Big task ahead for Rush

Tom Makinson is collared by Sam Tomkins
Tom Makinson is collared by Sam Tomkins

CARETAKER boss Mike Rush faces a second test of their management skills this week – lifting his players after a numbing Carnegie Challenge Cup defeat against Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium last Saturday.

He will, however, have the benefit of a few extra days to restore confidence in the camp, and also attempt to iron out the problems which shattered their Wembley dreams, due to the next fixture at Leeds Rhinos having been switched to Monday night.

But instilling confidence in the players is nothing new to Rush and his assistant Keiron Cunningham, who found themselves in a similar situation earlier this season when head coach Royce Simmons was shown the exit door following a string of unacceptable defeats.

At the same time, Saints will be going nowhere if they can’t improve on what, in general, was an inept performance at the DW Stadium.

And they will need of find another couple of gears at Headingley where Leeds have only lost to Super League title chasers Huddersfield Giants this season, and will be thirsting to avenge the 46-6 drubbing at Langtree Park.

“We’ll need to be much smarter offensively against Leeds than we were at Wigan if we want to succeed at Headingley,” said Rush.

“It may have been good enough to overcome some teams, but you are not going to beat highly competitive outfits like Wigan, Huddersfield Giants and Catalans Dragons with offence like that.

“There were moments when we definitely looked the better team, but we didn’t take our opportunity after line breaks, and that’s crucial in big games of this kind.

“I thought are last players option weren’t great, but at the same time I felt we were pretty good defensively.”

n Tickets for the Roses clash are still on sale at Langtree Park.

Standing prices are £20 (£13 concessions, £12 juniors), and seating is £27 (£19 concessions, £18 juniors).