KEIRON Cunningham says its been a tough few days

first_imgKEIRON Cunningham says it’s been a tough few days at Saints as he prepares his charges for the Super 8s clash with Huddersfield tomorrow (Thursday).“It’s been a tough week,” he said. “It never gets any easier watching a defeat and when your players don’t perform to their standards. A lot of things can come out of a defeat though and you can learn more from those experiences than when you win.“It gave me the chance to get a good look at the players who want to stand up and graft and to be fair I probably didn’t praise some of them after the game. There were a few that really busted their backsides for me and wanted to win as they do week in week out. It is the guys who didn’t do that and finding out why they didn’t and discovering their motives now and to the end of the year.“There were a few home truths as I really expected the players to rise to the occasion on Friday and have a crack. But I thought we just did enough in the first half. Hull had a go in the second to see how we would respond and we didn’t. That lack of response concerned me. We had a real tough day at training on Monday and we will see what happens.”He continued: “I’ll shoulder every bit of blame there could possibly be for the performance of the side. I’ve not changed what I have been doing. Me and my coaching staff still work as hard as we ever do. We give the players the information they need and make them better players.“But sometimes you can’t give them will and want. Sometimes I wish I could take the field and lead by example. When they cross the field my job is kind of done but their lack of will and want surprised me and everyone. You can learn a lot from a loss and hopefully this has given us a kick up the backside for the rest of the season.“After the weekend I saw the response I wanted to see from all my senior players and hopefully we can kick on now.“The players understand the situation, where we are at and what could happen if we do the right things. That is the motivation.”Saints take on Huddersfield this Thursday and it’s fair to say games between the two sides have been humdingers over recent seasons.Twice Luke Walsh has dropped a goal to take the spoils for Saints.“They are a real good side,” Keiron added. “They have a big pack and lots of strike over the field. Joe Wardle is one of my favourite players and he deserves an international call up. He is a back rower who adds so much venom to the side. Danny Brough is underrated too and is one of the best organisers and kickers in the comp.“They are a well organised and drilled side. It is always a tussle with them that goes down to the finest of margins.”Tommy Makinson was named in the 19 man squad this week and should return if he continues to progress and tick all the boxes following his leg break in June.The game comes a little early for Captain Jon Wilkin though – he should return against Leeds in September whilst Atelea Vea is progressing well.Tickets for Thursday’s home game with Huddersfield are now on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

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DAVY RUSSELL Punchestown Festival Thursday

first_imgTougher day at Punchestown on the second day but the racing is just so competitive. Delta Work ran his heart out in the Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle but I couldn’t quite peg back Next Destination – one of SIX winners on the card for Willie Mullins – not a bad day at the office !I have five booked rides at Punchestown on Thursday. I checked the weather forecast tonight and there seems to be plenty more showers on their way.ThursdayPUNCHESTOWNTYCOON PRINCE (4.15pm)As in previous seasons his form just seems to taper off and he will need to be on his game to figure in this competitive handicap chase. I was onboard when he won a beginners chase at Leopardstown over Christmas but his form in 2018 has dropped. With the Mullins horses running so well I can see one of their outsiders Townshend being a danger despite coming into this having been pulled up in the Grand Annual at Cheltenham. He never jumped at Cheltenham and that’s usually his strength so if he can sort that department out he could run well.DIAMOND CAUCHOIS (5.30pm Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle)Has had a brilliant season so far and stays this three mile trip well. Am encouraged to see more rain on the horizon for this one as the softer the better. In fact ‘borderline unraceable’ would be his perfect going! Again, I’d be most worried about a Willie Mullins trained runner. This time Bacardys who was just getting into it in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham before meeting interference and then falling at the last. He won the Champion Novice Hurdle at this meeting last year and even though Penhill will be many peoples idea of the winner I think Bacardys can run a big race.GUN DIGGER (6.05pm)Just the 25 runners here and it’s as competitive a race as you will see all week. My fella has blinkers on for the first time as he has a habit of switching on and off in his races so hopefully they will help him concentrate. That said, he’s had a pretty good season and is another that won’t mind any more rain. Folsom Blue has been going really well over the larger obstacles and switches back to hurdles where he has a 16lb lower rating so is one of many dangers lurking.PETIT MOUCHOIR (6.40pm Ryanair Novice Chase)I was disappointed to only finish second to Diego Du Charmil in the Doom Bar at Aintree but he got very wound up in the preliminaries so it goes without saying that he needs to put that behind him. He will need to bring his A game to the table and frankly Footpad his B game as I’ve got ground to make up on the favourite from both the Arkle Chases at Cheltenham and Leopardstown. He would also ideally want drying ground which I don’t think we are going to get. He’s definitely up against up.MOONLIGHT ESCAPE (7.15pm)She switches back to hurdles after unseating on her chasing debut at Limerick and looks in at the deep end here. It looks wide open mares novice hurdle with Glens Harmony looking the obvious one.Best Of LuckDAVY YOUR SAYIf you have a question for Davy drop us a line at [email protected] and we’ll try and include in the next blog…last_img read more

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