Cunningham brands Giants as ‘lucky’

St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham believes that Huddersfield Giants were “lucky” to have scored so many points against his team in Newcastle at the Magic Weekend.

The Giants beat Saints convincingly by 48 points to 20, but Cunningham felt that had fortune favoured his team a little more, the scoreline could have been different.

“You watch it back and you’re filled with almost anger towards what could have been and what you could have done,” he said.

“The game could have been flipped on its head and it could quite easily have been the other way. We had loads of opportunities with the ball in hand. I think we just let ourselves down defensively.

“I don’t think we worked hard enough in the right areas for long enough periods.

“We’ll play well for 15 or 20 minutes, and then go backwards defensively, then we’ll play well again, then we’ll go backwards a little bit.

“I’m just striving for that 80-minute complete performance that I know this side can bring to the table.

“If we’d have done that for large periods against Huddersfield then we’s win that game and win it comfortably.

“It seems crazy that the scoreline gets blown out at the end, and Huddersfield got really lucky with a lot of points that they scored.”

Cunningham does acknowledge, however, that his team need to work hard to improve their current poor form.

“Same as anything in rugby league – you do make your own luck,” he said.

“When things are going for you, it goes really well, and when it rains it pours almost.

“We’ve been on the other end of that with teams on many occasions.

“We’ve just got to take our medicine, and the thing that brings you through it all is hard work.

“As a club we’re working exceptionally hard – we’ll turn the corner.”

Cunningham did reserve some warm words for Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson, though, whose nickname is ‘Baloo’.

“I’m really pleased for Baloo,” he added.

“Baloo’s done it tough for large periods, and they’re probably in a spot that they didn’t need to be in.

“It was unjustified for them. So I’m glad they got the result.

“I did wish him all the best before the game, and I hoped he wasn’t too lucky!

“I saw him after the game, and I said, ‘you were too lucky!’

“They worked as hard as we do.

“Generally, as coaches, you break games down, and you look at all the percentages and break all the stats down.

“If you looked at the game and didn’t look at the result, you’d think it was an evenly matched, close game, that was going to be won or lost by six or 10 points.

“It was very, very even across the board.

“They did score some long-range tries. We made plenty of metres and got into the Huddersfield half on occasions, and we were in some really good spots to score tries.

“We just weren’t clinical enough.”

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