Rush warns to take no prisoners

Date published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
SAINTS boss Mike Rush has warned that his Super League stars will take no prisoners in Friday’s cup-tie against Oldham’s part-timers.
He will field his strongest side at Langtree Park and urge his players to go flat out in their pursuit of a place in the last eight on the road to Wembley.
Saints were given a massive fright at Widnes in the last round, scraping home 40-38 after leading 40-16. Six days later, in a Super League game, Rush’s men thrashed the Vikings 62-0. The lesson had been learned.
As acting head coach Rush will pay his Championship One opponents the compliment of preparing his side in exactly the same way as he would for a derby date with Wigan Warriors.
He has studied DVDs of Oldham matches; he had the Roughyeds watched in their 20-20 draw at London Skolars last Sunday; and he learned a lot from the night Saints fielded a side of mixed experience and ability in a pre-season game at Whitebank — and the part-timers WON.
“It was a unique experience to play at Whitebank and to play up that slope,” he said.
“We now know a bit about Oldham from that match and we have done our homework since the draw paired us together.
“We’ve built momentum in winning five of our last six games, but we will not rest on our laurels merely because we are playing a side from the third tier.
“We have no God-given right to win this cup-tie, but having said that we are a confident outfit with a belief in our own ability.
“If you switch off against any team it can land you in trouble.”
He said each and every one of his big-name stars had made it clear they wanted to play.
“Apart from that,” he added, “I don’t believe in changing a side unless there is a specific need to do it. That sort of thing can cause you to lose momentum and that’s the last thing we want with some important Super League games coming up.
“We’ve got a good squad with intense competition for places. That’s one of the reasons everybody wants to play — they know we’ve lots of talented youngsters just waiting in the wings for their chance.
“Everyone is fighting fit and just raring to go.”