Trinity were defeated 48-10 away to the Betfred Super League leaders and Cup favourites and Brough insisted: “We had some great efforts.”
But he accepted: “Obviously we didn’t control the ball and Saints are a quality attacking team.
“I think at half-time they were at 100 per cent completions and the scoreline showed that.
“That’s what happens – if you do four good tackles and clock off one they are going to catch you. That’s what good teams do.”
Trinity competed hard at the start of both halves, but Saints ground them down and then cut loose to run in a total of eight tries.
“We had a dig,” Brough added.
“We thought we had a chance and when we got back to 26-10 we thought we still had a big chance, but we had two sets with the ball and dropped it early and if you do that you’re going to get punished by a quality team.
“That’s what happened. Good luck to St Helens, they deserved the win and that’s part and parcel of rugby league.”
The Cup tie was Brough’s first game since suffering a fractured thumb in a home league win over Wigan on April 12 and he admitted he was well below his best.
He said: “It is great to be back, but my contacts were way off and a bit of distribution.
“But it was my first game back and hopefully now I can concentrate on Super League and try and get us in the top-five.
“We will get better. We’ve been a bit inconsistent with team selection, with players being injured and in and out so we’ve just got to concentrate now on moving forward and being a consistent team week in and week out.”
Brough confirmed he came through the game unscathed and will be available for Friday’s derby at home to Leeds Rhinos – a team he traditionally shines against.
“It’s not bad,” he said of the damaged hand.
“There’s a bit of pain now, but hopefully it’ll be good for this week.”