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St Helens

  • Makinson (2), Walker,
    Goals: Makinson,
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  • McGuire,
    Goals: Sinfield (3),
  • Super League
  • 28th Mar 2014
  • Expected to be shown on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD1
  • KO 20:00
  • Att: 13,788

Super League: St Helens assistant Keiron Cunningham elated after win over Leeds Rhinos

Last updated: 29th March 2014   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Brian McDermott Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott

 Keiron Cunningham St Helens Super Lge

Keiron Cunningham: Delighted with Saints' spirit

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St Helens assistant coach Keiron Cunningham claimed his depleted side's 14-10 Super League win over Leeds as one of the best in their recent history after retaining their perfect start to the season.

Saints overcame the absence of seven first-choice players through injury and suspension to condemn the Rhinos to their first defeat of the season.

Winger Tom Makinson grabbed two tries in the last 16 minutes to snatch a seventh consecutive win that maintains the only 100 per cent record in Super League.

"It probably goes down for me as one of the greatest wins," said Cunningham, the club's former captain and hooker, who is now assistant to head coach Nathan Brown.

"It's tough to think back as long as I've been here where we've dug ourselves out of a hole and hung in there.

"It was a great spectacle. It's why you understand it's the greatest game in the world."

Brown blooded the latest forward off the club's production line, 19-year-old Andre Savelio, while Cunningham believes the experience gained by inexperienced quartet Anthony Walker, Joe Greenwood, Luke Thompson and Greg Richards in an injury-ravaged 2013 paid off handsomely.

"We knew last year's pain was going to be worthwhile," he said. "We've built a great squad and the foundations of the club are very secure.

"We've always had a very good youth structure and it's paying off now.

"For those kids to stand up to a great Leeds side and win at the end of the day is fantastic."

At the other end of the age scale, it was a fitting way for 34-year-old Saints skipper Paul Wellens to mark his record-equalling 413th Super League appearance.

"Wello is just a true warrior," Cunningham said. "He's a leader and a role model for these kids."

'Fair result'

Leeds, who were able to bring back rested trio Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Tom Briscoe, twice held the lead, courtesy's of Danny McGuire's 250th try of his career and three goals from Sinfield, but, with the scores tied at 10-10, the skipper was wide with a drop goal attempt and it proved crucial.

"I thought Saints deserved their win," said Leeds coach Brian McDermott. "I didn't think there was much in it and I wouldn't have felt ashamed if we had won it. It was a fair result.

"It was a tough game and I thought Saints defended extremely well.

"Momentum is a club thing and they clearly had some momentum. Yes they were missing some people but I just knew the kids they brought in would do a good job."

The Rhinos were without hooker Paul Aiton after he went down with a virus and they lost second-rower Jamie Jones-Buchanan with a torn bicep at half-time.

"We all know Jonesy is a warrior but he bust his bicep in the first 15 minutes and carried on," McDermott said. "Our physio said at half-time if I left him on he it would be a rupture and a six month job so we kept him off for the second half but it was a huge effort."

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Super League Table

Super League Table - July 27 2014
Pos Team P Pts
1 St Helens 22 34
2 Leeds Rhinos 22 32
3 Wigan Warriors 22 30
4 Castleford Tigers 22 30
5 Warrington Wolves 22 28
6 Huddersfield Giants 22 28
7 Catalan Dragons 22 23
8 Widnes Vikings 22 21
9 Hull K R 22 20
10 Wakefield Wildcats 22 19
11 Salford Red Devils 22 17
12 Hull FC 22 16
13 Bradford Bulls * 22 4
14 London Broncos 22 0
Forthcoming Super League Fixtures
TimeFixture
Super League
Thursday 31st July
20:00Wigan vs Salford
Friday 1st August
20:00Hull vs St Helens
20:00Catalan Dragons vs Warrington
20:00Leeds vs Bradford
Sunday 3rd August
15:00Widnes vs Hull K R
15:00Wakefield vs Huddersfield
15:30Castleford vs London Broncos
Thursday 14th August
20:00Hull K R vs Wigan
Friday 15th August
20:00Salford vs Catalan Dragons
20:00Warrington vs Castleford

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