JON Wilkin thinks the Wigan defeat was a timely reminder of what it takes to win a big match.
He says Michael Maguire’s side were ruthless in defence and that has to be a key of Saints’ play going forward.
“Our pride was dented after the Wigan match,” he said “We turned up to win that game and we got beaten. From the outside it may seem like we got beaten without a fight but that wasn’t the case. We tried hard, had passion and energy and but we didn’t have that last two per cent that gets you from a good team to a championship team.
“Wigan were ruthless and disciplined with us and that is a timely reminder of what we need to do to win a big game. Our execution was poor and we defended too much. You can’t do that in the big games and win.
“We have enjoyed the intensity in training this week. It has been the best of the season so far. We have been aggressive with each other and ruthless.
“I didn’t realise we hadn’t beaten the teams above us until after the match and that isn’t something that sits comfortably with us. It is a massive game this week and we need to lay a marker that we aren’t a soft touch. We need to fight for every inch on the field and show desperation and desire. That’s what makes champion teams.
“Warrington’s success this season has been their stingy defence as it gives them the energy to go out and score points. They are knocking teams over and making everyone sit up and take notice too.”
Jon has been one of Saints standout performers over the last few weeks and has been playing nearly 80 minutes a match.
He also played in the Origin game and admits he has enjoyed the challenge of backing up recently.
“It’s been a difficult few weeks but to be honest I didn’t feel any knocks or anything like that until midway through the Wigan game. The Exiles match was a good experience and I didn’t get chance to recover for the Bradford match – but that didn’t affect me much.
“We contributed four forwards for the Exiles match and we played a lot of minutes. But that’s no excuse as we are conditioned to play that about of time. My match fitness I as good as it has been for a long time.
“I know there is talk of the game being on a free weekend, but I’m not that bothered. I enjoyed the mental and physical challenge of going from the Exiles Weekend to Bradford and then to Wigan.
“I think there is plenty of scope for it to become a big day and possibly a series in the future. It was well supported and the intensity was there too.
“It is certainly the closest I have been to playing in a Test Match environment without playing Australia or New Zealand.
“It felt like a big game and that’s important!”