SAM Tomkins says there is “no margin for error” as Warriors charge towards the Super League play-offs.
As the dust settles on Wigan’s 30-10 humbling by Warrington on Saturday, Tomkins has tried to draw some positives from the defeat – namely, they remain in pole-position as they enter the home-straight.
Wigan, one point clear of the Wolves, have three games to secure the League Leaders Shield – and a supposed easier route through the play-offs – starting with Monday’s visit of Salford.
And Tomkins concedes they have a lot to work on before that game, putting the result firmly on their own shortcomings rather than the Wolves’ superiority.
He said: “I wouldn’t say they were up for it more. They just executed their plays better than we did, they defended better than we did.
“We were running at about 30% in the first 20 minutes, and St Pat’s would have beat us at that completion rate.
“Sometimes that happens, and there’s no margin for error now for the rest of the year.
“It’s a case now of looking where we went wrong and understanding we can’t allow that to happen again.”
While the advantage in the play-offs of finishing first, rather than second, is at best minimal – an opening match against a lower-placed opponent and the possibility of the dubious bonus of a ClubCall – Tomkins echoed his coach Shaun Wane’s thoughts that they are desperate to finish the regular campaign in top-spot.
“Luckily we’ve been good enough for enough of the year to still be top of the league, and that’s the way we have to look at it,” said the slippery No.1.
“Although the (Warrington) game has not gone to plan, hopefully this will provide the kick we needed to bounce back.
“It’s still in our hands, and we understand how important the next three games are because we want that League Leaders Shield.
“It’s a really massive thing for us and we need to knuckle down and make sure we finish the job.
“Every team wants to play their next game as quickly as possible when they’ve lost like we have, and next week we’ve just got to be a whole lot better.
“The extra couple of days will probably help us in terms of getting over this.
“We’re not battered and bruised, it’s more from a technical aspect as to why we weren’t completing our sets and why the defence was breaking so much.
“We’re still top of the league, though. And, as bad as Saturday was, if somebody would have told us we’d be top going into the last three games we’d have taken it.”