St Helens captain Jon Wilkin has insisted that their Magic Weekend clash against Warrington kicks off a hugely important month of rugby for them – and the Newcastle fixture is one that is “must-win.”
The Saints were hammered by the Wolves at last year’s event, and Wilkin admitted that the team are aiming to produce a much-improved effort this year after letting themselves down last year.
And he said that the clash on Sunday afternoon has major implications for the season ahead.
“It was shocking last year at Magic, without a doubt,” Wilkin said.
“Warrington played really well; they produced a nine out of ten performance and we were down at five or six out of ten and that’s not good enough.
“This is a big game; it’s the extra fixture above and beyond our home and away games, and it’s the fixture that could differentiate between the teams come the end of the season. It could have a massive say in points because we’re playing a team so near us. We need to produce a performance and we need to win – it’s a must-win in the context of the season.
He continued: “The implications of this game are huge, and that makes things entertaining. The season has been built up that every minute matters, and the 80 minutes on Sunday really do matter.
“We’ve got our eye on the play-offs and being in that top four is where you need to be. We need a solid month of rugby now which we need to win. It’s not all done if we don’t, but we’re coming here to produce a performance fitting of St Helens because we let ourselves down last year.”