Cunningham: We still have a long way to go

Keiron Cunningham
Keiron Cunningham

Saints perch proudly on the Super League summit after 15 rounds of arguably the country’s toughest and intense sporting competition, making a mockery of suggestions in recent weeks that they were a club in turmoil.

A resounding 32-12 victory over Salford Red Devils at Langtree Park enabled them to leap-frog Leeds Rhinos at the head of the table following the Tykes 24-6 set back at Warrington Wolves on the same night.

Assistant coach Keiron Cunningham said: “It has been quite funny listening to people taking about us facing a crisis.

“We were in second place at the time and found it laughable but we just got our heads down.

“The lads work extremely hard on the training field and we go out and play as tough as we can, and hopefully we get the results.

“We are naturally delighted to top the table at this stage of the season but there is still a long way to go and we are not counting our chickens before they hatch.”

The players certainly responded to the challenge posed by a Salford side boasting tough-as-teak forwards Gareth Hock, Adrian Morley and Tony Puletua, as well as playmaker Rangi Chase.

None more so that Mark Flanagan, who is desperately trying to resurrect what has been an injury-plagued career at Langtree Park.

Cunningham said: “I thought our youngsters, Joe Greenwood, Anthony Walker, Greg Richards and Luke Thompson, were superb but for me Mark Flanagan was the best player on the field.

“The lad has been through a lot, sitting on the sidelines when others were fit and watching his team-mates run around the field, but he is the ultimate professional .

“He was given his chance and for the past two weeks has been outstanding, setting the standard to where we want to be as a club.”

Saints have collected 24 points - one more than the Rhinos - from their 15 league fixtures and two ahead of Castleord Tigers but now face an extended break before their next competitive encounter against the Catalan Dragons in the South of France on Saturday, June 14 - a match which will be screened live by Sky Sports 1 on the red button from 5pm.