Wigan vs. St Helens: Derby Clash Headlines Rugby League News

Wigan Warriors Brace for Derby Clash Without Brad O’Neill, Saints Aim to Free Moses Mbye

Ahead of the highly anticipated derby between Wigan Warriors and St Helens this Friday, both teams have been dealt significant blows due to suspension issues.

Wigan will be without their hooker Brad O’Neill, who was handed a one-match ban following an incident in their previous fixture. However, the Warriors have decided against appealing the suspension, as explained by head coach Matt Peet:

“We’re not going to appeal, no. I’ve got my own opinions about the charge and the tackle but from the discussions we’ve had, I don’t feel like there’s much hope for getting Brad off. I’d rather direct our energy elsewhere – I’d rather move on.”

In contrast, St Helens are determined to free up their hooker Moses Mbye, who was also given a one-match suspension. The Saints have opted to contest Mbye’s ban, with head coach Paul Wellens stating:

“We’ve got Moses on a one-game ban but we will be contesting that. I’m not going to sit here and plead the case as to why but we’re not contesting because we’re playing Wigan away – we’re contesting because we feel we have a case.”

The absence of key hookers could force both teams to field unconventional options in the pivotal number nine role for this top-of-the-table clash. Wigan’s Kruise Leeming remains sidelined due to injury, while Daryl Clark’s omission from the Saints’ 21-man squad against Castleford Tigers raises further concerns about their depth in the hooking position.

As the two Super League giants prepare to lock horns, the resolve of their squads and the ability to adapt to these setbacks will be tested. Fans can expect an intense and unpredictable encounter as Wigan and St Helens battle for supremacy in this highly anticipated derby.

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