A derby against St Helens three and a half days
before a Challenge Cup Semi Final was always a tall order and given that
Saints hadn't played last weekend and don't play next weekend it made
the fixture an even more evil task.
So personally I think the decision to play pretty
much a reserve side and offer out six debuts was the right call.
It was a hiding to nothing under the circumstances
but for me the Cup is the closest target and for now you put your best
eggs in the cup basket.
The young kids put in an enthusiastic display but
whilst I didn't think Saints got out of first gear in attack, they were
very determined to hold the nil in defence and played with efficient
Three quick tries created an 18-0 lead in a flash but
Wigan didn't collapse at any point and although 42-0 looks a heavy
defeat on paper it was a spirited effort, full of desire during the
It was quite an achievement really to not be buckled
up the middle of the field too often. In fact most damage came from our
own errors or penalties. The first set restart only came after 50
minutes and they hadn't played under those rules either, whilst also
haven't played a minute since March they didn't flag for fitness too
So not the result we ever want in a derby but Leeds,
Salford and Warrington have all done the same ahead of the weekends Semi
Finals and no doubt Saints would have gone the same way had they been
involved. A necessary evil.
It may not be the result we wanted but players like
Ben Kilner caught they eye and if the Cup Final is achieved more
opportunities will surely arise as the season progresses.