Cunningham says established top four is thing of the past

St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham believes that the competitiveness which is on display throughout Super League in 2016 means that the top four is pretty much a thing of the past.

Cunningham’s Saints take on Catalans Dragons on Thursday night looking to move into the top four with victory against the high-flying Dragons at Langtree Park.

But Cunningham has admitted that there will be more wins and more losses to come for the Saints this season – admitting the competition is so even, it’s more like a “top 12” nowadays, not an established top four.

“There’s plenty of tough games along the way and we’re going to win plenty more and lose plenty more, that’s the way the competition is this year. It’s very even.

“Anybody that strings a few games together at the minute are shooting up the table. As you saw at the weekend, it seems like everybody is beating everybody. Your so-called top four are non existent any more. It’s the top 12.”

The Dragons will be without a specialist hooker for the match, after Eloi Pelissier picked up a two-match ban at an RFL tribunal on Tuesday night.

With Paul Aiton injured, it means the Dragons have a dilemma over who to play at hooker, but Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous has been boosted by the returns of Todd Carney, Remi Casty and Justin Horo.

Meanwhile, the Saints are hopeful of having prop Lama Tasi come back into the fray.