Joel Tomkins: Players won’t blame Bowen

Joel Tomkins after Friday's defeat to St Helens
Joel Tomkins after Friday's defeat to St Helens

JOEL Tomkins says Wigan’s players won’t be blaming Matty Bowen for their derby defeat.

The full-back’s two costly errors proved the main talking point from Friday’s 30-14 loss at Langtree Park.

I’m sure Mango will be beating himself up, but he’s got the toughest job on the field - it’s happened to every full-back at some stage in their career

Joel Tomkins

Bowen failed to deal with a bobbling grubber kick and then a towering bomb - when the score was 16-14 - as Saints powered to the victory which sent them top of the Super League ladder.

But Tomkins says other players - including himself - were equally to blame with errors which, while not as noticeable, proved just as damaging.

The England forward said: “Mango will be disappointed but no one will point the finger at him, he’s been catching them for us all year.

“There were other areas in our defence - I missed a one-on-one when Jordan Turner scored - and there were a couple other individual errors which cost us in the end.

“It’s tough to blame any one. I’m sure Mango will be beating himself up, but he’s got the toughest job on the field - it’s happened to every full-back at some stage in their career.”

The defeat denied Wigan the chance to claim a derby double over the reigning champions, following a gutsy 12-4 win on Good Friday, and leaves them trailing Saints by three points in the ladder.

Coach Shaun Wane described the performance as “awful”, yet Wigan were level after 50 minutes before Saints turned the screw and finished as comfortable victors.

“It was disappointing, because we let that one get away from us,” added Tomkins.

“They gained some momentum, we lost our foothold in the game and we didn’t get it back. They scored two or three quickfire tries and it sapped the energy from us.

“It’s disappointing to lose but also the way we lost was disappointing as well.”

Wigan return home this Friday - after six weeks on the road - with a match against Salford, who ended their losing run with a 24-16 win at Wakefield yesterday.