Tommy Makinson on why St Helens have ‘won the battle but not the war’ against Wigan Warriors

ST HELENS took the first derby bragging rights of the season – and ended Wigan’s 16-match winning run in the process – but Tommy Makinson insists their Good Friday victory has no greater significance.

Two tries in the final seven minutes, from Makinson and his centre partner Konrad Hurrell, saw Saints overturn a deficit to triumph 12-4 over the old enemy in a brutally physical contest after Wigan’s Liam Byrne was dismissed.

“It was a proper Good Friday battle. We loved it,” said Makinson.

“This is what Super League is about, it’s the biggest derby around and a privilege to be involved. I thought it was a great game by both sides. It was tough, like it should be. 

“We got over the line in the end but we’ve got a lot of big games coming up, and we’ll meet Wigan again. It’s a big win, but we know there are big ones down the track.

“Wigan have been great. They are a great side. We’ll have many more great battles with them. We won the battle today but there’s many more to come.”

Makinson was a doubt for the derby after missing the previous two games with a hamstring issue, as was Lewis Dodd with an adductor injury.

But the two combined for the crucial try, with Dodd standing up a kick and Makinson leaping to claim it.

“It’s good to come back with a try and a big play, that’s what I’m about,” added the winger.

“You want to be involved in those big plays. I’ve got great players around me. Lewis Dodd put it on the spot. It was a special moment, and what an atmosphere.

While it took 73 minutes for Saints to score a try, Makinson said: “I’m always confident in us. We’ve got too many good players. 

“Wigan probably felt the same. That’s the beauty of our sport. They’ve got (Jai) Field, (Bevan) French, (Harry) Smith. You saw French come up with a massive play (for Wigan’s try). We’ve got those players as well. 

“It was a battle of attrition for a bit and then players take over and it’s about nailing it and putting it on the spot. That’s what we did. 

“There are plenty more big battles down the line. We’ve won the battle but not won the war.”