James Roby is now one of the top three hookers in the world – that’s the view of Keiron Cunningham, who lavished praise on the England international after Friday’s play-off victory against Castleford Tigers.
Roby inspired the Saints to an emphatic 41-0 victory against the Tigers, leaving Cunningham to describe Roby’s recent performances as “incredible”.
“He’s been outstanding all season, but the last three weeks have been something else,” said Cunningham.
“I’m not a big fan of statistics but, if you read his stats over the last three weeks, it’s incredible.
“There’s not a player like him in the world who can do what he does and still perform to that level. He’s making 65 tackles and 200-plus metres every single week – there’s not a hooker in the world who can even come close to that.
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“I’ve done a lot of work with Robes, just trying to round off his game completely. He’s up there now, he’s definitely in the top three in the world – without a doubt.”
Cunningham also pointed to St Helens’ 17-16 defeat against Huddersfield two weeks ago as a positive, helping to ready them for the intensity of the play-offs.
“We toughed it out (against Huddersfield), and it was probably the only loss that’s felt like a win,” he said.
“What happened at Huddersfield was good for the players, because they ground that out and it put us in a bit of a play-off mentality.
“The luxury of being a coach is that you can use video as a tool, and show them all the great things they’ve done in a game.”