TALKING SPORT: Bring on the derby

Saints skipper Paul Wellens looks ahead to Monday's clash with Wigan Warriors.
Saints skipper Paul Wellens looks ahead to Monday's clash with Wigan Warriors.

I DON’T need to tell Saints’ fans the significance of Monday’s derby showdown against Wigan Warriors at Langtree Park.

Victory over their bitter rivals from the other side of Billinge Hill would be a massive shot-in-the-arm to coach Nathan Brown’s side as they

battle - and that’s exactly the right word to use - for a place in the end-of-season play-offs.

On the other hand, defeat would be a bitter pill to swallow as, depending on the outcome of the Bradford Bulls v Hull FC clash on Friday, they could conceivably find themselves down a rung to eighth in the Super League ladder.

Let’s hope this is not the case but while Wigan’s league results of late have been a little topsy-turvy they will go into the clash as favourites to complete a double after winning 28-16 at the DW Stadium earlier in the year and seeking to climb back into pole position in the event of fellow title-chasers Huddersfield Giants having overcome Castleford Tigers at the John Smith’s Stadium the previous day.

But derbies in any sport often make a mockery of league positions and if Saints can eradicate one of their main failings this season - leaking far too many early tries - then a shock result could be on the cards.

Incidentally, the match is all-ticket and supporters are asked to snap up their passes as quickly as possible to avoid disappointment.

Tickets are available by visiting Langtree Park, telephoning 01744 455052, or via the club web site.

g TUNED-in to RL Superstars on Sky TV eagerly anticipating the views of special guest Steve Ganson - and I wasn’t disappointed or surprised by what I heard. St Helens-born Ganson answered host Terry O’Connor’s questions in the same way he controlled matches. With honesty and integrity. He didn’t skirt around any issues concerning his time as a top referee and admitted to making mistakes, putting it down to human error, but insisted he got more right than wrong.