Justin Holbrook: We were poor and got what we deserved

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook said he was devastated and shattered following their Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to Catalans.

The Saints were favourites to lift the Challenge Cup this year but were knocked out after losing 35-16 to the Dragons at the University of Bolton Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Holbrook admitted that he was disappointed with his side’s performance.

He said: “There were too many errors in the first half from us.

“We tried to outplay them from the start of the game but we played into their hands instead. If you give them too much ball then they will hurt you and they did that.

“I hadn’t been planning on having to pick the players up. The easy answer would be for me to say we are fine and all the rest of it but I don’t know – I’m shattered and devastated. It will hurt more when we wake up but I am not sure how we will react from this.

“We made a couple of uncharacteristic errors late in the game as we were chasing our tail because of what we did in the first half. We were poor and got what we deserved.”

Holbrook praised the French side on their display and said they were worthy winners.

He added: “They ran really hard and got through all of their sets and we did the opposite.

“We played into their hands but full credit to them, they dominated us completely in the second half.

“Catalans controlled it really well. We were run off our feet with our sin-binning and the two tries just before half-time made it really hard for us.

“We are a good side but we were poor. We are still a good side and we will be okay. It just hurts at the moment.”

St Helens will now turn their sole focus on the Super 8s, with them sitting 10 points above second-placed Wigan Warriors in the Super League table.

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