Cunningham felt that Widnes adjusted to the way the game was being officiated far more readily than his team did on Sunday in the Challenge Cup quarter-final.
Although his team won, the Saints coach felt that his team could have been smarter in their approach.
“They really did play the referee a lot better than we did,” said Cunnningham.
“The referee did a great job and he let the game flow well, but the rucks were really slow.
“We should have responded better as a team, and we didn’t.
“Then we were on the back foot all the time, and Widnes were set waiting ready to go.
“It’s probably one of the slowest rucks we’ve had all year. We just didn’t respond well enough.”
The Saints coach did think that his team deserved their win in the end, though he also had plenty of praise for the Vikings.
“That last 30 minutes I thought we were deserved winners of the game,” he added.
“We really brought it home strongly.
“I’ve got to admire what Denis Betts does with his team, and the intent he gives his team. They’ve got some great players there.
“This time it was close to the death.”