SHAUN Wane was both surprised and disappointed with Wigan’s tepid display in a 28-12 friendly defeat at St Helens.
The Warriors battled back from 22-0 down at half-time to register tries through John Bateman and Connor Farrell, but Wane admitted Saints were the worthy winners.
He said: “It was a tough game, they had more enthusiasm, which was disappointing.
“I put it to the players and in the second-half we were a lot better.
“In the short spells we did commit, we troubled them - but we just weren’t consistent enough and that’s why we play these pre-season games.
“We were tentative in defence, they beat us in line speed and we didn’t commit to our plays in attack. Saints were the best team. It’ll be an easy review.”
Wigan were missing Sean O’Loughlin, Dan Sarginson, Sam Powell, Lee Mossop and Taulima Tautai through injury. They may play in a friendly at Workington next Sunday, just four days before the Super League opener.
Wane - who saw his team lose a friendly at Leigh last week - admitted the injured players were sorely missed, but didn’t use their absence as an excuse.
He reserved praise for Connor Farrell, the younger brother of England forward Liam, who stood out in a second-half in which he scored one try and had a hand in another.
And he admitted he had climbed the pecking order on the back of his “quality” displays during pre-season. Farrell may edge even closer to the first-team if forward John Bateman is sidelined by a back injury he suffered during yesterday’s game.
Prop Dom Crosby, meanwhile, should discover today whether he will be charged after being placed on report for alleged use of the knee in the opening tackle.
Meanwhile, Saints coach Keiron Cunningham dismissed suggestions that last October’s Grand Final - and Ben Flower’s hit on Lance Hohaia, who made his first appearance of the year - had any bearing on the match.
“I think it’s you guys (in the Press) making a deal of this, not the clubs,” he said.
“If Ben saw Lance after, they’d have probably been like best friends. That’s rugby league for you.”
He added: “Wigan are a great side, one of the best attacking teams in the competition, and to only leak 10 points - and one of those from a kick - is a good sign.”