Mike Rush bemoans poor start against Wigan


St Helens acting head coach Mike Rush made no excuses for his side’s poor start to their 42-16 loss to Wigan.

Rush was unhappy with his side’s performance in the opening 25 minutes, with St Helens trailing 26-0.

He said: “We just weren’t there in that first 20 minutes and it is impossible to tell you why as it is Saints v Wigan. It is a derby game and therefore we should have no excuse for not being there in the first 20 minutes.

“We looked shattered and when we got the ball we went one out and a kick as we were tired. It is hard if a side does as well as that to get back into it, and we just didn’t get into it.

“The short turnaround from Monday made no issue. But everything we did well on Monday night we undid today. That’s frustrating.”

Rush went onto praise his opposition for their performance, and was full of admiration for Sam Tomkins who appeared to dominate the match for the Cherry and Whites.

Rush said: “To be fair they were excellent in the first 25 minutes. We hadn’t really had a crack at them. They completed sets, and Sam Tomkins was great on the edge.

“I think we completed our first five or six sets (in the first 20 minutes) but it didn’t matter as we didn’t do anything to stem that flow against us. At that point they’d had 14 sets and we had about seven and you can’t play rugby like that.”

Rush was also anticipating the RFL’s judiciary panel, after Shaun Magennis was dismissed after appearing to be caught brawling with Wigan’s Chris Tuson.

Rush failed to comment on the brawl, but said: “Once it started tempers went. No doubt we will all be at Red Hall on Tuesday.”