Saints break before final run-in

Keiron Cunningham
Keiron Cunningham

The Saints players have been given a few days break this week - a chance to recharge their batteries ahead of the business end of the season in which the top target will be a second Grand Final triumph in the past three years.

Many pundits have already written off coach Keiron Cunningham’s boys, even before the Super 8s get under way, on the evidence of an

We are a big club with big ambitions so hopefully we can build on our last win and spring to the next level

Keiron Cunningham

inconsistent campaign to date .

Fifth-placed Saints are currently 10 points adrift of leaders Hulll FC, eight behind second-placed Wigan Warriors, and trail both Warrington Wolves and Catalans Dragons by six as the regular season draws to a close.

To whittle away this kind of deficit to earn at least a top four spot and a semi-final date is already a mountainous task.

But coach Cunningham still believes that lost ground can be made up and the 48-16 home win over Hull KR last week was the kind of fillip needed to boost confidence in the camp.

He said: “Sometimes we have been our own worst enemy this year but there is still a fair bit of the season still to go.

“Consistency has always been the key, which we have lacked a little for one reason or another, but on the back of the win over the Robins hopefully we can kick on.

“Our ambition is still a top four spot because, as a club, we never shoot any lower.

“We are a big club with big ambitions so hopefully we can build on our last win and spring to the next level.”

Whether the break between fixtures will be sufficient for play maker Luke Walsh to recover from a leg injury in time to face Wakefield Trinity Wildcats at Belle Vue on Sunday, July 3, is still in the melting pot.

Cunningham said: “The break definitely helps our injury situation but at this stage all I can say we are hoping Walshy will be back soon.

“However, I am not going to pin the season on bringing him back and we will go with what we’ve got. Skipper Jon Wilkin and Jordan Turner didn’t do a bad job at half back against Hull KR.”

The Saints’ boss also gleaned some other positives from the performances of four-try winger Adam Swift and prop Alex Walmsley.

“Swifty has been through the mill during the last month or so with up and down performances, dictated by the way the team was going but he really shook off the shackles and when in this kind of form demonstrated what he can offer us.

“There was lots of other good performance but I was particularly pleased with Big Al. It was great to see him back in full flight because he has been trying really hard.”