Wigan Warriors skipper Sean O'Loughlin to extend derby record
Sean O’Loughlin is not one to make a fuss, but today he will stretch a remarkable derby record - which even surpasses the great Jim Sullivan.
The skipper is poised to play in his 47th derby when he faces Saints today.And according to the club’s statistics, that will move him two clear of previous-record holder Sullivan, who made 45 appearances against St Helens between 1921 and ‘43.O’Loughlin, who made his derby debut on September 8, 2002 and scored a try in the closing stages of the game from an Adrian Lam kick!Now, the pair are captain and coach, and the former believes this is the type of fixture which could kickstart their faltering campaign.“We know we’ve got a tough one this week, but we are looking forward to the challenge,” he said.“Obviously we are going into it as underdogs this week as Saints are playing very well and we are coming off the back of a couple of losses.“The atmosphere is what makes the games I think. It’s normally a key moment in the season as well, a win in it can really propel your season if you have a good performance.“The game’s themselves are just awesome to be a part of. “What the fans bring to the game is massive for us. Form can go out of the window when you can ride that emotional side of things.“Fans want to win just as much as players, so with them getting down in numbers and giving us support, it definitely adds to the performance of the players and gets five or ten per cent more out of everyone.“Normally over the Easter period people are off work, enjoying the holiday spirit and this game can hopefully kick start that for everybody. Getting a win is a big part of that enjoyment.”O’Loughlin made his Wigan debut in 2002 and has gone to make over 400 appearances for the Warriors – and so he knows a thing or two about how to get one over on St Helens. And the Great Britain international is hoping to use the inspiration of famous wins in recent years to get Wigan firing when it matters most this weekend.“Of my favourite wins – the one in 2003 where we had a really young side sticks out,” he added. “That was a big one. A lot of the lads that I’d played though the academy with played alongside us in that game.“It was lads who weren’t in the first team who had to step up because there was so many injuries, it was so big because we were such underdogs.“Another was 2011 when we won it right on the buzzer, right at the death. That was the game where Faz (Liam Farrell) scored right in front of the home end. That was another memorable one, just because the manner in which we won it.“That was another that was special, but they are all pretty special when you win them.”