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Match Report: St Helens 16 Wigan 42
Posted by cherryandwhite on May 28 2012 - 18:26

Click: Last Derby - Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match - Click: Next Derby

St Helens v Wigan Warriors - Stobart SL XVII Round 15 (Magic Weekend).
Sunday 27th May 2012. Kick Off 6:00pm at Etihad Stadium, Manchester City FC.

Match Report

Well how could you not enjoy this one. A very special performance from Wigan Rugby League Football Club. Shaun Wane said in the build up to this game "One day we'll attack at our best and defend at our best and butcher somebody. I hope it's this weekend." - well I think we can call that a butchering, don't you?

After 40 minutes in this game, I was reminding myself, and others, of attending the Magic Weekend in 2008. Back then we had lost miserably 46-10 at Knowsley Road on Good Friday and I travelled to Cardiff expecting a Wigan backlash. Instead we got a pathetic display that saw us losing 35-0 at half time before the final score of 57-16. My match report for that one slaughtered the team as a "shower of shite" after a "embarrassing, pathetic, gutless, passionless, disgrace to the shirt" performance. I even suggested Sean O'Loughlin should resign as captain in that match report. That's history for you though and it's what being a proper fan is all about. Those low days, and personally that was my lowest day as a Wigan supporter, make these days all the more special.

The only slight negative really is how flattering the final score of 42-16 was to St Helens. Wigan were, for me, the missed conversions and the two red cards we got from that being a 60+ points win. We killed them all over the park with pace, power and sheer class that they just could not get close to matching.

My magic weekend began on Saturday after I ended up with a free ticket for Day 1 of the event. I arrived about half an hour into Warrington's training session and they already led 40-0 before I'd seen anything. So from what I actually saw Widnes put in a great effort to only lose 22-4, well done!

Then came the Hull derby in which I ended up second half sat in front of the most one eyed supporter I've ever come across. She was a Hull FC fan and spent all 80 minutes shouting stuff like "I see you've got your Hull KR specs on Ganson." - "You've had too many pies Ganson, you can't keep up with play" - "F***ing nowt wrong with that, your an arsehole Ganson". Then at full time she had a go at my girlfriend after a comment by her that was simply "that was a great game" then launched a tirade at a Hull KR fan that was sat nearby. It was so bad I ended up sound recording her  venom and I might get round to putting it on You Tube eventually. It was funny and embarrassing at the same time. Also embarrassing by the way was the amount of red raw badly burned T-Shirt tans I witnessed over the weekend. Typical Brits lol!

Day Two was much better than Day One. I don't think the hour gap between the kick offs worked on the first day. Bang, bang, bang, bang, all the games back to back was much better. Although our particular match was a long time in coming, it was well worth the wait.

Wigan made one change from the Huddersfield win, with Eric Lauaki returning for Dom Crosby, and they set off the make hay whilst the sun shined right from the start of the one by blowing Saints away inside five tries inside 24 minutes. The first two both came from deep breaks through pathetic tackle attempts from the supposedly "strong" Sia Soliola.

First it was Brett Finch to break through from half way. Watch his class on the replay as he makes sure he draws in full back Slug Wellens before offloading to send the supporting Sam Tomkins under the sticks. Easy conversion for Josh Charnley, who retained the goal kicking despite his poor display at Huddersfield last week.

Then on 11 minutes it was Tommy Leuluai's pass that sent Gareth Hock through Soliola's mis-tackle and he put in a beautiful jinking step to beat and leave Slug on his backside. Under the posts again for another easy Josh conversion and a 12-0 lead.

Saints really struggled to get a foothold in the contest and three tries in five minutes, either side of the 20 minute mark, put Wigan in full control.

First Josh Charnley scored the 50th try of his short Wigan career with good hands getting him in the right corner. Good offload from Harrison Hansen allowed Darrell Goulding to give Charnley a basket ball type pass for easy plonk down. He couldn't convert though.

Then off the restart came an individual try that was all class from Sam Tomkins. He gets the ball 60 metres out and throws an outrageous dummy that mesmerised Gary Wheeler and Lance Hohaia. He then burned them, and Slug Wellens, off with his pace to score in the right corner. Charnley converted for 22-0.

Restart again and another try came to put the Wigan fans in pure party mode. Good crisp passing again for this one. Finch, Leuluai and O'Loughlin combined before Fuzzy Goulding, looking ever the more a classy centre, offloads a superb return pass to get Lockers over. Slug wasn't happy and went moaning at referee Ben Thaler who told him to "put his hands down" as he was gesturing away. Bugger knows what he was moaning at but he's a world champion at it for sure. Charnley missed the extras but at 26-0, this game was well and truly over and we are left thinking how many!

