Saints boss Kristian Woolf says team excited to get back into action
Saints and Wigan Warriors go into Sunday's eagerly-awaited derby showdown at the Totally Wicked Stadium with defending champions' boss Kristian Woolf declaring: ''It has been a strange couple of weeks for us.''
The title holders haven't played since their 6-2 home defeat against the Warrington Wolves due to Covid-19 problems at both Hull KR and Castleford Tigers, while Wigan have been beset by injury and have lost their last four fixtures.
Woolf said: ''It has been an extremely challenging period for the club to navigate but we are all excited about the prospect of getting back on the pitch.
''The players felt a little let down when the two games were postponed but it is what it is at the moment and a case of forgetting what we have missed out on in the past couple of weeks and concentrate on the future. starting this Sunday
''Everyone is in the same boat following a resurgence of the pandemic but we are all really looking forward to the big one this weekend and getting excited.
''We are also expecting Wigan to be at their absolute best, and we know that we’ll have to be the same to win as well.”
Despite the Warriors four-match losing run, St Helens prop Alex Walmsley insisted it would be foolhardy to read anything into their rivals recent slump in form.
He said: ''When it comes to these derby games form often goes out of the window but we are relishing the challenge and I’m sure there will be a loud and noisy atmosphere, even with only 4,000 fans in the stadium.''
Wigan head coach Adrian Lam said: “It has been a difficult run for us and we are in a bit of a rut as a club and down on confidence, but through these periods we want to make sure we stick together.
“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. It’s a massive game at St Helens.
“These are the games we live for and play for as a club. It’s our arch-rivals and the first time we’ve met since the Grand Final - so we’re looking forward to it.”
Injuries have taken its toll on a Warriors' side that will be without the likes of John Bateman, Bevan French and Zak Hardaker.