Cunningham bemoans Saints’ missed chances

St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham was left frustrated by the manner of his team’s defeat to Wigan on Good Friday.

Saints lost a closely fought tussle 12-4, and Cunningham felt that had the bounce of the ball gone differently on a couple of occasions, things might have worked out better for his team.

“You’ve got to take your chances in rugby,” he said.

“They get the chargedown from the first set of the game, and then towards the end they get the kick that sits in the mud.

“On a different pitch it might have been a different result with that try.

“It was unfortunate, and we were just a little bit short in certain departments.

“It wasn’t for a lack of effort. We had halfbacks who weren’t used to playing with each other, or who haven’t played with each other for a long time, so we’ll get out on the training field and try and improve a touch.

“It was a typical Saints – Wigan derby, and it probably could have gone either way.

“You could probably say at points in that game that it didn’t deserve a loser.

“It was a great tussle and a great game of rugby league. It was a great spectacle.”

Injuries have begun to bit deep into the St Helens squad, with some key players absent going into Monday’s game against Hull FC.

Despite the adversity a depleted squad brings, Cunningham is in no doubt about the character of his players.

“They hurt you, they really hurt you,” Cunningham replied, when asked how injuries had affected his team.

Joe Greenwood‘s been in immense form early in the season. Then he hurts his arm, and comes back after a couple of weeks and then goes off with a leg injury.

“The kid’s been in super form. You want these kids playing in the game for a long time.

“Then ‘Wello’ (Paul Wellens) comes off just after half-time. It was always going to be a gamble with Paul, but we were down on troops and we needed to make a sensible decision based on where we were at.

“I thought it was a sensible decision. Even at half-time, I knew he wasn’t right, but he went out and had a crack for me.

“That just shows the character of the guy. He never wanted to lie down and I virtually had to drag him off the field to get some formations back right.

“It hurt us, but at the end of the day it is only a game. It’s two points, and we would have liked to have got them, but I’m sure we will have another crack at Wigan at some point.”

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