TALKING SPORT - Kone, rain and shine down at Southampton

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THE first victory of the season is always a big one.

For the last two campaigns, it took Latics three games to register their first win so to get it one match earlier in what was a very tricky fixture is very satisfying.

We all know how difficult it can be for strikers to find their first goals for their new clubs too, so for Arouna Kone to get off the mark in his first start was also a boost.

With the monkeys off the proverbial backs now, it’s time to move forward with confidence.

Latics recorded their first back to back wins of the 2011 and 2012 campaigns against Stoke, how nice would it be to do the same this Saturday?

Six points from a possible nine with the European Champions out the way would certainly be a positive start.

Going off the opening two performances though, it’s hard to see Roberto Martinez’s side being in a similar scrap to the last two seasons.

THERE’S something uncomfortable about the Lance Armstrong scandal.

It’s not just because he’s an athlete I have admired for years. Not just because I loved both his books. Not just because his decision to give-up fighting doping allegations ruined one of the great sporting legacies of my lifetime, or any lifetime.

It’s because I find it difficult to comprehend how someone who has passed hundreds of career drug tests – in competition, out of competition – can suddenly be found guilty on the testimony of a few losers.

Armstrong’s decision not to fight the charges appears like an admission of guilt.

And yet the case against him involves no physical evidence. Instead, it’s based on witnesses who either saw him using banned substances or “having heard Armstrong admit doing so”.

What precedent does this set? Where will it end? In years to come, could a gold medal winner from the London Games be stripped of a title because a bitter, jealous Team GB member said so – even if the winner took a doping test and passed?

Or what if a trophy-winning rugby or football player was accused of taking steroids by a former team-mate?

Would a Challenge Cup or FA Cup title be stripped from the player? Or even the team?

IT sounds greedy to moan about the five legends picked for a rugby league statue at Wembley.

Especially when three are ex-Wigan players and none are from Yorkshire.

But I find it staggering that there is no place for both Shaun Edwards – who played his first final in ‘84 and last in ‘99, winning nine finals in between – or Andy Gregory, who had the distinction of winning on all eight of his Wembley appearances and winning the Lance Todd Trophy twice.

WHEN the Super League fixtures came out, a final home game against St Helens looked mouth-watering.

But if Wigan beat Hull KR this Sunday, the derby will be dead rubber. How incredible would that be?