A late try from Jonny Lomax secured St Helens a 20-18 victory over 12-man Wigan at St James’ Park Magic Weekend.
The England international crossed with two minutes on the clock to claim the victory, with Brad Singleton being sent from the field on 65 minutes.
Alex Walmsley missed out for St Helens due to the immanent arrival of this third child . Matty Lees celebrated his 100th Super League appearance. Will Hopoate returned to the side and was named at full-back.
Cade Cust returned for Wigan for the first time since the Challenge Cup final. It meant a return to full-back for Jai Field, while Bevan French was named on the wing. Morgan Smithies also returned on the bench. Kai Pearce-Paul and Abbas Miski missed out.
St Helens opened the scoring through a penalty goal. Brad Singleton was pinged for a high shot on Jonny Lomax as St Helens looked dangerous and Jon Bennison converted the points on offer.
Wigan did well to hold out their opposition, who piled on the pressure with strong field position and possession early on. And their solid defence was eventually rewarded.
Full-back Field found his winger in French unmarked in the corner to score the first try of the derby on 30 minutes. Harry Smith converting from wide for a 6-2 score.
HT: St Helens 2-6 Wigan
It took Wigan just three minutes into the second half to cross for their second. Try-scorer French with the assist this time, kicking in-field from a break for John Bateman to collect and score.
St Helens replied with a try of their own on 53 minutes. Jonny Lomax switching the play to the short side and Joe Batchelor kicking for himself to beat Field to score in the corner.
The reigning champions crossed for their second just six minutes later. Jack Welsby capitalised on a mistake from the Warriors to race away from 30 metres out and slide over in the corner.
Wigan’s Singleton was sent from the field for a high shot on opposition Sironen. Having missed the try conversions, Bennison converted the penalty goal to level the scores on 65 minutes.
Despite going down to 12 men, Wigan regained their lead on 71 minutes. Field and French combining once again, the former making the break and kicking through to assist the latter.
Racing 92-bound Regan Grace scored in the corner with just five minutes to go, but once again Bennison couldn’t convert from wide.
Lomax’s moment came with 78 minutes gone on the clock. Batchelor with the break, and the back-rower passed on his inside to his supporting half-back to claim the bragging rights.
St Helens: Hopoate, Bennison, Hurrell, Mata’utia, Grace, Welsby, Lomax, Paasi, Roby, Lees, Sironen, Batchelor, Knowles.
Bench: Lussick, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Wingfield, Norman.
Tries: Batchelor, Welsby, Grace, Lomax.
Goals: Bennison 2/6
Wigan: Field, French, Isa, Bibby, Marshall, Cust, Smith, Singleton, Powell, Byrne, Farrell, Bateman, Shorrocks.
Bench: Smithies, Mago, Partington, Havard.
Tries: French, Bateman, French.
Goals: Smith 3/3