Wigan continued to pile on the pressure. They forced a drop out on the next set but Fuzzy knocked on a bugs dick away from scoring our sixth try of the contest.

The next try however went to St Helens and typically it was a barge over effort with an offload from Jonny Lomax sent Paul Clough over from 0.000831 metres out. Lomax conversion for 26-6 with 4 minutes to half time.

Now I think Saints would have been made up with that score, because they had been totally annihilated, but Wigan managed to claim that sixth try right on half time. In fact they got the play the ball away for this one with about half a second to go I reckon and went across the field to send Charnley in for his second. Carmont, Finch, McIlorum, Lima, Leuluai, O'Loughlin and Goulding all got a touch but it was class from Fuzzy again who put in a lovely little dink kick for Josh to finish. Brilliant centre play. Charnley missed his third conversion but that try right on the hooter was like stabbing someone who was already on a life support machine.

Half Time saw Wigan fans celebrating already with a massive sing song on the concourse. It wasn't as big as the full time effort but I think we all realised what a special performance we were witnessing. All we needed to do was get that first try after the restart and the old soldier with only one fit knee, Sir George Carmont, finished an effort that Martin Offiah in his peak would of been proud of, never mind an almost 34 year old!

It was just two minutes in and George gets the ball 80 metres out. Terrible tackling in fairness. Michael Shenton and Lomax went far too high but George nailed the Slug and a couple more defenders for pace to finish in the left corner. Charnley missed his fourth conversion but at 34-6 who the hell cared.

Game over but the drama had perhaps not yet started. The game bubbled over on 52 minutes with a cracking brawl that was close to rivalling the famous 2004 Good Friday fight. It all started with some hand bags between Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Gareth Hock that ended up with Hock swinging some uppercuts at him. Hock nailed him with at least three punches I reckon.

However at the other side of the scrum we had Shaun Magennis and Chris Tuson squaring up. It was just shirt pulling at first but once Tuson had turned his head away, Magennis, in the words of legendary flag waver "Barry Chuckle", "copped him a beauty". Tuson reacted like any player should in a derby, responding with fists flying. He landed at least three uppercuts himself. "Good lad him" as my old nan would say! Then Lee Mossop came in with just one punch that put Magennis flat on his arse to a massive cheer from the Wigan fans.

I found it amazing though that this fight was being condemned by Sky TV's commentary team and some of the media. I mean the Daily Mirror said this biff "marred" the contest. If they think it did then those media men condemning it need to try and get out of the commentary/press boxes once in a while and get back on the terraces. Most fans in the stadium, and watching on Sky Sports, will have loved that! Don't get me wrong, I'm no supporter of violence but sometimes, and I stress sometimes, passions get high and you are going to get things boiling over in an aggressive sport like ours every now an again.

Referee Ben Thaler's response was to red card Hock, Tuson and Magennis, meaning Saints had a 12 to 11 man advantage for the rest of the game. That ended up spoiling the contest but Thaler wasn't to know that at the time. I actually think he dealt with it reasonably well. I know some are questioning why McCarthy-Scarsbrook didn't go but if you look at it, he didn't throw a punch so I'm ok with that. What I would say is that I think sin binning's would have been better for the three that went. I'm not sure what suspensions will achieve either. I do think Magennis was way out of order for hitting Tuson when he was off guard though. A fair fight is a fair fight but that is poor I think.

At the end of the day both coaches summed it up with a just "two packs having a bit of biff" type response and the only real winner out of the red cards and suspensions that will follow will be Leeds. I mean Saints won't miss Magennis, whilst we are expecting to go to Headingley on Friday without Mossop, Hock and Tuson. I don't see the point really of what the suspension will achieve. Do you think those players had time to think "oh you know what I better not react to this situation because I might get a ban?". Particularly Tuson. What was he supposed to do after copping a cheap one? Either way we will have some absences for the Leeds trip but a Shaun Wane pack seems so motivated that I'm confident he could get the pack from our Under 15s side to compete at this level!

Anyway following that the game died really. The extra man did help Saints to score two tries to our one in the last 25 minutes but in the main we were always solid enough. The first Saints try came just three minutes after the brawl when McCarthy-Scarsbrook scored an excellent 40 metre (yes 40 metres not a barge over) solo effort. Lomax converted for 34-12.

Wigan never looked in danger though and began to shut up shop a little with options to "take the two" being attempted twice. The first one missed by Josh but he hit a much easier second effort to make it 36-12 on 64 minutes.

