Wigan left to pray as Saints scent heaven

Rugby League
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The Independent Online
The Wigan coach, Graeme West, is as likely to watch motorbike racing near his home this afternoon as to sit and sweat over the final destination of the Stones Super League Championship, writes Dave Hadfield.

West saw his side do everything they could do, running up a record Super League score and inflicting a worst-ever defeat on a hapless Workington Town on Saturday evening.

He knows, however, that the 78-4 victory over opponents resigned to relegation will be forgotten if St Helens beat Warrington by a single point today. And, being the realist he is, West expects them to win rather more easily than that.

"There isn't anything I can do to influence it," he said, "so there isn't much point sitting and worrying about it. I'll watch it if I happen to be in."

Saints will be close to full strength this afternoon, with Chris Morley likely to hold his place in the second row and Derek McVey held in reserve to make an impact off the bench.

Few really expect Saints to lose their momentum and slip up at this late stage; even Warrington are talking down their chances of upsetting their plans.

Still voluntarily without Iestyn Harris, they have Paul Hulme returning in the second row and Gary Chambers replacing the injured Warren Stevens at prop.

"I'll be saying a few extra Hail Marys," said Shaun Edwards, who was at the centre of much of Wigan's best work in his first start for month.

But his suspicion, like that of his coach, is that the title has already been lost and that Saints will complete the formalities at Knowsley Road today.

Wigan's Great Britain winger Jason Robinson is set to join Bath rugby union club, according to a Sunday newspaper report.