St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham has revealed that he felt an “air of complacency” amongst his group before their comprehensive defeat to Salford on Thursday night.
The Saints were thumped 44-10 just one week away from their World Club Series showdown with Sydney Roosters, and Cunningham made the shock admission that he felt the Saints were complacent pre-match at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Cunningham was also quick to play down speculation that next week’s Sydney clash was on their mind.
“I wouldn’t have thought Sydney was an issue,” he said.
“We only looked at last week’s game and this one in the build-up to tonight, so I’m not sure that had an impact.
“You could smell an air of complacency about the place before the game – I spoke to the staff and mentioned I was worried about it, but once they’re ready to cross the line, it’s a little bit too late.”
The Saints lost centre Mark Percival to a knee injury during the second half, and as well as admitting that blow “didn’t look good” – he also revealed James Roby is unlikely to be fit in time for the Roosters game.
“I’m not sure about Percy yet; we don’t know the severity of it at the moment – but it doesn’t rain, it pours. It’s an unfortunate blow; he’s got a knee injury and we’ve got to get it checked, but I’m sure it won’t be good,” he said.
“Roby probably won’t play; we’re not 100 per cent sure, though. I don’t want to risk him if he’s not fully fit.
“We’ll respond next week; the disappointing thing for me as that as a coach, I thought I’d got some consistency in the place. As a coach all you strive for is consistency, and there’s nothing I can say that will make me or any of my players feel any worse than what we already do.”