Yates' view: 'Form counts for nowt' on derby day

Kevin Naiqama fends off Wigan's Dan Sarginson on his way to scoring a try on the opening night of the season when Saints defeated Wigan. Picture: SWPix
Kevin Naiqama fends off Wigan's Dan Sarginson on his way to scoring a try on the opening night of the season when Saints defeated Wigan. Picture: SWPix
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Saints may be riding high in the Betfred Super League and arch-rivals Wigan Warriors struggling in the lower reaches of the table but as any Northerner will tell you form counts for nowt on derby day.


A little bit of luck here and there, an unkindly bounce of the ball, or a player shown a red card in the white-hot atmosphere of what is likely to be approaching a sell-out crowd at the DW Stadium cannot entirely be ruled out .

But I believe the team which can build better on what will be frenetic opening exchanges will be favourites to pick up two precious points.

St Helens will be desperate to start their Easter programme with a win against the auld enemy and retain top spot ahead of Easter Monday's home fixture against Hull FC.

The Warriors, on the other hand, need a victory to boost morale in the camp after losing seven of their first 10 league fixtures this year.

Added to their sense of woe is that, having been drawn away to Warrington Wolves in the Coral Challenge Cup sixth round, they could be dumped out of competition at the first hurdle - and fail to reach the top five before the play-offs.

That would be a catastrophe for a club of the Warriors' stature who have had enough off-field problems recently with the news that Central Park legend Shaun Edwards is not returning to his home town club as coach in 2020.

The euphoria among fans concerning his expected return was there for all to see but now they cannot hide their disappointment.

But what baffles me is why the Cherry and Whites hierarchy didn't come out and reveal publicly when the media claimed Edwards was on his way to the DW Stadium and say no contract had been officially signed yet.

It would have nipped everything in the bud and Wigan wouldn't have been left with egg on their face.

Saints will be hoping that happens again on Good Friday !