Wane to fight for McIlorum

Warriors coach does not want hooker suspended

Last updated: 8th September 2012  

Wane to fight for McIlorum

Shane Wane: Will fight any threat to ban hooker Michael McIlorum

He's an important player and I want him playing for me next week. We'll go there and fight it if we have to. We feel we have a strong case.

Wane on McIlorum
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Wigan coach Shaun Wane will fight any threat to ban hooker Michael McIlorum following his dismissal in Friday's 26-18 loss to St Helens.

McIlorum was issued with a red card by referee James Child after 15 minutes for a late tackle on Saints forward Anthony Laffranchi.

Wane believes the hooker was committed to the challenge and does not want him to be suspended for the Warriors' play-off campaign.

"I don't think he got it right," Wane said. "It looked like Micky Mac was committed.

"He's an important player and I want him playing for me next week. We'll go there and fight it if we have to. We feel we have a strong case.

"Leaving your team-mates in a massive game against your arch rivals is like a suspension in itself.

Consistent

"I don't mind the sending-off if they are consistent through the year but I'll take it on the chin.

"I'd rather talk about the positive aspects about how we dug deep and showed some character with 12 men. I'm very proud of the efforts of the players."

Wigan led 6-0 thanks to Thomas Leuluai's 12th-minute try but Saints took advantage of the dismissal of McIlorum to run in tries through James Roby and Tommy Makinson, establishing a 12-6 interval lead in the process.

Wigan drew level thanks to Pat Richards' try early in the second half but Saints got their second wind and clinched their first derby win of the season thanks to further scores from Andrew Dixon, Josh Jones and Jonny Lomax.

Wigan will play either Leeds or Catalan in the play-offs next Friday and Wane is seeking revenge against the Rhinos after being eliminated by the champions in the Challenge Cup semi-final.

"It would nice to get Leeds after what they did to us in the (Challenge Cup) semi but whoever we play we need to be at 100 per cent," Wane added.

"We will be okay if we show the character and some of skill we produced today."

Crucial

Meanwhile, St Helens coach Mike Rush said he did not have a clear view of the sending off but admitted it was a crucial decision.

"It's always going to be talking point or a turning point," he commented.

"They had to work a bit harder but they are still a very good side. They still threw an awful lot at us and we defended really well.

"It's about building some momentum going into the play-offs and ensuring we've got that mentality for play-off football because it is different.

"I'm very proud of the players but we're not going to get carried away. We've put a marker down that we are intent on getting to the Grand Final and winning it this time."

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