SAINTS coach Justin Holbrook says he has no regrets with his team’s preparation for the Challenge Cup semi-final.

The red vee men, Super League’s runaway leaders, crashed and burned 35-16 in the Bolton heat against a Catalans Dragons side rejuvenated under Steve McNamara.

In the wake of the heartbreaking loss, as Holbrook looked to make sense of how his side failed to deliver he was adamant he would not have done anything differently in the build-up.

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That includes selection of a full-strength side against arch-rivals Warrington Wolves 10 days earlier, while the French outfit had rested a number of key personnel against Wigan.

“Warrington went full battle with us and they won by 50 at the weekend,” said Holbrook.

“With it being a long turnaround, it didn’t worry me.

“We played on the Thursday and didn’t play the Challenge Cup until Sunday so there was a 10 day turnaround, and the Warrington game I thought was perfect preparation.

“It’s just that we didn’t play well.

“If you don’t make as many errors as we did in the first 30 minutes of the game and hold on to go in at half time 12 or 13 nil down then you’ve still got a chance of winning.

“I knew Catalans would be a tough opponent and would play a similar way, but in the end, we just weren’t good enough.”

As the dust started to settle this week, Holbrook said he wanted his players to continue to feel the pain of the defeat.

“The lads are doing it tough as they should be, and we want them to feel that way and not brush it aside.

“It still hurts and it’s still disappointing on how we played.

“We were miles apart, made too many errors and Catalans took advantage of that.

“If it was a Super 8s game we could pick ourselves up pretty quickly, but it was a Challenge Cup semi-final, and we are knocked out, which is something we’ve got to accept.”

Although unwilling to look for excuses, Holbrook lamented the loss of both Dominique Peyroux and Ryan Morgan through injury during the week.

“We had a completely new right-edge combination which was a bit off,” he said.

“Obviously it was disappointing to not have them out there and it made it hard for us.

“Dom has been fantastic all year, as has Ryan Morgan, but it’s tough for every team with players out so no excuses there.”