Shaun Wane gave a measured assessment after suffering his first Good Friday loss as a coach.
While disappointed with the 21-18 defeat, which ended Wigan’s eight-year run of victories in this fixture since he has been a part of the first-team set-up, he was proud of the effort from his players.
Having trailed 12-2 at half-time, they powered back in front with tries by Joel Tomkins and Willie Isa - only to let the game slip in a frantic final few minutes.
Wane said: “Our effort was good, but you can’t give so many penalties away - and half of them were deserved penalties.
“We put ourselves under pressure at crucial times.
“But in a few days’ time, with the effort we showed, and the disruption we had, I’ll be okay with this.
“We’ve won eight of these, the’ve won one, let them enjoy their victory and hopefully we’ll have our day when they come to the DW.”
Wigan lost Sam Tomkins in the build-up to sickness and his replacement, Morgan Escare, left the action in the second-half with concussion.
“It was huge having no Sam, we changed our attack to challenge the way Saints defend, and we’d not trained with Morgan all week,” said Wane.
Saints drew level through a Danny Richardson penalty after Sean O’Loughlin was ruled to have ripped the ball out in the tackle - when replays suggested the Saints player dropped the ball.
Asked about the incident, Wane said: “I thought it was a tough one - but that wasn’t the reason we lost, and if I talk about that it looks like I’m making excuses. There were some penalties that were penalties, and they cost us.”
Regan Grace’s subsequent converted try - and a Richardson drop-goal - secured the win which moved the home side four points clear.
Wane reported no fresh injury worries ahead of Monday’s visit of Hull KR, with full-back Tomkins expected to be fit to return.
Gabriel Hamlin is set to make his debut and Dan Sarginson, Liam Marshall and Romain Navarrete expected to figure.