Timing of points deduction did not affect derby result, says Adrian Lam

Adrian Lam refused to blame Wigan’s defeat to St Helens on their recent points deduction but admitted the timing of the announcement wasn’t good.

The Warriors fell short to a 22-12 defeat to local rivals Saints in the opening game of the 2019 Super League season at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Thursday night.

And just over 24 hours before kick-off, the RFL announced that Wigan would be docked two points ahead of the new campaign due to salary cap breaches dating back to 2017.

When asked if the points deduction affected his side’s display, Lam replied: “I don’t think so.

“We talked about it, but I don’t think it played a role in the performance.

“The timing of it from the club’s perspective wasn’t good. The whole off-season, and to tell us before the Saints game, the timing wasn’t good. I don’t think the news actually had any effect on the result.

“I found out yesterday, but what can you do? I don’t really know too much about it to be fair, so I can’t really comment at this stage.

“I know the club’s fighting it and are not happy with where it’s got to, so they will get that sorted out and the sooner that happens, the better for us.”

Despite the defeat to their arch enemy, Lam still feels as though there are still positives to take away from the match.

He added: “We dropped the ball in the first set and then were defending for 20 minutes which took a bit of gas out of us.

“It showed courage of the guys to get back level, especially considering the momentum St Helens had in the first half.

“The debutants were the highlight of the night for me. Joe Bullock was sensational. I’m so excited to see his progress this season and I’m happy Zak [Hardaker] got through the game.

“He was a bit clunky at times, he played one trial game, but the trial isn’t the same as a game at St Helens so I’m happy he’s got through that fit and healthy.”

Lam revealed forward Tony Clubb had 12 stitches in his mouth but should be okay to face Leeds Rhinos next week.

Dom Manfredi is also aiming to return from injury in time for their World Club Challenge clash against Sydney Roosters in two weeks.

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