One-off game: Isa

One-off game: Isa

  • Willie Isa looks ahead to Friday’s Betfred Super League Round 21 fixture against St Helens.

  • Loose forward says it is time for his team to take an ‘extra step forward’ after their recent winning run.

  • Isa: “It’s the biggest derby in English rugby league. I’ve seen the debate, but I think nothing goes past a Wigan and Saints derby.”

Willie Isa says there will be two different teams on show at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday, compared to three months ago when Wigan Warriors and St Helens last met.

Saints came out on top on Good Friday to make it back-to-back wins against the Warriors this year, following their Round 1 success in January.

Adrian Lam’s side return to the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday on the back of five straight Betfred Super League victories, but Isa believes that form does not come in to play in a derby.

He said: “They are 2-0 up on us this season. It is a one-off game though and we’ve learned a lot this year. We’ll see two different teams; I think we’re a better team than when we played them previously and they would probably say the same thing.

Isa in training this week.

“From a team perspective, we just have to do our job and keep doing what we’ve been doing in recent weeks.

“We just need to take that extra step forward now. No form comes into these games.”

The loose forward revealed his excitement of seeing an expected sell-out of Cherry and White fans at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

“It’s going to be a big game, as they always are against Saints. They’ve been going well and setting the bar for the whole competition. I always look forward to these games because it means a lot to the people of Wigan.

“Our fans are so passionate and always get behind us by chanting and banging the drum to the 80th-minute. It helps us so much when we play, and it means a lot to us. I have to make sure I bring my part to the party and play well for my teammates and the supporters.”

Since joining the Club in 2016, Isa has featured in a number of Wigan and Saints derbies - he stated there is nothing like else like it.

“It’s the biggest derby in English rugby league. I’ve seen the debate, but nothing goes past a Wigan and Saints derby.

“The two teams are always competing for trophies at the end of each year and that’s what brings the spectacle to the fixture.”

Despite Wigan missing some notable players in the 19-man squad this week, the 30-year-old is confident his side can perform to their best.

“We’ve got some key players out and our captain Sean O’Loughlin is a big miss, but we’ve played before without him.

“As long as we play as a collective 17 and together as one, we will perform to our maximum on the night and that’s the most important thing.”

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