St Helens beat Wigan to reach Grand Final – talking points & player ratings

St Helens booked their place in the Super League Grand Final as they eased past Wigan 40-10 at the Totally Wicked Stadium. 

Saints will have a week off next week, while Wigan will play Salford at the DW Stadium on Friday.

The winner of Wigan-Salford will meet St Helens in the Grand Final on October 12.

Justin Holbrook made one change to his St Helens side that beat Hull FC last time out. Aaron Smith replaced James Bentley.

Wigan coach Adrian Lam also made one change to his outfit that defeated Salford last week. Ollie Partington came in for Joe Greenwood.

Theo Fages and Kevin Naiqama scored for St Helens early doors before Liam Marshall pulled Wigan back into the game.

However, Saints started to roll Wigan through the middle and further efforts from Luke Thompson and Jonny Lomax gave St Helens a 26-6 lead at the break.

Zeb Taia and Mark Percival (2) crossed for the hosts in the second half, while Bevan French scored a consolation for Wigan late on. St Helens impressively ran-out 40-10 winners.

Three talking points

St Helens make Grand Final

St Helens have the made the Super League Grand Final for the first time since 2014 after defeating the old enemy in Wigan.

The Saints will be determined more than anything to bring the trophy back to the Totally Wicked Stadium this year after they fell short against Warrington in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

Holbrook has got two League Leaders’ Shields to his name while he has been at St Helens – but he will want the big one before he returns Down Under at the end of the year. They will be massive favourites to win it.

Monster effort from Thompson

Saints prop Thompson played 55 minutes before being subbed, which is an incredible effort for a front-rower in the modern game.

He only made his international debut for England last year but has already got four caps for his country. He is a certainty to be in the Great Britain squad for the Lions tour of the southern hemisphere this autumn.

The 24-year-old attended Wigan-based school St Edmund Arrowsmith with Wigan players Oliver Gildart and Joe Burgess, so he claimed the bragging rights over his old pals.

Wigan to face Salford

The Warriors will have a second bite at the cherry as they will face Salford at the DW Stadium next Friday, with the winner meeting St Helens at Old Trafford on October 12.

Wigan beat Salford 18-12 last week as part of the play-offs and will be hoping for a similar result this time around.

But their form against St Helens in 2019 doesn’t make for great reading though – with Lam’s side losing four times out of four.

Line-ups and player ratings

St Helens: Coote (8); Makinson (7), Naiqama (7), Percival (8), Grace (7); Lomax (8), Fages (7); Walmsley (8), Roby (7), Thompson (9), Taia (8), Peyroux (7), Knowles (9). Subs: McCarthy-Scarsbrook (7), Amor (7), Ashworth (7), Smith (7).

Tries: Fages, Naiqama, Thompson, Lomax, Taia, Percival (2) Goals: Coote 6/8

Wigan: Hardaker (8); Marshall (7), Hankinson (5), Gildart (6), Burgess (6); Williams (7), Leuluai (6); Clubb (6), Powell (7), Partington (6), Isa (6), Farrell (7), O’Loughlin (7). Subs: Byrne (6), Flower (7), French (6), Smithies (7).

Tries: Marshall, French Goals: Hardaker 1/2

Attendance: 14,508

Drew’s views

It was a world class performance from St Helens. They rolled Wigan from as soon as the ball was kicked and were in control throughout the match.

Every player in the Saints pack deserves big praise because they really did some damage to Wigan. They were relentless and made breaking the Warriors down look easy. It seems as though the week off certainly paid off for Saints.

As for Wigan, they were second best on the night. They will face the Red Devils next week for a spot to have another dig at the Saints in the final. It was a below par performance from Lam’s men.

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