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St Helens

  • Greenwood, Swift (2),
    Goals: Turner (2), Makinson, O'Brien (2),
22 - 16

Wigan

  • Richards, Charnley (2),
    Goals: Richards,
    Drop goals: Richards, Smith,
  • 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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Super League Table

Super League Table - July 27 2014
Pos Team P Pts
1 St Helens 22 34
2 Leeds Rhinos 22 32
3 Wigan Warriors 22 30
4 Castleford Tigers 22 30
5 Warrington Wolves 22 28
6 Huddersfield Giants 22 28
7 Catalan Dragons 22 23
8 Widnes Vikings 22 21
9 Hull K R 22 20
10 Wakefield Wildcats 22 19
11 Salford Red Devils 22 17
12 Hull FC 22 16
13 Bradford Bulls * 22 4
14 London Broncos 22 0
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