Cunningham admits St Helens are dejected after Souths thrashing

St Helens head coach Keiron Cunningham has revealed that his players are massively disappointed by their performance against South Sydney in the World Club Challenge.

Saints lost the game 39-0, and Cunningham was frustrated by the pattern and outcome of the game.

“They’re a great side, they took every single opportunity and scored a try. I feel for my players – they’re dejected,” he told reporters after the game.

“Every opportunity we had, something happened where it just didn’t quite go our away.

“You make your own luck in rugby league but unfortunately we couldn’t make our own luck today,” he added to BBC Radio Merseyside.

“I’m deeply disappointed, but that is rugby league.

“The higher you go up the tree the tougher the competition is, the more clinical you’ve got to be, and unfortunately we left our worst performance of the season until tonight.

“They know they’re better than that and can perform better than that and I genuinely feel for them.

“We got schooled by the best side in the world. If we have to learn a good lesson from today’s game it is sometimes you have to lose in a big fashion to learn some lessons.

“We did early season – when we lost in the friendly – and we came back stronger. This will be a good education for my players, especially the younger players.”

Cunningham also expressed reservations about the way the match was officiated.

“At the start of the game, I wasn’t sure what set of rules we were playing to – we were playing to international rules but they certainly weren’t the ones I read – but the first 20 hurt us pretty bad,” he aaid.

“When you are playing against the best sides in the world you cannot afford to get off to starts like that.

“We knew what they were going to do and didn’t counteract it. They completed at the high percentage and we didn’t.

“Our middle played great all night; they worked hard, hung on in there, but our edges were horrible.”

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