Justin Holbrook: St Helens lads are doing it tough as they should

Justin Holbrook
Justin Holbrook
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The unswerving loyalty of Saints' army of fans can never be questioned, even in the most trying and testing circumstances and confronted by mission impossible.

Watching their heroes trailing by an embarrassing 29-0 score line to the Catalans Dragons in the early second-half minutes of Sunday's Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final showdown at Bolton, they could be excused had they thrown in the towel at that point.

But, instead, they continued to roar on their favourites as if they had a realistic chance of turning the tables and should be commended for their almost blind faith on an afternoon which turned into a nightmare in every sense of the word.

Now it is just as important that they repeat their vocal backing on Friday night when Huddersfield Giants - beaten only once in their last 10 outings - arrive at the Totally Wicked Stadium in the Super 8s.

Saints may have already booked themselves a spot in the semi-final stages of the competition without playing a match so far in the Super 8s but they will need to get back on the horse as quickly as possible and erase the bitter memories of their cup exit.

It is vital if dented confidence is to be restored in the camp and at the same time assure the players the team is nowhere near as poor as they appeared at the weekend.

Head coach Justin Holbrook said: '' I'm glad there is only a few days between fixtures which will give us a chance to bounce back and it is the only positive I can think of at this moment in time.'

"The players are naturally all disappointed by the cup defeat and so, too, is all the staff and fans.

''We all knew how much it meant to them to get to Wembley, not having been there since 2008. I understand that, as do the players, but unfortunately we couldn't achieve our goal.

“Even at half-time, as bad as we had played up to that point, we were still confident we could win because we’ve got confidence in our team.
But as the time drifted away in the last 10 minutes we knew the task was impossible.

“The lads are doing it tough as they should. I want them to feel that way. I don’t want them to brush it aside.

“If it had been a Super 8s game, we’d have been able to pick ourselves up quickly, but unfortunately it wasn’t. It was a Challenge Cup semi final and I'm still hurting.

''We made far too many errors and the Catalans took full advantage of the situation. We tried to fight back in the second half but it was
too big a task."