TALKING SPORT - I won’t pretend to be outraged by a derby fight

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ACCORDING to reports, Wigan’s game against St Helens was “marred” by a brawl.

No it wasn’t.

Sure, if I was watching CCTV Cities and the same thing happened, I’d be appalled. But let’s remember the context.

It was a highly-charged, passion-dripping derby between Wigan and St Helens and – shock, horror – emotions boiled over.

My only problem was with Shaun Magennis for blindsiding Chris Tuson with what Sam Tomkins rightly described a “cheap shot”.

Someone needs to inform the St Helens player that going “toe-to-toe” requires a player to be looking in your direction!

Look, I know fighting can’t be encouraged. I know props can’t be given a green light to throw punches in every scrum.

My son plays at Under-8s level and I know that the ‘role model argument’ has merit.

But let’s have some perspective.

It was a big derby, played by athletes wound up like tight springs, and no-one was hurt. Everyone shook hands at the end.

And regardless of what others say and write, I’m not going to pretend to be outraged that there was a fight between some Wigan and St Helens forwards.

THE RFL get plenty of stick from me, and rightly so.

But I must applaud them for the Magic Weekend.

I wasn’t bowled over by the 63,000 crowd, but I was impressed by everything else. After five years of tinkering they have got the venue and the time-slot just right.

IT’S hard not to eulogise about Wigan’s incredible performance against St Helens. It wasn’t just the fact they won their third straight derby, it was the aggressive, stylish, energetic and selfless way they did it.

To borrow a gem of a quote from the State of Origin commentary last week, they “chased every ball like it owed them money.”

And it’s impossible not to think that Shaun Wane’s men are shaping as genuine challengers for both trophies this year.

I CANNOT help but admire the way Dave Whelan has handled the situation concerning Roberto Martinez’s future.

Whelan may not be flavour of the month in and around Anfield for the way he has kept the fans, via the media, informed of developments.

But who are they to tell him what to do?

At the end of the day, he is keeping Wigan Athletic supporters informed of what is happening to THEIR manager, who happens to be on HIS payroll.

In an age of foreign owners who seem to regard fans as a nuisance rather than a club’s biggest assets, Whelan’s actions are admirable.

MANCHESTER Airport appears muscling in on Whelan’s role of informing fans about Martinez’s each and every position.

The airport informed its thousands of Twitter followers at 10am this morning that he had just walked through arrivals!