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  • Greenwood, Swift (2),
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Wigan

  • Richards, Charnley (2),
    Goals: Richards,
    Drop goals: Richards, Smith,
  • First Utility Super League
  • 22nd Jul 2013
  • KO 19:45
  • Att: 14,204

Wigan coach Shaun Wane defends decision to rest four key players against St Helens

Last updated: 23rd July 2013  

 Nathan Brown St Helens Boots N All

Nathan Brown: Saints coach felt side showed 'good character'

 Shaun Wane - Wigan

Shaun Wane: One eye on Saturday's Challenge Cup semi-final

I couldn't afford to risk them with such a short turn-around.

Wane on absentees
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Wigan coach Shaun Wane defended his decision to field a weakened side despite suffering a 22-16 derby defeat to St Helens.

The Warriors would have reclaimed top place in the Super League with a victory, but Wane rested Sean O'Loughlin, Sam Tomkins and Harrison Hansen ahead of Saturday's Challenge Cup semi-final against London Broncos.

Michael McIlorum was given only 26 minutes on the field, and Wane insisted that all four were nursing minor knee injuries after Wigan slumped to their third defeat in four games.

"They had knocks on their knees and missed a couple of days at the start of the week," Wane said. "I couldn't afford to risk them with such a short turn-around.

"That team could and should have won the game. It was two tries apiece at half-time and we bombed two tries," added Wane, who was impressed with the performance of 18-year-old Ryan Hampshire.

"I thought young Hampshire played really well," Wane said. "There were some good performances and a lot of effort. But we didn't help ourselves by turning so much ball over and giving seven penalties away in the last 20 minutes.

"Saints played out of their skin and we were nowhere near good enough."

Reward

Saints' Joe Greenwood dropped the ball going for a try, but he atoned with the match-winning score with four minutes left.

Coach Nathan Brown said: "Joe had an unhappy start to the game and the early part of the second half wasn't great for him. We put him back out there and he rewarded his team-mates for the faith they had in him.

"He's a young kid who has a long way to go but he's definitely a lot of talent.

"I thought our defence was as good as it's been at any stage this year. We hung in there, it was a good result. The boys showed good character.

"After we dropped the ball over the line and they scored, we defended our line for a long period and I suppose that was the difference in the game. It was by far our best performance to date."

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First Utility Super League Table

First Utility Super League Table - March 1 2015
Pos Team P Pts
1 St Helens 3 6
2 Leeds Rhinos 3 6
3 Catalans Dragons 3 4
4 Warrington Wolves 3 4
5 Wakefield Wildcats 3 4
6 Widnes Vikings 3 3
7 Wigan Warriors 3 3
8 Hull FC 3 2
9 Hull K R 3 2
10 Salford Red Devils 3 2
11 Castleford Tigers 3 0
12 Huddersfield Giants 3 0
Forthcoming First Utility Super League Fixtures
TimeFixture
First Utility Super League
Thursday 5th March
20:00Hull FC vs Leeds Rhinos
Friday 6th March
20:00Wakefield Wildcats vs St Helens
20:00Huddersfield Giants vs Widnes Vikings
20:00Castleford Tigers vs Wigan Warriors
Saturday 7th March
15:30Catalans Dragons vs Salford Red Devils
Sunday 8th March
15:00Warrington Wolves vs Hull K R
Thursday 12th March
20:00Huddersfield vs Castleford
Friday 13th March
20:00Warrington vs Leeds
20:00Wigan vs Hull
20:00Widnes Vikings vs St Helens

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