LMS pace a real asset for Cunningham and Saints

St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham is delighted to have a prop who can run as quickly as Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.

‘LMS’ has moved around the park in recent times, popping up in the back row and at centre, as well as in the middle unit.

Saints’ win at Wakefield last Thursday was marked by the Londoner making a lightning 70 metre break which led to a try in the second half, and his coach sees that speed as a real asset.

“Louie’s up there with the quickest in the side, even though he’s a front rower,” said Cunningham.

“He’s always had good leg speed. When he was at London we knew he was quick, but we didn’t actually know how quick he was.

“He seems to be getting faster and faster.

“It does help him when he moves out to back row or centre, that leg speed gets him out of trouble.

“When he gets in open he takes some chopping down.

“It’s always good to have a front rower who can run that quick.”

Cunningham was delighted with the way his team performed as a whole against Wakefield, with injury to players severely reducing his bench options.

The spirit his players showed in coping with the extra workload, and still winning the game, impressed the Saints coach.

“The players were phenomenal,” he said.

“You could tell what it meant to them at half-time with the looks on everybody’s faces and the words that were spoken by the players.

“You genuinely knew what they wanted to do.

“I thought that, preparation-wise, they were physically and mentally ready for the game.

“I think we probably would have posted a big score on Wakefield that day, the boys were ready.

“But unfortunately you lose players, and then it’s backs against the wall, and it’s adversity time.

“They responded really well. It’s stuff you can’t do on a training field. You can’t prepare for stuff like that.

“That’s just true grit and determination.”

The Saints coach acknowledged how tough it was for him to have to juggle his options when injuries struck, and was delighted with the way his pack responded to the situation.

“It’s really difficult,” he said.

“I’ve got the luxury of players who can play in numerous positions. I just had to try and think of what I could do to make the second half as comfortable as possible.

“We changed a few things, attacking-wise, at half-time, to help us out. The defensive side was just pure heart – it was determination, want and will.

“They did a super job, and they still should have scored a few more tries.

“I think the whole forward pack was phenomonal. You could go through them all, they were all super.

“They really led from the front, and it helped our backs out a lot.”




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