Adrian Lam reacts to Wigan Warriors' 42-0 defeat against St Helens

Adrian Lam was full of praise for his young side after their 42-0 defeat against St Helens.
James Graham drives into the Wigan defenceJames Graham drives into the Wigan defence
James Graham drives into the Wigan defence

With an eye on their Challenge Cup semi-final against Leeds in four days, he rested virtually his entire first-choice side.

He not only gave six youngsters their debuts, but the bulk of his squad comprised fringe players - some of whom hadn't played at any level in more than six months.

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Saints ran in three tries before the break and four after, with Lachlan Coote converting all of them.

Lam said: "It wasn't the scoreline we were hoping for but I'll take the positives out of it - six on debut, others playing for the first time in months, against a world class side. I was really proud of their efforts.

"I've just been around everyone one of the debutants and said, 'Look it's not that hard, is it? You know you can do it - just keep working hard'.

"I just wanted to see a team which was committed and I did."

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The biggest disappointment wasn't the scoreboard or result, but rather a knee injury to Jack Wells - in just his second match back from a three-year absence from the side.

Lam expects the match review panel to scrutinise the tackle which led to his injury.

"It didn't look good, they've been cracking down quite hard on that sort of action, no doubt it'll be under the microscrope," said Lam.

"It's not ideal for Jack because he'd worked really hard to get back in the mix.

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"It looks like some medial ligament damage, so that's between four and six weeks I'd imagine."

The defeat saw Wigan slip to fourth in the Super League table, on win percentage.

Saints coach Kristian Woolf said: "We knew their younger blokes would play the game of their lives, so to speak, and that's what was pleasing about our blokes - we got on top and handled their enthusiasm and broke them as the game went on.

"Wigan had plenty of opportunities and put us under pressure, but I was happy with the resolve we showed defensively."

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He praised two-try winger Jack Welsby who was one of four ex-Shevington Sharks juniors in the game, along with Wigan's Sam Halsall, Umyla Hanley and Jake Shorrocks.

"He made some really smart decisions, he's getting better and better," added the Tonga national coach. "We've just got to figure out where he fits - he's not a winger but he's doing a great job, and he's doing enough every week to say he needs to play."