Wane: Saints will see the best of us

Shaun Wane
Shaun Wane

Shaun Wane has seen enough from his players over the last few days to convince him they are not “kicking stones” about their Wembley loss.

And he is confident they can get a derby victory which would keep alive their top-four hopes - and strike a dent into St Helens’ play-offs ambitions.

“We were in Monday, in Tuesday.... we’re not kicking stones, we’ve got a big game on Friday,” said Wane.

“It’s sad we lost, but we won the World Club, we reached the Challenge Cup Final, now we’re looking to make an assault on the Super-8s.

“The lads have spoken really well about making sure St Helens see the best of us.”

Saints are set to hand a debut to Ben Barba, a livewire Australian who is free to play after serving a ban for taking cocaine.

“They’re a strong team without Ben Barba, so with him in it, they’re better,” added Wane.

“He’s a talent, he’s a fantastic ball-carrier - but Lomax is, their backfield is already strong, and it’s great for Super League we’ve got him here.

“It’s going to be a great game to watch.”

Wane says improving their last-plays, improving their completion and showing some “desperation” when the ball is in the air are all areas to improve from their 18-14 Wembley loss to Hull FC.

He began scrutinising video footage of the Challenge Cup final on the coach-ride home on Sunday.

He echoed his post-match remarks, refusing to use the video referee’s decision to deny Tony Clubb a try as an excuse.

And he said: “We need to make sure we’re not that sort of club, looking for excuses.

“We won’t blame officials.

“I have bad days at work, they do, but if we complete higher, we win, so the blame is in here. Among us.

“It was our fault we were defending for 19 minutes in red-hot heat.

“But to be without the ball for so long and go over at the end to potentially win the game... it speaks volumes pf the players, and 100 per cent it’s encouraging.

“It’s sad it cost us the game - but if we can learn from that, get the win this week, we’re in a great position.”