Leeds Rhinos: Saints boss Cunningham aims to wipe smiles off detractors’ faces

Keiron Cunningham
Keiron Cunningham
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COACH KEIRON Cunningham says Leeds Rhinos will face a revitalised St Helens side at Headingley Carnegie tonight.

Saints have had two weeks to prepare, since a home defeat by Huddersfield Giants and Cunningham said: “The team have had a bit of a break. They came back in at the end of last week, then had the weekend off and when they came back this week they looked revitalised. The break has definitely been good for us. We have had a bit of a hangover since the Challenge Cup semi-final and we’ve not quite been at the races, but we aren’t far off – a try here or there off, whether that’s defensively or on attack.

“Everybody seems very dour about the situation we’re in and everybody’s written us off, saying our season is derailed, but we’re quite happy about that.

“We want to be underdogs and we want everybody to write us off. We want to wipe the smirk off a lot of people’s faces.”

Leeds have beaten Saints three times already this year, including the Cup semi-final. Cunningham said: “They are definitely the benchmark in the competition. They are a great team, with some really good leaders.

“We’ve been in that situation, where you almost feel untouchable. They have hit a really good purple patch and they are in good form at the minute.

“This year Leeds’ back-five is probably the best in the world, not just in Britain. They have got strike across the board and they play carefree and chuck the ball around. They are a hard team to defend against. You have just got to stay in the game. The longer you’re in the game against Leeds, the more opportunities you’re going to have.”