saints trip to Castleford on Sunday May 1 (3.30pm) remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 and online here.

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