Wigan overwhelmed St Helens in their final game of the regular season to
head the Super League table.
The Warriors' place at the top now depends on how Bradford fare against
Leeds on Saturday.
If the Bulls win, they will enter the play-offs as leaders of the Super
League and will contest fewer games, a huge benefit at this stage of the
Any other result will give Wigan the top spot.
Either way, Wigan's form must be pleasing for Stuart Raper, while the
abject display from the Saints will worry coach Ian Millward as they enter
Wigan had to do without top try-scorer Kris Radlinski, Brett Dallas and
Mick Cassidy but they had all but won the contest by the 15th minute, when
they led 18-0.
By injury-time in the first half, that lead had been extended by ten
It was Steve Renouf who opened the scoring on six minutes.
He finished off in decisive fashion after a spectacular move sparked on
halfway by stand-off Matthew Johns' weaving run.
Five minutes later, David Furner's burst set up the first of two tries
from right winger Brian Carney and shortly afterwards he crashed over for
a score himself.
The reliable boot of Andrew Farrell made sure that each try was
Even down to 12 men following the sin-binning of Johns for holding down
in the tackle, Wigan were able to soak up everything that a limited Saints
could throw at them.
Two more tries followed, with the impressive Terry Newton finishing off
a break by full-back Gary Connolly.
Carney collected Adrian Lam's pinpoint kick to touch down for his
For Saints, only Paul Sculthorpe managed to get his name on the
Saints made a more vigorous attempt at matching Wigan in the second
But their momentum was thwarted when they had a try by Sean Hoppe
Video referee David Campbell decided that there had been a knock-on.
Farrell further extended the lead in the 52nd minute with a penalty
after St Helens captain Chris Joynt was pulled up for dissent.
Three minutes later the Saints defence opened up for substitute Denis
Betts to take Johns' perfectly-timed pass to cross for a try.
And left winger David Hodgson added a seventh Wigan try 10 minutes from