Then we still had enough class with a man down to add another quality try to our end tally of eight for the day. Fuzzy again got Charnley away down the right and he was outpacing Francis Meli. Then he just stepped into Slug enough to allow an offload to send "The Ginger Pearl" Liam Farrell over for an easy touchdown under the sticks. He had a beaming smile for all the Wigan fans at that end. Charnley converted for 42-12.

Saints did get a further consolation, which Slug scored on 74 minutes, but like I said earlier the final score of 42-16 really did flatter Saints. Wigan had far too much pace and quality that just couldn't be matched from the enemy. I feel a bit sorry for them when they have to endure Slug at full back and the no pace twins (Gardner and Meli) on each wing when in comparison we had try scoring demons in Sam. Josh and, when fit, Pat! I mean a quick tally on my part shows that in the past two and a half years out of Sam, Goulding (2010)/Josh (2011 to now) and Pat we've had 216 tries. Saints from Wellens, Meli, Gardner and I'll chuck in Jamie Foster who scored 20 last year as well, have had 99 tries in comparison. It's a yawning chasm of difference that really highlights the difference between the two sides. Long may it continue!

Reaction to the Action

Shaun Wane: "Three-nil is what I've been dreaming about all week. It's the best feeling ever. In training and our team meetings this week we approached it as though we were 2-0 down. We trained really tough and what you saw in that first 20 was us, I just want to see it for a bit longer. Things went a little bit wrong in the second half but I want to concentrate on the character we showed. In patches we were impressive today. If Gareth has made a mistake, then I'll be into him. "I don't want to lose Gareth Hock. He needs to be better and he has been better. He's no angel and neither are St Helens. Whatever happens we'll deal with it. The RFL will do the right thing. If he gets suspended, we've a lot of kids coming through chomping at the bit to get a game and this might be their chance. I don't know how it started, it just seemed it was a fight between two packs. It surprised me to see three sent off and I need to look back at it but it's a tough call and it killed the game. I thought, it once happened, we dealt with it superbly. It's all hands on deck and defend the best you can and that's what we did. That shows honesty and the team spirit is the best I've ever known it."

St Helens Acting Coach Mike Rush: "I don't think (the problem is psychological). We just weren't there in that first 20 minutes and it's impossible to say why because it's a derby game. They were excellent for that first 20 or 25 minutes. We were 26 points down and hadn't really had a crack at them. Defensively we've got to aim up. It just wasn't good enough. Credit to them, they completed their sets and Tomkins was great on an edge. It looked like we where shattered when we got the ball. For everything that we did well on Monday night, we undid tonight and it's frustrating."

Team Sheets

- St Helens Position Wigan 1
1 Paul Wellens Full Back Sam Tomkins 1
2 Ade Gardner Winger Josh Charnley 2
3 Michael Shenton Centre Darrell Goulding 3
17 Gary Wheeler Centre George Carmont 4
5 Francis Meli Winger Anthony Gelling 24
6 Lance Hohaia Stand Off Brett Finch 6
7 Jonny Lomax Scrum Half Thomas Leuluai 7
8 Josh Perry Prop Gil Dudson 22
9 James Roby Hooker Mike McIlorum 9
14 Anthony Laffranchi Prop Lee Mossop 10
4 Iosia Soliola 2nd Row Harrison Hansen 11
13 Chris Flannery 2nd Row Gareth Hock 12
12 Jon Wilkin L.Forward Sean O'Loughlin 13
-
10 Louis McCarthy-
Scarsbrook
Substitute Jeff Lima 14
11 Tony Puletua Substitute Liam Farrell 16
16 Paul Clough Substitute Chris Tuson 17
18 Shaun Magennis Substitute Epalahame Lauaki 21
- Mike Rush Coach Shaun Wane -

Score Sheet

St Helens 16 --- Wigan Warriors 42
Tries (3):
Paul Clough
Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook
Paul Wellens
--- Tries (8):
Sam Tomkins 2
Gareth Hock
Josh Charnley 2
Sean O'Loughlin
George Carmont
Liam Farrell
Goals:
Jonny Lomax 2/3
--- Goals:
Josh Charnley 5/10

