Lam: Docked points didn't affect us

Adrian Lam admitted the timing of Wigan's points deduction "wasn't good" but said it played no part in their performance as they went down 22-12 to St Helens in their opening game.

Thursday, 31st January 2019, 9:56 pm
Updated Friday, 1st February 2019, 9:18 am
Zak Hardker up against a white wall

The Warriors were drawing 12-12 at half-time of a thunderous derby but slipped off in the second-half, and Saints ran out deserved winners.

The loss means Wigan will definitely finish round one bottom of the table, given they are on -2 after being punished for a salary cap breach - which Lam and the squad were only told about the day before their opener.

"We talked about it, but I don't think it had a role in the performance," said Lam. "The timing wasn't good - all off-season, and they tell us the day before, the timing wasn't good.

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"I found out yesterday, what can you do? I don't know too much about it but I know the club's fighting it and moving forward, hopefully it gets sorted out and the sooner the better for us."

Lam says he was "a bit confused" by Wigan's performance, saying they only played as they had trained in patches and admitting they let St Helens off the hook too often - both with their own errors and poor decision-making.

"I knew we needed a good start but we dropped the ball in the first set, we were on the defensive and it took the gas out of us," said Lam, who lost Tony Clubb to a head injury.

"They showed effort to get it back (to 12-12) but when we needed the points in the second-half we looked like we were in slow motion, we were just too gassed."

He said the overwhelming positive was the strong performance of ex-Barrow prop Joe Bullock who he labelled as "sensational", as well as a strong display from fellow debutant Zak Hardaker.

The Warriors play their first home match, against Leeds, next Friday before welcoming Sydney Roosters in the World Club Challenge the following week.

"There's heaps to encourage me because we didn't play as I'd like to, and as we learn we'll start getting better," he added.

Saints coach Justin Holbrook gave credit to Wigan for their fightback and praised his side's defensive effort in the second-half.

Meanwhile, he said he hoped winger Dom Manfredi will be fit to play in the World Club Challenge after undergoing a minor operation to remove some loose debris from his knee.