ACTING head coach Mike Rush looked mentally drained as he tried to explain why Saints had come close to surrendering a massive
lead in Saturday’s Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth round tie at Widnes.
Rush experienced both the highs and lows of a game in which
his red-hot favourites led 40-16 after 52 minutes and 40-22 with only seven minutes remaining but came within a whisker of being forced into golden point extra-time.
Finding it difficult to contain his emotions, he said: “We were very poor in the final 15 minutes and went missing.
“Having James Roby sin-binned didn’t help but we panicked a little bit and will have to take a good look at ourselves in the mirror.
“Our kicking game, too, was a little bit awash and we also tried to solve problems as individuals rather than as a collective.
Rush said: “When leading 40-16, we may have thought it was enough but had Patrick Ah Van not failed with one of his three kicks late on we could have been in trouble.
“We were guilty of switching off and lacking concentration but we have to be better than this and hopefully we will learn from the experience.”
He went on: “It is not the kind of standards we set at St Helens and at this moment the lads in the dressing room are not suffering from relief but just disappointment at their overall performance.”