Scoring and Incident Pattern

04mins:58 St Helens 00 Wigan 04 Try: Sam Tomkins
- St Helens 00 Wigan 06 Conversion: Josh Charnley (1/1)
10mins:12 St Helens 00 Wigan 10 Try: Gareth Hock
- St Helens 00 Wigan 12 Conversion: Josh Charnley (2/2)
18mins:00 St Helens 00 Wigan 16 Try: Josh Charnley
- St Helens 00 Wigan 16 J.Charnley Missed Conversion (2/3)
20mins:27 St Helens 00 Wigan 20 Try: Sam Tomkins (2)
- St Helens 00 Wigan 22 Conversion: Josh Charnley (3/4)
23mins:30 St Helens 00 Wigan 26 Try: Sean O'Loughlin
- St Helens 00 Wigan 26 J.Charnley Missed Conversion (3/5)
35mins:51

St Helens 04

Wigan 26 Try: Paul Clough
-

St Helens 06

Wigan 26 Conversion: Jonny Lomax (1/1)
40mins:00 St Helens 06 Wigan 30 Try: Josh Charnley (2)
- St Helens 06 Wigan 30 J.Charnley Missed Conversion (3/6)
Half Time St Helens 06 Wigan Warriors 26
42mins:23 St Helens 06 Wigan 34 Try: George Carmont
- St Helens 06 Wigan 34 J.Charnley Missed Conversion (3/7)
52mins:14 Wigan Red Card Gareth Hock (Fighting)
52mins:14 St Helens Red Card Shaun Magennis (Fighting)
52mins:14 Wigan Red Card Chris Tuson (Fighting)
55mins:53

St Helens 10

Wigan 34 Try: Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook
-

St Helens 12

Wigan 34 Conversion: Jonny Lomax (2/2)
60mins:46 St Helens 12 Wigan 34 J.Charnley Missed Penalty Goal (3/8)
63mins:37 St Helens 12 Wigan 36 Penalty Goal: Josh Charnley (4/9)
64mins:53 St Helens 12 Wigan 40 Try: Liam Farrell
- St Helens 12 Wigan 42 Conversion: Josh Charnley (5/10)
73mins:34

St Helens 16

Wigan 42 Try: Paul Wellens
- St Helens 16 Wigan 42 J.Lomax Missed Conversion (2/3)
Full Time St Helens 16 Wigan Warriors 42

Video Highlights

Top 5 Wigan Players as voted on our Message Board

Man of the Match: Sam Tomkins
2nd: Mike McIlorum 3rd: Brett Finch 4th: Gil Dudson 5th: Jeff Lima

Referee

Ben Thaler (Video Referee: Ian Smith)

Penalties Conceded

St Helens 11 Wigan 9

Match Attendance

32,953 (Aggregate Attendance for Magic Weekend - Day 2)

Television

Weather

Dry, Sunny, Hot.

League Table after Super League 17 Round 15

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Wigan Warriors 15 12 0 3 540 245 +295 24
2 Warrington Wolves 15 11 1 3 505 274 +231 23
3 Catalan Dragons 14 11 0 3 475 308 +167 22
4 Huddersfield Giants 15 10 0 5 417 273 +144 20
5 Hull FC 14 9 1 4 352 282 +72 19
6 St Helens 15 8 1 6 423 289 +134 17
7 Leeds Rhinos 14 8 0 6 385 295 +90 16
8 Hull Kingston Rovers 15 7 1 7 418 374 +44 15
9 Bradford Bulls 15 7 1 7 305 342 -37 15
10 Salford City Reds 15 5 1 9 338 426 -88 11
11 Wakefield Wildcats 14 4 0 10 250 406 -156 8
12 Castleford Tigers 15 4 0 11 282 498 -216 8
13 London Broncos 15 2 0 13 310 493 -183 4
14 Widnes Vikings 15 2 0 13 211 708 -497 4

Round 14 Results (Magic Weekend at Manchester City FC)
Sat 26 May Castleford Tigers 26 Wakefield Wildcats 32 30,763
Sat 26 May Warrington Wolves 68 Widnes Vikings 4
Sat 26 May Hull Kingston Rovers 32 Hull FC 30
Sun 27 May Catalan Dragons 42 London Broncos 18 32,953
Sun 27 May Huddersfield Giants 34 Salford City Reds 38
Sun 27 May Bradford Bulls 22 Leeds Rhinos 37
Sun 27 May St Helens 16 Wigan Warriors 42

Comments
warrior13 on May 29 2012 - 08:19
Cracking report as per usual, but I still think it was started by soft lad LMS, who doesn't know where to put his head in a scrum except in Gaz Hocks face!! They tried in two matches with Perry to get Gaz riled & it didn't work so they tried with the namby pamby southerner which must have angered Hock even more lol. As you say, LMS didn't throw a punch, fair enough, but that was only because Gaz is the better boxer
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