Cunningham: We have to be at our lethal best

Tommy Makinson races away to score against Widnes
Tommy Makinson races away to score against Widnes

Keiron Cunningham wants his St Helens players to be at their lethal best when Wakefield visit Langtree Park on Friday.

The Wildcats haven’t registered a win since February 15, when they overturned Hull KR 44-24, and have lost their last nine Super League games in a row.

‘I want to get away from the whole touch and pass mentality’

Saints head coach Keiron Cunningham

But the Saints boss issued a warning that if his players treat the clash lightly an upset could be on the cards.

“There are no easy games in Super League anymore – there really isn’t and I think as the years go by fans are getting convinced of that,” said Cunningham.

“You look at the upsets you see across the board every week.

“We have to turn out and put in a good performance together for us as a team and a club – Wakefield can play rugby and they had 
Wigan squeaking a little bit at times.”

James Webster’s Wakefield, to the delight of Saints fans, raced into the lead inside the first minute against Wigan last week but eventually went down 40-22.

And Cunningham doesn’t want to see his side switch off in front of a home crowd as he looks for improvement on last week’s 34-16 win over Widnes – a win which saw them claim second place in the table back from the Warriors.

“I just want a complete performance from our players,” he said.

“I thought we weren’t far away against Widnes. I thought we attacked quite well at times but we looked really tired.

“But when we put our foot down a little bit we looked a different class to the opposition so I pleased with that. But it will be a massive mental challenge for us.”

Saints were pushed all the way at Wakefield in March, having to come from 12-6 down at half-time to eventually win 20-16, and with the teams below the champions wrestling for places, they can’t afford a slip this week.

A win will keep pressure on table toppers Leeds Rhinos, who face a trip to Huddersfield this coming weekend, and keeping calm and sticking to a game plan will stave off a major upset according to Cunningham.

“It will be an interesting game for us,” he admitted.

“We want to get away from the whole touch and pass mentality and we want to make it a tough game and be defensively really strong.”

“It’s all about us this week,” he added.