Grand Final aim realistic - Rush
Defiant St Helens boss Mike Rush insists his side's Grand Final ambitions remain intact and he believes they can yet have the last laugh on Wigan Warriors.
Saints are smarting from last Sunday's 42-16 defeat by the Warriors in Manchester, a third loss to their arch rivals in two months, which left them sixth in the Stobart Super League just after the halfway mark.
But Rush, Saints' acting head coach who takes his team to Hull FC tomorrow, is urging the club's fans not to lose faith as he looks to keep alive prospects of a seventh consecutive appearance at Old Trafford in October.
“We've probably had the worst defensive display since we took over,” Rush said. “A couple of lads under-performed defensively and it cost us.
“But we've not become rubbish overnight. There is still only one team that has beaten us and we'll get our chance against them later in the year.
“Last year we drew with them at Millennium (Stadium), got beat on Good Friday, lost in a Challenge Cup semi-final but we still got to a Grand Final.”
St Helens, who beat champions Leeds Rhinos at Headingley last Monday night, will leapfrog Hull FC into fifth place if they win at the KC Stadium tomorrow and their next four games are all against teams below them in the table.
Rush said: “We've an opportunity still to get enough points to get in the four and, if everybody beats everybody else around them, why can't we make that top two?
“We just need to put a run of games together and we've got the personnel and the squad to do that.
“We play Hull, Bradford, Salford, Hull KR and Widnes and we need to win all five.
“Then let's see where we are because during that time Leeds are playing Wigan, Wigan are playing Catalan Dragons and so on, so people are going to take points off each other.”
Hull, who beat Leeds in their last home game, will be aiming to bounce back from their agonising last-minute defeat by Hull KR in the Magic Weekend.
In tomorrow's other games, former leaders Huddersfield Giants go to bottom club Widnes Vikings hoping to end a run of three consecutive defeats, Hull KR host Warrington Wolves and London Broncos look to complete the double over Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.