St Helens coach Justin Holbrook said Wigan just wanted to win more than his side did in their derby defeat.
The Saints were downed 30-10 by the Warriors in a Super 8s clash at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday night.
Saints would have clinched the League Leaders’ Shield if they had won, but Holbrook was more concerned about his side’s effort rather than picking up the trophy on the day.
He said: “They were better than us in every area of the game and they thoroughly deserved to win convincingly.
“Someone said to me ‘you can’t have it your own way all of the time’ and that is a fair case. We have beat them twice this year and we wanted to beat them a third time but I think we underestimated how much they wanted to beat us.
“We have beat them twice and we thought that we were ready to go again but they just beat us in every area. They played the ball faster, they tackled stronger, they executed their plays, they looked a threat all the time and we were just fumbling our way through the 80 minutes. It was a good learning curve for us and we have to learn from it and move on.
“We are still sitting in a good spot but we want to make sure that we play better than what we did and if we don’t then we won’t beat anyone. If we do, we are confident that we can beat anyone. We have got to play well and we didn’t do that.”
Reports from Down Under this week have suggested that Saints star Ben Barba will join NRL side North Queensland Cowboys next year.
Barba is under contract with St Helens for 2019 and with his future up in the air, Holbrook hopes something will be resolved sooner rather than later.
He said: “I think talks are still ongoing.
“There is stuff to sort out from a number of clubs and things like that so it is in the process. I thought he was good tonight, he tried really hard and that’s the main thing. Something will get sorted out soon.”