Sadly this match will actually mark five long years to the day
since Wigan managed to last win at Knowsley Road.|
It was a rosy
time for Wigan back in September 2003. They lied third in the Super League Table well clear
of Saints in fourth who had been deducted two points earlier in the
season for salary cap infringements and not long after they'd be
hit by a
betting scandal involving Sean Long and Martin Gleeson.
We were also
about to reach our third Grand Final in four seasons - a year after
winning the Challenge Cup.
Earlier in the season Wigan had beaten Saints twice in
memorable games. After the infamous 2003 Good Friday win at the
JJB, Wigan went on to win at Knowsley Road having trailed 20-0 early
- Luke Robinson
scoring a fabulous hatrick in the process. Later in the end of
season play offs Wigan hammered Saints 40-24 at the JJB before
another memorable play off win over Leeds at Headingley.
The derby victory on 5th September 2003 was perhaps the least
remembered of the Saints clashes that year but arguably it was the
best one. Wigan came home with a 28-4 win which you will
remember for the Quentin Pongia kick to the corner which saw Brian
Carney scored the first of two memorable tries which probably went
a long way to earning him a test debut at the end of the season.
Back then I doubt any Wigan or Saints fan could have predicted
the contrasting fortunes that the two sides would embark on. No
one could have dreamed that night that just 20 months later Wigan
would lose 75-0 at the same venue. Just think of the memories from
that 2003 season? Can't really think of any from this campaign -
Amazingly having not won any of the last five league trips
to Knowsley Road we still hold a won 8 lost 8 record at
the venue during the Super League era despite Saints apparently
dominated the sport since 1996. Home and away we've won just
one match v Saints in 13 attempts but we've still hold a overall
lead having won 22 derbies
to their 21.
This season though our derby displays have been
simply embarrassing. I firmly believe the hammerings we've suffered have
been down to Wigan being crap more than Saints being brilliant.
The enemy have hardly got out of first gear because we simply have not
I've no doubt you can compete with Saints if you
have the right tactics. You might not win but you can't win a
prize if you fail to enter the raffle! It's like we've been
waving the white flag before we've got going. The start is the
On Good Friday - 22-0 down in 28 minutes.
Cardiff was same and went even worse - 35-0 by half time!
At the JJB in July - Hooray!
We managed to score first half but still trailed 6-22.
know if they can be in the game at half time they can give
themselves a good opportunity to win. A close tight game will not
be what St Helens want after a gruelling cup final last week. We
in theory should be fresh after a week off but this has not been
the case in the past.
Earlier this year we went to Catalans on
the back of a week off and although we scored 38, we conceded 45
(although I'd quite happily take that this week lol). In 2007 we
came back from an international break to get hammered 32-6 at
Wakefield. We can't afford to not be defensively switched on this
If we are switched on then we'll have a chance. This heavy
weather we are getting could help us if it turns Knowsley Road
into a mud bath. I think the phrase though is "clutching straws".