Saints go into derby on back of winning streak

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."

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'