St Helens beat Wigan to extend lead at top of Super League

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

St Helens have all but booked themselves a place in the play-offs with a win over arch rivals Wigan.

St Helens would need to lose their final game of the regular campaign next week and all of their Super 8s fixtures as well as fifth-placed Hull FC winning all of their games for Saints not to qualify for a spot in the play-offs.

It is only mathematically possible at the moment because of points difference.

Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane made four changes to his side that lost at Huddersfield Giants last time out. Chris Hankinson, Dan Sarginson, Joe Greenwood and John Bateman replaced Oliver Gildart, Morgan Escaré, Samy Kibula and Sean O’Loughlin.

Justin Holbrook was forced to make three changes to his St Helens side that won at Hull FC last week. Ryan Morgan, Matty Lees and Jack Ashworth came in for Ben Barba, Mark Percival and Zeb Taia.

St Helens opened the scoring at the DW Stadium. Sarginson and Liam Marshall collided when collecting a Jonny Lomax grubber and the ball fell into the arms of Dom Peyroux who scored. Danny Richardson converted to put Saints in the lead after 10 minutes.

Richardson extended Saints’ lead midway through the first half after Wigan were caught having a second effort in the tackle. Richardson added the penalty goal and they were 8-0 ahead at half-time.

Saints extended their lead in the 50thminute. Wales international Morgan Knowles broke a tackle a went over out wide. Richardson’s boot took the score to 14-0.

Romain Navarette came close to scoring for Wigan on the hour mark, but the referee pulled it up for double movement.

Sam Tomkins pulled one back for the Warriors late on as he stepped three Saints defenders to score under the posts. He converted his own try, but Saints finished 14-6 winners to go ten points above second-placed Wigan in the table and end the Warriors’ 2018 unbeaten home record.

Wigan: S Tomkins; Davies, Hankinson, Sarginson, Marshall; Woods, Powell; Clubb, Leuluai, Flower, Isa, Bateman, Navarette. Subs: Hamlin, Paisley, Greenwood, Tautai.

St Helens: Lomax; Swift, Makinson, Morgan, Grace; Fages, Richardson; Amor, Roby, Thompson, Peyroux, Knowles, Wilkin. Subs: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Douglas, Lees, Ashworth.

Starman: Luke Thompson was a battering ram for Saints. His power was too much to handle at times for Wigan’s defence.

Attendance: 16,047

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