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Match Report: Wigan 18 St Helens 26

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Friday 7th September 2012
Wigan Warriors 18 St Helens 26
DW Stadium, Wigan
Stobart Super League 17 - Round 27 of 27

Kick Off 8:00pm


- Wigan - St Helens
1 Sam Tomkins T 1 Paul Wellens
2 Josh Charnley 21 Tommy Makinson T G3
3 Darrell Goulding 3 Michael Shenton
4 George Carmont 26 Josh Jones T
5 Pat Richards T G3 5 Francis Meli
6 Brett Finch 6 Lance Hohaia
7 Thomas Leuluai T 7 Jonny Lomax T
8 Stuart Fielden 8 Josh Perry
9 Michael McIlorum 9 James Roby T
14 Jeff Lima 14 Anthony Laffranchi
11 Harrison Hansen 15 Mark Flanagan
13 Gareth Hock 11 Tony Puletua
13 Sean O'Loughlin 12 Jon Wilkin
Interchange:
10 Lee Mossop 10 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook
16 Liam Farrell 16 Paul Clough
22 Gil Dudson 19 Andrew Dixon T
23 Ben Flower 32 Joe Greenwood

Report:

Wigan lifted the League Leaders' Shield but couldn't finish the regular season with a win -the old enemy took the spoils 18-26 as 21,522 fans Joined Jack in a Derby Day with a significant message. With the DW Stadium alive with colour and Joining Jack salutes, both sides spread the message with special kits to raise awareness for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Michael McIlorum was shown red after just quarter of an hour but the Warriors toughed it out to stay within touching distance until the final quarter.

The sides will now avoid each other in the first round of the playoffs, which start at the DW Stadium on Friday, with Wigan entertaining either Catalans or Leeds.

The Warriors got off to the perfect start when Tommy Leuluai made his home return with a trademark try - taking on the line and stepping through with as much muscle as grace. They looked in the kind of mood St. Helens couldn't live with at Magic Weekend in May but the dominance was to come to an abrupt end.

The tide swayed on the quarter hour when Wigan hooker McIlorum saw red from referee, James Child after a late challenge on Anthony Laffranchi and both sides responded by putting in sinew-twisting hits.

Jonny Lomax and James Roby wasted no time in exploiting the extra-man advantage by frequently turning the Wigan defence and the pressure finally broke the hatch in the 23rd minute as Roby barged over by the posts.

The Warriors struggled to make an attacking impact and as the half-hour approached, Pat Richards and George Carmont made a rare defensive error when a Jon Wilkin kick baffled them and nearly gifted Saints a score. Although Wigan survived - the resulting scrum stretched the defence too much and after a consultation with the video referee, Tommy Makinson nudged Saints in front and nailed the difficult touchline conversion to give the Warriors a tough job.

The home side were not to be put off by the extra defensive effort required though and pushed for a leveler throughout the last five minutes of the half - but only after yet more nerve jangling moments when a crossfield kick looking for Meli was pulled back for offside.

O'Loughlin then had a go at finding the Saints line but was caught on the last, then a series of drop-outs led to Wigan having one last push in the final play of the half after Wellens knocked the ball dead from a Sean O'Loughlin kick.

The second half began brightly as Wigan started with more composure than they played the majority of the first half. Pat Richards brought the Warriors on level terms after converting his own score which was referred to the video to check if he was in touch after he took a sharp O'Loughlin pass from dummy half.

The Warriors continued to push to reclaim their early lead when Liam Farrell broke to give the field position for Leuluai and Josh Charnley to both go close but Saints regained their advantage on the scoreboard when Andrew Dixon backed-up Tony Puletua on a break to accept a simple pass to stride in. It took the video referee a few looks to determine how the ball came to be in Laffranchi's possession but the try was given and Wigan wouldn't recover.

Brett Finch broke the Saints line with a quarter of an hour to go and after initially giving a knock-on, James Child awarded Wigan a penalty just 10 metres out but Wigan couldn't find a way to get back on level terms as Richards was forced into touch at the end of a set littered with chances.

The visitors added two more scores through Josh Jones and Lomax to seal their first victory over the Warriors in 2012 before Sam Tomkins had the last word with a typically skillful try where he won the race to his own short kick to ground the ball in front of the South Stand fans.

Scoring:
10mins:58 Wigan 04 St Helens 00 Try: Thomas Leuluai
- Wigan 06 St Helens 00

Conversion: Pat Richards (1/1)

15mins:21 Wigan Red Card Mike McIlorum (Late High Tackle)
23mins:07 Wigan 06 St Helens 04 Try: James Roby
- Wigan 06 St Helens 06

Conversion: Tommy Makinson (1/1)

28mins:21 Wigan 06 St Helens 10 Try: Tommy Makinson
- Wigan 06 St Helens 12

Conversion: Tommy Makinson (2/2)

Half Time Wigan Warriors 06 St Helens 12
42mins:56 Wigan 10 St Helens 12 Try: Pat Richards
- Wigan 12 St Helens 12

Conversion: Pat Richards (2/2)

57mins:33 Wigan 12 St Helens 16 Try: Andrew Dixon
- Wigan 12 St Helens 16

T.Makinson Missed Conversion (2/3)

68mins:26 Wigan 12 St Helens 20 Try: Josh Jones
- Wigan 12 St Helens 20

T.Makinson Missed Conversion (2/4)

71mins:29 Wigan 12 St Helens 24 Try: Jonny Lomax
- Wigan 12 St Helens 26

Conversion: Tommy Makinson (3/5)

79mins:26 Wigan 16 St Helens 26 Try: Sam Tomkins
- Wigan 18 St Helens 26

Conversion: Pat Richards (3/3)

Full Time Wigan Warriors 18 St Helens 26
Referee:

James Child

Attendance:

21,522

Note:

Wigan wore a charity kit supporting the "Joining Jack" charity.

Super League 17 - Round 26 Results
Fri 7 Sept Wigan Warriors 18 St Helens 26 21,522
Sat 8 Sept London Broncos 48 Hull Kingston Rovers 42 2,525
Sat 8 Sept Catalan Dragons 50 Bradford Bulls 26 9,254
Sat 8 Sept Hull FC 36 Castleford Tigers 10 11,607
Sat 8 Sept Salford 34 Wakefield 42 (Played at Leigh) 2,380
Sun 9 Sept Huddersfield Giants 48 Leeds Rhinos 24 9,128
Sun 9 Sept Widnes Vikings 14 Warrington Wolves 52 8,617

Final Stobart Super League 17 Table
- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Wigan Warriors 27 21 0 6 994 449 +545 42
2 Warrington Wolves 27 20 1 6 909 539 +370 41
3 St Helens 27 17 2 8 795 480 +315 36
4 Catalan Dragons 27 18 0 9 812 611 +201 36
5 Leeds Rhinos 27 16 0 11 823 662 +161 32
6 Hull FC 27 15 2 10 696 621 +75 32
7 Huddersfield Giants 27 14 0 13 699 644 +75 28
8 Wakefield Wildcats 27 13 0 14 633 764 -131 26
9 Bradford Bulls* 27 14 1 12 633 756 -123 23
10 Hull Kingston Rovers 27 10 1 16 753 729 +24 21
11 Salford City Reds 27 8 1 18 618 844 -226 17
12 London Broncos 27 7 0 20 588 890 -302 14
13 Castleford Tigers 27 6 0 21 554 948 -394 12
14 Widnes Vikings 27 6 0 21 532 1082 -550 12

*Bradford Bulls Deducted 6 points for entering administration.

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