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Rarely in the history of Super League has there been a Wigan Warriors v. St Helens derby match where the odds were so heavily stacked against the home side.

St Helens, with just one loss so far this season, travelled to the DW Stadium to take on a Wigan Warriors side who have had a terrible start to the 2019 season by their own very high standards. Wigan have only three wins to their name and are occupying a botton three spot but this was the oldest derby, and for most Warriors supporters, the must win game of the season.

A loss would make Wigan's top five hopes very difficult, a win for Saints would keep them in top spot, regardless of other results.

It took just five minutes for Saints to open their account when James Roby scooted from acting half back for a trademark try and he scored at the feet of Zak Hardaker. Lachlan Coote added the conversion for a 6-0 lead.

Saints lost Mark Percival with an injury on nine, pulling up and grasping his calf. On their next attack Wigan were awarded a penalty for an obstruction and moving the ball from the left to the right Hardaker found space to go over through a gap left by Morgan Escare.  Hardaker missed the target by some distance as they trailed by two.

A bad ankle injury to Tom Davies led to a long break in play while the player was attended to and stretchered off the field.

Regan Grace found space down the left wing on twenty-three after Jonny Lomax made a break and drew in the Wigan tacklers. Coote slid his conversion outside the near post, Saints just a converted try ahead.

Coote kicked a penalty goal on the half-hour mark after Wigan held on in the tackle.

Last ditch Wigan tackling seemed to have kept Wigan at bay but a fast play-the-ball went into the hands of Grace down the blind side and he walked over unopposed for his second. Coote added the conversion from the touchline for 18-4, Wigan were finding it tough going.

Wigan grabbed a lifeline on thirty-nine through George Williams who took an Oliver Gildart pass to go thirty metres to score under the sticks. Hardaker added the extras and the Warriors went in at the interval trailing by 10-18.

The first points of the second half went to Saints with a walk in try for Tommy Makinson as he took the ball in space twenty metres out down the right wing. Coote hit the far upright with his conversion attempt leaving Saints twelve points ahead.

Grace completed his hat-trick on sixty-one as he took the pass in the line, came inside wrong-footing the defenders, and went thirty metres to score. Coote added the extras for 28-10, the two points in the bag.

A coote penalty on sixty-eight brought up the Saints thirty and Coote scored a try himself on sixty-nine after beating Hardaker to a high kick ten metres from the Wigan line. He added the converstion for 36-10, a big win for the top of the table side.

With ninety second on the clock Jake Shorrocks was attended to for a long period before becoming the second Wigan player to be stretchered off the field during the game. Dominque Peyroux was sin-binned for the shoulder charge which injured Shorrocks.

The Warriors were never at the party as a dominant St Helens side led from start to end in the local derby to cruise to the two points. With the Warrington Wolves being beaten by Salford Red Devils the Saints are now four points clear at the top and looking like the honours are theirs to lose this season.

Warriors: Hardaker (2T), Davies, Hankinson, Gildart, Burgess, Williams (T), Shorrocks, Flower, Leuluai, Navarrete, Isa, Smithies, Partington.  Subs: O’Loughlin, Tautai, Bullock, Greenwood.

Saints: Coote (T, 6G), Makinson (T), Naiqama, Percival, Grace (3T), Lomax, Richardson, Walmsley, Roby (T), Thompson, Taia, Peyroux (SB on 79), Knowles.  Subs: Paulo. McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Lees, Smith.

Referee: James Child.

Half-Time: 10-18.

Full-Time: 10-36.

Attendance: 22,050.

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 19th Apr 2019 4:57 PM | Views : 4905 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES


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