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Break will help Saints recharge their batteries for battles to come
SAINTS boss Mike Rush believes this weekend’s break is just what his players need as the top teams begin to focus on the business end of the season.
The earlier Challenge Cup dismissal has given Saints a rare opportunity to take a break from the action as they fix their sights on a top-four finish. Although Saints’ five match unbeaten run has seen them climb to third in the table - admittedly sneaking through the last two.
Rush believes his side have escaped a tricky July period – where fatigue and international duty have taken their toll – better than most.
He said: “If you look at all the games in this period there have been some strange results – Wigan, Huddersfield and Warrington - and we have come through it best of all the clubs.
“We could have dropped points but we haven’t. It is that awkward period where blokes have played 24 rounds already.
“It is hard to be flat-lining as excellent all the way through. I do think it will pick up and start surging again and playing themselves into some sort of form.
“Hopefully this weekend – as much as I would love to be in the Challenge Cup – will give them the opportunity to recharge their batteries.”
Saints have a massive game next up with the clash against the robust and dynamic Catalan Dragons a week on Friday.
Rush revealed that the television scheduling – even though it was done quite early – had caused them problems.
“We booked all the accommodation and flights based on Saturday game (based on the initial list) which would have given us a full day to rest after travelling. But then the RFL brought the game forward for SKY five weeks later.
“Because of the number of Saints fans that travel we booked early, flying Thursday and returning Sunday to make sure we did not get caught out,” he said.
Rush is keen to make sure the team has its destiny in its own hands going into the last month and was pleased with the resilience shown at Widnes.
That game produced a few controversial moments – particularly Lance Hohaia’s disallowed try.
“I have checked the video – spoke to Lance and the players and every single one are convinced he got he got the ball down. If you watch the video the in-goal touch judge clearly says ‘it’s a try’.
“Perhaps our win shows that we are getting back to where we want to be. Widnes.
“We had 1minute 30 seconds on that clock and we had 13 blokes who still believed they were going to win,” he said.