St Helens v Wigan Warriors
League VIII Round 26 Friday 5th September 2003 Kick Off 8:00pm at Knowsley
Wigan are counting the cost of a 28-4 derby win over
Saints after both Andy Farrell and Adrian Lam pickedup serious looking
The Warriors outplayed the reigning champions to complete a
hat-trick of Super League wins over their arch-rivals and move to within a point
of second-placed Leeds.
The impressive four-try success maintained their
unbeaten record under caretaker coach Mike Gregory. But it came despite the loss
of the two main playmakers.
Farrell twisted a knee in the opening stages,
although he briefly returned and scored his 2,000th Super League point, and Lam
suffered a recurrence of the ankle injury that kept him out of Wigan's four
"Hopefully they are not too serious but we'll know more
on Monday," said Gregory. "We are trying to get them in for MRI scans
"We're looking good but we don't want to get carried away.
Defensively is where we won it and that was part of our focus. Our defence in
the last five games has been the best it's been all season."
condemned St Helens to a fourth-place finish and kept alive their own hopes of
pipping Leeds for second spot.
"That's always been our aim and this gives
us a chance but it's still out of our hands," added Gregory.
"We have to
rely on Leeds losing two games but there will be lots of twists and turns
Saints, without four regulars from their pack, had lively
performers in stand-off Sean Long and home debutant Willie Talau but they paid
the price for an inability to finish off promising moves.
suffered heavily from the first-half sin-binning of Jason Hooper, with Wigan
scoring 12 points while the home side were down to 12 men.
"We made as
many breaks as they did in the first half but they took their chances and we
didn't," admitted coach Ian Millward.
"It didn't help that we had a few
missing and it's always crucial when you have anybody in the sin
Wigan romped into a 20-0 half-time lead, thanks largely to a brace
of tries from Irish winger Brian Carney.
Saints had their moments but
failed to finish off some enterprising attacking moves and paid dearly for the
31st-minute sin-binning of second row forward Darren Smith for taking Wigan prop
Terry O'Connor off the ball as he chased Terry Newton's kick to the
He was forced to watch from the sidelines as the visitors scored at
a point a minute during his 10-minute spell in the bin.
Smith's error with his landmark penalty and, after St Helens winger Anthony
Stewart unwisely tried to force a pass near his own line, Hock reached out of a
two-man tackle to touch down.
Farrell's second goal made it 16-0 and it
got even worse for the reigning champions when Carney collected a kick 10m from
his own line and, after bursting through the first line of defence, showed a
clean pair of heels for a glorious 90m try.
Carney, a strong candidate to
win his first Great Britain cap in the end-of-season Ashes Series, had earlier
scored the game's first try, racing onto a lofted kick to the corner from prop
Danny Tickle kicked the touchline conversion to add to an
earlier penalty to give his side a dream start, which only got
Wigan were forced to start the second half without vice-captain
Adrian Lam, but Luke Robinson proved a capable deputy as he set up Wigan's
fourth try on 61 minutes, combining with Tickle to get second-rower Paul Johnson
charging through a gap.
Tickle's third goal made it 26-0 before Smith
claimed a consolation try for Saints on 64 minutes only for Robinson to wrap up
the scoring with a late penalty.
St Helens 4
Wigan Warriors 28
Try (1): Darren Smith
Tries (4): Brian Carney 2 Gareth
Hock Paul Johnson
Goals: Sean Long 0/1
Goals: Danny Tickle 3/3 Andy Farrell 2/2 Kris Radlinski 0/1 Luke
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