SAINTS coach Kristian Woolf rued the lapses in concentration that contributed hugely to his side's 18-6 defeat by Wigan Warriors.

Having lost their previous five outings against Saints, there was a real hunger about Wigan to claim their first derby win since August 2018.

That Wigan aggression and physicality, combined with the Saints mistakes, slowly but surely saw the balance of a tight game tip into the visitors' favour.

And listening to the way the Wigan pack was whooping with delight in the closing stages, it was clear they felt they had put a marker down for the play-offs whenever and what format they come in.

Woolf identified the key, unforced errors that were costly - and all were ruthlessly punished.

"I thought we made too many errors in the second half and put ourselves under pressure," he said.

"The first half was a good physical half of footy and went back and forth and for long periods we started to get the better of them,

"But at the end of the first half we made a couple more errors and put ourselves under pressure. And for some reason we started the second half the same,

"We had a couple of concentration errors in the second half. That basically meant we spent most of the second half coming off our tryline.

"We did get down there off the back of a penalty and looked really threatening and got a repeat but then dropped the drop out. So we didn't give ourselves any chance to build any pressure there.

"The disappointing thing was the errors were not through playing footy but were purely concentration errors.

"Whether it was drops at the play the ball, catches we should be taking and dropping the ball in contact when you are in a big game you can't make concentration errors - you have to be 100 per cent on it and a couple of individuals have certainly learned some harsh lesson there tonight.

"They know they will be better for it and will certainly make amends next time we get a run."

After a run of games against below-par or understrength opposition, Saints had been relishing a tough encounter to get them up to the mark for the business end.

But they will have to iron out those errors for next time.

Woolf said: "It was the type of game we were looking forward to, we haven't had that for five or six weeks.

"We wanted that sort of game and got it and we will certainly learn from it and be a little bit better next time.

"It was the most intense and most physical game we've played for very long time. You do evaluate yourself harder when you don't win - that is what we will do

We go away and lick our wounds and see where we need to be better.

"The fact of the matter is we didn't play at our best but we weren't too far off. We'll clean up a couple of things. We're not putting it all on big Al but he does come back into the side and he does make a difference.

"We will get them again at some stage in the next few weeks and we will be better for it and right up for the challenge."

Saints' next game is due to be against Catalans Dragons in Perpignan next Thursday but a meeting of Super League clubs on Monday is set to discuss proposals to end the regular season early and focus on the play-offs, a move Woolf would favour.

"The competition was at a tipping point and had probably gone over that as we have got teams not fulfilling fixtures. I don't how we can keep going because we know there's going to be more disruption with Covid at some stage," he said.

"The more games we are asking some teams to play who aren't trying for play-offs any more, the more they are going to struggle

"Before it gets out of hand and we get teams getting into a top four with points they haven't deserved to be there we need to figure out what we're going to do and, to me, going straight into a finals series makes sense."