SHAUN Wane was left to lament an “awful performance” as Wigan were gunned down 30-14 at St Helens.
The Warriors boss refused to let Matty Bowen solely shoulder the responsibility of the defeat, after the full-back made two costly second-half errors which led to two of Saints’ five tries.
Wigan only trailed 16-14 heading into the final quarter, when Bowen failed to deal with an uncontested high-ball. And that mistake was compounded by an error from Dan Sarginson which presented Jon Wilkin with a match-crowning try.
Wane said: “There were other areas which I’m just as upset about.
“It was an awful performance. Without a doubt the best team won.
“We just never got into the arm-wrestle with them, we made silly errors in important areas of the field. I’m really disappointed we didn’t challenge them.
“And it hurts us badly when you consider what was at stake.”
Tries by Dan Sarginson and Joe Burgess helped Wigan into a 10-8 lead at half-time and the score was locked 14-14 on 50-minutes, before the home side powered to an ultimately comfortable win which avenged their 12-4 Good Friday loss.
“In the last 20 minutes we completed at 40 per cent,” revealed Wane. “It hurts me we didn’t throw anything at them after the first six minutes.
“It was just a poor team performance and I’m disappointed they didn’t see anything like the best we can do.”
St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham was, understandably, more upbeat and praised Wigan for contributing to a derby which was gripping for more than an hour.
He said: “There’s a lot of passion around this game, and you feel like you deserve more than two points - but what a spectacle for rugby league.
“Because I’m not a neutral, my heart was in my mouth, but if I was a neutral it would definitely convince me to watch the game again.
“Let’s not forget we’re playing against a very strong Wigan team. They have a lot of belief in each other and I say, you can’t fabricate that.”