Wane upbeat despite Saints defeat

Gil Dudson and Matty Smith trudge off dejected after the game
Gil Dudson and Matty Smith trudge off dejected after the game

DESPITE being visibly upset at losing to the old enemy, Shaun Wane isn’t worried about Wigan’s ability to reclaim top spot in Super League.

Saints’ 22-16 defeat of Warriors ensured Huddersfield Giants remain top after beating Castleford on Sunday and Warrington are now level on points with last year’s league leaders.

But Wigan face the Giants on August 9 and even though they are now playing catch-up, the destination of the League Leaders’ Shield is still in their hands.

“It’s only one game – we have a few games where we can get that back so that’s not worrying,” said Wane.

“If we don’t get it, we don’t get it.

“It won’t be from a lack of trying.

“It’s still a major day and I really badly wanted to get two points at a place like this and it wasn’t to be.”

Wane blasted his players for making errors which he believes cost Wigan the game but was also left dumbfounded by some of the calls made by referee James Child.

“I suppose it was good to watch but I didn’t enjoy it very much,” he said.

“There were too many errors and we were too ill-disciplined even though I thought the referee was poor.

“There were some real poor calls which I was disappointed with but the best team won.”

But Wane was keen to stress St Helens won the match because they were the more deserving side.

“They wanted it a bit more – we came up with too many errors and you can’t win like that,” he added.

Teenage full-back Ryan Hampshire’s effort was one of the few high points for Warriors on a frustrating night.

And Wane thinks his players will have addressed the problems by Saturday’s Challenge cup semi-final against London Broncos.

“I thought he played really well and I thought Liam Farrell was good,” he said.

“There were a few good performances but we didn’t help ourselves with turning so much ball over.

“Giving seven penalties away in that last 20 minutes – you just can’t do it. Saints played out their skin but we were not good enough.

“But on another positive - we have four of our major players not playing tonight.”

Michael McIlorum went off early on, allowing Logan Tomkins to see a significant slice of the action but Wane moved to reassure Wigan fans McIlorum will be fit on Saturday.

“Mickey Mac played for 20 minutes and didn’t go back on so we’ll be good this week.

“He just had a blowout and I’ll play him on Saturday. He missed a couple of days at the start of the week and it’s just a risk.

“I couldn’t afford with such a short turnaround I couldn’t have them missing two days – we only have a team run this week.

“But that team should have won it and we were two tries a piece at half-time. On our right edge we bombed two tries so we had our chances.”