St Helens v
Wigan Warriors- Tetley's Super League VII Round 5.
Easter Monday 1st
April 2002. Kick Off 8:05pm at Knowsley Road.
Report by Rebecca Smith
Wigan nilled by Saints
Wigan were taught a
lesson in taking chances in a classic easter encounter between the old
In a tryless first half Wigan had a number of opportunities to
score but were kept out by a combination of their own mistakes and superb Saints
Martyn's skill proved the difference between the two sides but
the game will be best remembered for a fantastic tackle from Keiron Cunningham
to deny Mark Smith a try.
A full house of 15, 100 packed into Knowsley
Road and saw a thrilling, but for Warriors' fans ultimately disappointing,
Just a Sean Long penalty seperated the teams at the break the half
did not lack attacking flair. Both sides had opportunities to
Wigan ought have got a try in the first five minutes. Julian
O'Neill broke clear down the right but instead of passing outside to unmarked
centre Paul Johnson he ran the ball himself on the inside and lost posession.
The video referee spared Gary Connolly's blushes on fifteen minutes. His
failure to palm the ball over the dead ball line nearly allowed Sculthorpe to
The Warriors had periods of sustained pressure on the Saints line
but just could not penetrate the magnificent defence.
O'Neill again bust
the line but again lost the ball in a try scoring position.
forced to leave the field early in the second half with a foot injury and joined
Paul Johnson in the treatment room who had hobbled off in the first half.
When Keiron Cunningham denied Mark Smith a try the match turned in St.
Helens favour. David Hodgson got clear down the right, drew in full back Wellens
and passed inside to Mark Smith. The nippy hooker looked certain to score in the
corner but amazingly his counter part Cunnigham not only caught him but turned
him over, used his legs to stop him touching down and then took him into
Millward described Cunninghams tackle as "The greatest tackle I
have seen in my coaching career."
Seizing on Wigan's disappointment Tommy
Martyn then gave a master class in half back play.
He put a chip behind
the Wigan line, collected it and then whilst looking the other way passed to
Peter Shiels to score under the post. Long converted.
Two minutes later
Martyn scored himself, swooping on a Long grubber kick missed by Connolly. Long
again converted and a minute later Martyn audaciously dropped a goal to take the
score to 15-0.
By this time the Warriors had run out of
Stewart added insult to injury with a last minute touch down,
brushing off Brian Carney in the process.
Raper said afterwards, " I am
disappointed not disheartened. It was a game of missed chances for us."
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