Saints lost a thriller of a semi-final to Leeds last week, and Cunningham also paid tribute to the Rhinos and their coach, Brian McDermott, as well as departing players Jamie Peacock, Kyle Leuluai and Kevin Sinfield.
\”It is difficult to win the Challenge Cup, back up and win the Shield and then get into the Final – it is testament to Leeds because they have done the unthinkable,\” he told Saints\’ official website.
\”They have a good shot at it now but Wigan are a good side too and it I\’m sure it will be another slug fest.
\”All credit to them for doing it – I\’m pleased for Brian Mc and the likes of JP, Kylie and Kevin – they are legends of the game.\”
Cuningham felt that the clash with Leeds, which ended 20-13 to the Rhinos, was as good a game as he had seen.
He also affirmed that Saints would be after the big prize again next season, with added intensity.
\”It was a game worthy of the Old Trafford stage. The system has been brought in to create games like that. It would have been good to be a neutral – it was a great game of rugby,\” he said.
\”I am proud of the players with how they have handled things. We\’ve had people playing out of position for me all year, it\’s just a shame we couldn\’t end on a high.
\”We\’ve been the bridesmaid twice this year – let\’s be the bride next year.\”