Cunningham relishes Saints win

Published: Sunday 12th April 2015 by The News Editor

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St Helens head coach Keiron Cunningham admitted the win was all that mattered after his side dug deep to beat Huddersfield 11-8 and end a three-game losing run.

The Super League champions began their title defence with six straight victories but had seen their season stall after defeat by Hull KR was followed by Easter losses to Wigan and Hull FC.

When Leroy Cudjoe crossed amid a fast start by the Giants it looked like their losing streak would continue.

But, after Danny Brough’s penalty had given Huddersfield a 6-0 lead, Saints worked their way into the contest and drew level on the stroke of half-time through a converted Jordan Turner try.

Emotions ran high at the start of the second period as penalties came thick and fast, with Travis Burns and Brough exchanging two-pointers.

Luke Walsh coolly slotted over a drop goal on his return after a nine-month absence before another Burns penalty sealed Saints’ first league win at Huddersfield since 2010.

“It was a real scrappy game, like an old school dogfight up the middle,” said Cunningham, who revealed Matt Dawson was set for a spell on the sidelines after hobbling off in the first half.

“There wasn’t much skill or entertaining stuff going on and we just had to grind it out.

“Walshy did what Danny Brough has done all his life and brought us home.

“We weren’t very smart today but true determination, grit and togetherness got us through.

“It wasn’t the greatest game but we’ll take the points.”

Saints will have a golden opportunity to make ground on leaders Leeds when they entertain the Rhinos on Friday, a match Cunningham is relishing.

“We’ve got three games at Langtree Park now in front of a great set of fans, which always helps our cause,” he added.

“We look forward to the Leeds game. We feel like we’ve got a bit of a point to prove.

“It’s not a tough game for us to get up for because Leeds are sitting right on top of the tree at the minute.”

The result was a third defeat in a row for Huddersfield but Paul Anderson is not concerned by his side’s form.

“We’re fighting and scrapping, and getting some rewards off the back of our efforts, but we’re lacking a bit of composure and smartness in the right areas of the field,” the Giants head coach said.

“We’re not too far off. If we were getting pumped every week I’d be worried. But there were three points in it today, four the last game and six the one before.

“We’ve just got to keep our discipline and take our opportunities. At the end I thought we were trying to score all the time rather than staying nice and calm and waiting for opportunities to come.

“It was a scrappy game but you’ve got to grind it out.”

On referee James Child, who sin-binned Mose Masoe in a fiery second half, Anderson added: “He was shocking, like the game. We let the bloke in the middle affect us.”

Published: Sunday 12th April 2015 by The News Editor

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