Wigan's later season derby misery continues as Saints pipped
them late in the game. That makes it 15 defeats of the last
18 non Easter derbies at Saints and Wigan's home venues, a
sorry record indeed.
In the end this one was almost a
replica of the defeat in June at the same venue. Plenty of
hope but in the end a slow car crash to a defeat that
seemed inevitable once Wigan had blown three or four sets
in a row to find a winning try in the last ten minutes.
Could Wigan have done much more though? Arguably at 14-6
up we had done enough to win the game already. The pack
battle was being dominated by Wigan with an end total of
1523 metres to Saints 953, a huge difference.
Unfortunately two Matty Bowen errors meant we lost the
game ourselves rather than being beaten, and that's
frustrating, but if we repeat that pack effort again next
time we meet, I'm confident we won't lose a repeat.
Some are arguing that Wigan failed with poor attack but
I'd prefer to credit Saints defence. They didn't buckle
under the pressure and that's part of being a champion team
is. Serious question, if Wigan had been under that kind of
pressure, would we have hung on?
I've written extensively in the local paper this week
about Anthony Gelling's contribution and can't be arsed
going through all that again here but I think that it was a
mistake to use him as a sub rather than Ryan Sutton (is it
fit?) or even Connor Farrell.
Whilst the result for Wigan was disappointing, we will
remember a brilliant try from George Williams early second
half. Quality stuff and he mugged the full back as well. It
deserved to be a winning try and it's a big shame that it
Wigan also need to learn to be a bit cleverer. They had
a penalty goal towards an 8-0 lead and declined. Two
minutes later it was 6-6. This is a derby and we're hitting
the crunch point of the season. It's great if you get a try
from backing yourselves but getting a two score lead at any
point in a big game should not be declined. Even before
complaining about Gelling and Bowen errors, you could
rewind all the way back to that 30th Minute decision and
wonder if that was the key moment in losing the game?