Jon Wilkin - St Helens loss to Warrington a timely wake-up call

Jon Wilkin
Wilkin made 19 Super League appearances before his season was ended by injury in July

St Helens forward Jon Wilkin believes his side's failure to secure the League Leaders' Shield last week could prove to be a valuable shock to the system ahead of the play-offs.

Saints lost at home to Warrington, when they only needed a draw to clinch their first piece of silverware in six years.

They now need a point at Huddersfield on Friday to win the Shield.

"It's a bit of a wake-up call for us going into the big games at the end of the year," said Wilkin.

Talking to BBC's Super League Show, the England forward continued: "Performances like that don't stack up now, we need to play well every week from this point.

"Warrington controlled the speed of the game, they really dominated how the game went. That was frustrating for me as a player watching."

Saints' 31st honour on hold
World Club Challenge2001, 2007
League Titles (Super League/Championship)1932, 1953, 1959, 1966, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006
League Leaders' Shield2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
Challenge Cup1956, 1961, 1966, 1972, 1976, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008

Castleford are the only side that can upstage St Helens to top the table at the end of the regular season this week, but they need the Giants to beat Saints before then beating Catalan Dragons in Perpignan, France, on Saturday.

Wilkin, who is out for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury, admitted having the Shield in sight played a part in their error-strewn performance.

"When there are consequences it does produce a nervous reaction from players," he said.

"Not only did the errors cost us, but our reluctance to defence well off the back of making errors was a problem.

"All teams make mistakes, but we didn't follow those mistakes up by defending well and quite often we conceded tries as a result."

However, Wilkin also added that the defeat has galvanised the side.

"Watching the League Leaders' Shield being packed up and be moved away live on air is some motivation for us," he said.

"We were written off at the weekend and we will be looking to put that right and finish at the top of the table this week."

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