O’Loughlin: Lessons learned for play-off race

Matty Bowen (left) is comforted by Dom Crosby last Friday
Matty Bowen (left) is comforted by Dom Crosby last Friday

SEAN O’Loughlin says Wigan’s attack didn’t give St Helens enough headaches in the derby thriller.

The Warriors spent the weekend dusting themselves down from the 18-14 derby loss at Langtree Park.

You can’t knock the effort, we defended well, we were on top for big parts, we just didn’t throw enough at them at stages in the game

Sean O’Loughlin

Josh Jones broke their hearts with a late try, and denied Shaun Wane’s men the chance of moving to the top of the Super League ladder.

O’Loughlin praised his team-mates for their spirited display and believes they will learn important lessons as they hurtle towards the play-offs in less than two weeks.

He believes their inability to register more tries against Saints - particularly in stages when they were pressing their line - was one area which will be addressed.

“You can’t knock the effort, we defended well, we were on top for big parts, we just didn’t throw enough at them at stages in the game,” the England captain said.

“We didn’t pose enough questions in the passages when we were dominant, and we didn’t get over the tries.

“For how dominant we were, we should have had more points on the board.

“But we never quite got our noses enough in front to be comfortable, and credit to them, they fought back.

“But there were loads of positives we could take.

“We have two more games before, hopefully, the Grand Final and even though we came up short, it was a great prep’ for that.”

By the time second-placed Wigan face Castleford this Friday night, they will know whether top-spot is still attainable. Mis-firing Leeds - who have a better for-and-against than Wigan of 57 - face Huddersfield 24 hours earlier.

If the Giants win, they will move top, and the Warriors will be able to overtake them with a win in their final game of the regular season.

“It’s always good to go to St Helens and get a win, with Leeds slipping it up it was in our hands,” he said. “But we’re still in a good position.”

Asked whether the fact the game was a thrilling spectacle provided any comfort, he replied: “Not really.

“Sometimes you play in games and you know - from how tense and intense they are - it will come across great live and on TV.

“But it’s no easier if you lose them.”