Saints go into derby on back of winning streak
Friday 22 April 2011
St Helens will have history as well as form on their side as they look to avenge their Grand Final defeat by Super League champions Wigan in the Good Friday derby at the DW Stadium.
Saints have won on each of their past three visits to Wigan and go into today's game on the back of a five-match winning run – the best in Super League – which has taken them to within a point of leaders Huddersfield.
Wigan coach Michael Maguire watched his side held to a draw by their arch-rivals in the opening game of the season in Cardiff and is expecting another difficult test.
"It will be a tough game," he said. "They are a team that have been bobbing along and playing very well. They have blooded a number of youngsters who have come through and performed. It is going to be a good test. I've seen the rivalry between Saints and Wigan from the day I walked in, they love playing each other and love beating each other."
It will be Wigan's first outing since Maguire confirmed he is to leave the club at the end of the season but Saints coach Royce Simmons is not expecting that announcement to cause any disruption for the champions.
"When you win a Premiership as a player or coach, there is a strong bond so I can't see it making any difference whatsoever," he said. "I wish it would.
"I have only met him a couple of times but he seems like an impressive bloke to me. When we played him in round one, after I'd been home for my father's funeral, he went out of his way to come and see me.
"It was a game where he had led 16-0 and it ended 16-16. You could be excused for not looking for the opposition coach because you might have been pretty cranky with the players.
"But he came out of his way and that shows the good qualities of the man. Obviously he is a very good coach and has a lot of discipline about him. That is another good quality.
"He wins the players' respect and gets the best out of them at the same time, which is what all good coaches do."
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester City paid the price for not dealing with Barcelona's Sergio Busquets
Arsenal vs Monaco: Theo Walcott 'involved in spat' with fans after Champions League defeat
Paul Scholes: Jose Mourinho's attempt to influence football's decision-makers is not working. In fact, it may have backfired
Piers Morgan 'hurt' after Arsenal legend Bob Wilson questions his support for the Gunners and labels him a 'pompous individual'
Brooklyn Beckham to be released: Why Arsenal could regret letting David Beckham's son depart
- 1 Scarlett Johansson new band 'already hit with legal complaint' from another The Singles
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East