Wigan were defeated 18-26 by St Helens at the DW Stadium on Sunday
afternoon, the visitors first win in five meetings this season
sends Saints through to Week 3 of the Play-Offs while Wigan will
face a Qualifying Semi-Final at home next Sunday in Week 2.
St Helens raced into a 0-14 lead before tries either side of the
interval from Richards and O'Loughlin brought Wigan back within two
points. Saints scored either side of a Joel Tomkins try and it was
the visitors who came away with the win.
Wigan welcomed back Andy Coley and Ben Cross to the seventeen,
Cross after a four week absence with a broken forearm. Saints had
Roby, Foster and Soliola returning, the trio missing the win at
Harlequins last weekend.
Wigan made a mistake right from the kick off, a knock on by Paul
Deacon from a deep Foster kick allowed a scrum and with head and
feed to Saints and only a great cover tackle from Sam Tomkins on
Tom Makinson stopped an early Saints try.
Wigan were tested on the 10 minute mark but a knock on by Wilkin
wasted a good opportunity for the visitors. It was continued
pressure by Saints and it finally told on 14 minutes and it was
Paul Wellens with a dummy from a Gaskell pass with the opening try,
Foster added the extras to make it 0-6.
Wigan created their first opportunity in attack on 19 minutes,
Finch with a teasing high kick to the corner but Richards just
unable to gather in tight space.
On 20 minutes a breakaway try and Saints were in Shenton down the
middle had options either side and his pass sent Lomax away for the
try. Foster added a simple conversion, 0-12.
Foster added a further penalty on 29 minutes, 0-14.
Wigan were denied a try on 36 minutes, Sam Tomkins unable to ground
the ball under pressure, the decision given by the video referee
The home side threw everything at Saints and won three successive
penalties close to the line and right on the stroke of half time
were able to break a resolute St Helens home defence with a try
scored by Pat Richards, Sean O'Loughlin with the crucial pass.
Richards added the goal and the half time hooter sounded 6-14.
Wigan got the best possible start to the second half, Saints
penalised in their own 20 metre area and a Finch inside pass sent
Skipper Sean O'Loughlin in for Wigan's second try under the posts
and Richards added the goal to make it 12-14
An immediate response from St Helens, Makinson with a break, he was
held 30 metres out but Saints kept the ball alive and an inside
pass sent Paul Wellens in for his second try in front of the
visiting fans, Foster added the goal, 12-20.
The Warriors were denied a try to Josh Charnley on 56 minutes again
by the video referee, Charnley rolled over to try and score in the
corner but was adjudged to have been held just short.
The next try was vital and Saints pressure as Wigan were penalised
and a short Graham pass sent McCarthy-Scarsbrook through for the
try which Foster goaled and Wigan found themselves 12-26 behind.
With ten minutes left a Joel Tomkins stretch over try and Richards
conversion gave the cherry and whites a chance at 18-26.
Wigan tried desperately to grab a further try and make it a
nailbiting finish but it wasn't to be and the Warriors will now
face a crucial do or die game at home next Sunday against the
lowest winners remaining after Week 1 of the Play-Offs.