McIlorum: We’ll use Cup loss as derby fuel

Micky McIlorum in action at Wembley on Saturday
Micky McIlorum in action at Wembley on Saturday

Micky McIlorum believes their Wembley defeat has left Wigan in better equipped to face St Helens.

While the hooker would obviously have preferred to have won the Challenge 
Cup Final, he says victory – and the days of celebrations – would have hampered 
their chances of beating 
their derby rivals in Friday’s crunch Super League showdown.

Instead, the players reported to training yesterday and are back in the gym this morning, aiming to keep alive their top-four ambitions.

“If anything, losing at Wembley could work in our advantage for the league,” said McIlorum, outside the Wembley dressing room.

“If we’d have won it, we’d have probably been out for three days celebrating.

“But losing it, we’ll not be out at all.

“So we’ll go into that game in a lot better frame – not only our minds, but our bodies will be better.

“This game means a lot to us, it’s not hard to get up for a derby - and on top of that, we want to put in a performance again.”

Wigan and Hull FC scored three tries each in Saturday’s 18-14 loss, and Tony Clubb also had a try ruled out by the video referee which many - including FC boss Lee Radford - thought should have been allowed.

But McIlorum said: “Look, I thought it was a try, but you can’t use refs as an excuse. We certainly won’t be doing.

“You can’t rely on decisions like that to win the game.

“The most frustrating thing for me is knowing we’re capable of beating them.

“They out-played us on their last-plays - that was one of the big differences.”

Two of Hull’s tries came from kicks from Marc Sneyd, who was the Lance Todd Trophy for a faultless display with the boot.

“Sneyd deservedly got the man of the match - he set up two tries, kicked his goals,” said the tough-tackling hooker.

In Wigan’s previous two games, their line was only breached by kicks.

“It shows how good our defence has been,” added McIlorum.

“But that’s not really a comfort, because we’re conceding a lot of tries on last-plays and we try and do a lot in training to stop that.

“It’s come to bite us again.”