Cunningham slams young halves

A lack of experience in the halves was clearly evident after Saints’ inability to see out the game against Wakefield, according to St Helens head coach Keiron Cunningham.

Trinity snatched a 16-12 victory at the Totally Wicked Stadiums thanks to a late penalty try from Jacob Miller.

Theo Fages and Danny Richardson were Saints’ halfbacks last night.

“A senior halfback tonight would’ve brought the game home for us especially when we were 12-10 in front,” Cunningham said.

“Nobody mentions that you’re missing one of the best halfbacks in the competition, who is sat on the side line because someone broke his leg.

“Matty [Smith] will be back soon enough and we’ve got to try and persevere and chuck some people around and make some stuff work for us.”

Cunningham was frustrated with video referee Phil Bentham’s decision to overrule James Child’s call of no try, which handed Wakefield the win.

“I thought the rule for a penalty try was that he’s got to be guaranteed to be scoring the try,” he said.

“That was my understanding whether I’ve got it wrong or not I’m not sure.”

Cunningham was also critical of the start his team made and warned of changes ahead of their next match away to Hull FC.

The hosts registered their first points five minutes before the interval.

“I thought our start was really poor today,” he added.

“I keep talking about energy battles and we just lacked a real sense of intensity about us because we just couldn’t build any momentum at all.

“It needs to be addressed and the only way to do that is player selection because it’s the same crew that keep coming up with them for us.”

St Helens have lost two of their opening three matches and came through with a narrow opening day win against Leeds, but Cunningham is not panicking about the progress.

“I’m not concerned,” he said.

“We get in front during the game and you should bring it home.”

Zeb Taia made his St Helens debut in the defeat to Wakefield and Cunningham was pleased with the attitude he showed after arriving from Australia just a few days ago.

The 32-year old has joined the Super League side on a two-year deal from the Gold Coast Titans with Joe Greenwood moving in the opposition direction.

“I thought it was a credit to him to play how we played considering he’s just jumped off a plane,” he added.

“He’s stepped off a plane halfway through the week and doesn’t know the calls or anything about how we play.

“He just understands rugby and he’s definitely going to be a big asset for us.”


  1. Why blame the halfs Theo put Percy in for his trys , What Saints are short of is a leader a captain to take them round the field thats something we have not got sick to death of Cunningham covering up for Wilkin was a decent player a few years ago but thats gone now even he admits he is not the player he was in the national press and Captain never sorry but its the truth and tactics five runs up the middle and a kick boring and so predictable

  2. Well done Keiron,that comment should really boost the confidence of the young halfbacks.You need to have a real hard look at the WHOLE team before apportioning blame on individuals.The WHOLE team is pathetic,no direction,no leadership,no heart for the fight.You only wake up for ten minute intervals then go back to sleep.RUBBISH TEAM.

  3. No doubting Keirons talent as a player but he can’t half moan when his team lose. All teams have dubious decisions against them but accept it as part of the game.

    • what a surprise cunningham complaining again,it WAS a Penalty try, but he conveniently forgets about the 2 decitions that went Saints way(that should not have been given) and Saints scored tries of the back of both Decisions,with respect all you saints fans get a coach who knows HOW to coach and less whinging
      and you might stop being the laughing stock of Super League

  4. Being a good player does not guarantee a good coach in rugby league or any sport, and that is clearly evident with Cunningham, he is forward influenced, he has made bad signings, put players in wrong positions, when were Saints last exciting.

    For me Roby is a better all round hooker than Cunningham was, will he get a statue built before he finishes playing? have a new housing estate names after him, how does a club now sack someone who is simply not good enough with all these tributes to him as if he was a god?

  5. Needs to drop players,make a Stance and stop playing his mates. 5 tackles and bomb no good,3 tackles and kick only to put them on there own 40yard line. Wilkin should be a 20 min player like Roby, wikin he’s playing out of position, stop winging about decisions, if that was the other way around he be saying it was right, if you upset him and don’t brown nose he get rid of u that’s how it seems to me, boring rather go and watch haydock play with passion

  6. every thing we do we do on the cheap last season Cunningham moaning about never being able to sell players and use the money so they just allow Greenwood to leave and take a thirty Two year old in his place which fits in with the likes of Lee Walker Douglas who have been signed for their experience yeah it really shows

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