Shaun Wane was pleased with the style in which Wigan stretched their Good Friday winning run - even though he wasn’t bothered how they claimed the derby bragging rights!
Wigan claimed their first victory in five matches as two tries each by Liam Marshall and Joe Burgess helped secure a 29-18 triumph against 12-man St Helens.
It was the Warriors’ eighth successive Easter Weekend derby win - six under Wane’s watch.
“I’m not really bothered how we play in a game like that, we just want to get two points,” he said.
“But I thought we scored some good tries. It was a good derby.
“It’s a big big game and lots of credit needs to go to St Helens. Overall, I’m really happy with the two points but I want to give credit to St Helens who I thought dug in deep.”
Liam Farrell scored Wigan’s fifth try, and the England forward was picked out for special praise by his coach. Wane said the stand-out highlight was welcoming Micky McIlorum back after 14-months out following a broken ankle.
“It’s great having him back. His movement, quality and skill was good. He had to come off after 12 minutes in the second half, which is not like him, but he wanted to go on at the end of the game,” said Wane. “My physio would’ve killed me (if I put him back on). She didn’t want him to play today, I over-ruled her!”
The game’s major flashpoint was the dismissal of Kyle Amor for a high shot on Marshall in the 13th minute.
“It just wasn’t a red card,” said Jamahl Lolesi, one of St Helens’ caretaker coaches. “Look, Ben Thaler didn’t lose us the game. He didn’t pass, he didn’t miss the tackles, but I thought what was pretty poor was the video ref’ is there to make calls of foul play.
“When you’re an official, take the emotion and the crowd out of it, make the right decision, especially in a derby game. I don’t understand why you don’t do that, I can’t figure it out. Because what’s most important is making the right decision, whether it’s a red or a yellow, make the right one. Today it was the wrong one.
“We could’ve done a few things better with the ball, a few things better defensively, but playing with 12 men against the champions at their place makes it pretty hard.”
Wane wouldn’t be drawn on whether he though it was a sending-off.
“I don’t know, it’s a tough one,” he said. “They’ve missed a few in the last few weeks... I’d rather not comment.”
Wane picked up no fresh injury concerns ahead of Monday’s trip to Wakefield, but may rest McIlorum and Sean O’Loughlin. Prop Tony Clubb remains unavailable as they continue to assess a lower back injury.