Bitter taste for Mike against arch-rivals

Tempers flare in the second half of the game between Wigan Warriors and St Helens during Magic weekend fixture at Etihad Stadium
Tempers flare in the second half of the game between Wigan Warriors and St Helens during Magic weekend fixture at Etihad Stadium
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MIKE Rush had to swallow the bitter pill of defeat for the third time in a couple of months against old foes, Wigan Warriors, at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday night – and it’s a taste he can do without.

The acting head coach said he couldn’t draw any positives from a game in which Saints were blown away in the first half, conceding six tries and eventually toppled to a humiliating 42-16 defeat.

He said: “Wigan were excellent in the opening 25 minutes and before we knew it we were 26-0 down and hadn’t even had a crack at them.

“I think we completed our first five or six sets but it didn’t matter as we didn’t do anything to stem te tide.

“At that point they’d completed 14 sets and you can’t play rughy like that.

“I can’t tell you why we weren’t at the races in that opening spell.

“After all it is Saints against Wigan in a derby and, therefore, we should have no excuse for not being there.”

Rush also insisted that the short turnaround from Monday’s excellent 31-18 victory at Leeds Rhinos didn’t have any bearing on the result but conceded that everything they did well at Headingley had been undone six days later.

Of the second-half incident which resulted in Wigan’s Gareth Hock and Chris Tuson being giving their marching orders and Saints’ Shaun Magennis being shown the red card, the Saints’ boss declined to make any comment, other than saying the matter would no doubt be settled at Red Hall on Tuesday (last night).

n THREE Wigan players, Gareth Hock, Chris Tuson and Lee Mossop, and Saints’ Shaun Magennis were due to appear before an RL disciplinary committee last night (Tuesday) charged with punching during the second-half of the derby encounter at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday night.

Hock, Tuson and Magennis were all shown the red card on the day but after reviewing video evidence Mossop was also charged and was given the opportunity to enter an early guilty plea by 11am yesterday (Tuesday).