Cunningham gunning for second place

St Helens head coach Keiron Cunningham has not given up on his side finishing second in Super League.

Saints can secure their place in the play-offs with victory over Castleford on Thursday and could leapfrog rivals Wigan if they beat the Tigers by 14 points or more.

Despite being ruled out of the title picture a couple of months ago, a strong run of form has seen them narrow the gap between themselves and the pacesetters at the top of the table.

They are now five points behind league leaders Warrington with three games to play. However, Saints have so-called easier fixtures in their final three games, with Castleford, Widnes and Wakefield up next, while the teams above them must still play each other.

As a result, Cunningham is hopeful that his side could still secure second place and a home tie in the play-offs.

“I will have to see what the rest of the comp is doing around us before I make any decisions what we do (in the last two matches), he told the St Helens Star.

“It is not just about securing fourth, I think we did that a few weeks ago, but if we can give ourselves a better shot at things we will keep on fighting hard.

“Teams have got to play each other and so that means second place is up for grabs.

“It only takes one of them to stumble and anything is attainable.”

Cunningham welcomes back Luke Walsh and Luke Thompson for the clash, however he admits that Walsh might not make an immediate return.

“It does pose a selection conundrum. Tommo will be the easy one because we are light in that department so he comes straight back in.

“Luke Walsh not played for two weeks, whereas Theo Fages had not played for nine

“But the Walsh, JT, Jonny Lomax, Jon Wilkin, James Roby combination was one of the best spines in the comp last month.”