11th May 2018, 11:01 | womens_super_league

Brennan looks ahead to historic derby clash

Brennan looks ahead to historic derby clash

Saints star Matty Smith has also been helping the side find their edge.

St Helens Women Head Coach Mark Brennan will be calling on history for motivation as he prepares his team to take on old rivals Wigan Warriors this weekend.

Saints travel to Robin Park where they will face the Warriors on Sunday, 2pm kick off, in the first-ever Wigan v Saints derby in Women's Rugby League.

Saints have come out on top in all of their games so far in 2018, scoring at least 40 points in each win, including an eye-catching 42-4 success at reigning champions, Bradford Bulls, on April 22.

Wigan, meanwhile, were edged out 20-14 by Leeds Rhinos in April and drew 14-all with Castleford Tigers on Sunday, but demolished 2017 Grand Finalists Featherstone Rovers 54-0 in an impressive round one showing.

Brennan is looking forward to the challenge of facing what he calls a 'typical' Wigan side.

He said: "It will be a good test against a new Wigan team who have enjoyed a good start to the year.

"We've started really well but need to avoid being complacent. I watched Wigan against Castleford on Sunday and they're a typical Wigan team with a dominant pack.

"They have a lot of good young players, as well as a couple of world class former England players.

"It's the first-ever Saints-Wigan derby in the women's game, so there's a bit of history being made this weekend," he added.

"It's a fixture with a lot of history and heritage and, as a Saints fan myself, it'll be an honour to be part of it."


Brennan will use the historic fixture as inspiration for his players this weekend, but is keen to stick to their plan as they go in search of a fourth-successive win.

He said: "Wherever the women's league goes in the next 50-plus years, we'll always be the group of players who made history and were part of the first Saints v Wigan women's fixture - that's what I'll be telling the players this week.

"The 17 who take to the field will be creating their own bit of history, but it is just another game and we want to keep our run going."

Brennan also paid tribute to St Helens for their efforts in raising the bar for the women's team since rebranding from the hugely-successful Thatto Heath Crusaders side.

"The link with the Saints has been hugely positive," he said.

"We're training two or three times a week, rather than just once which we did previously. And we've been able to attract more players, which means more people at training, which has improved the quality of our sessions.


"Matty Smith also joined us last night - he spent over an hour working with our halfbacks - that kind of support from someone who's played for England is really valuable to us.

"It's just made everyone 10 per cent better and we're proud to be representing everyone who's supported us so far this weekend."