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Match Report: Wigan 14 St Helens 32
Posted by Bilko on April 07 2007 - 00:15

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

Wigan Warriors v St Helens. Engage Super League XII Round 8.
Good Friday 6th April 2007. Kick Off 5:05pm at JJB Stadium.

Thoughts on the Match

My only complaint real was the bad negative error of judgment in deciding to kick for goal right on half time. What was the point of that at 16-6 down? Bringing the score back to one converted try I could understand but that two points did nothing. It could also be argued that dropping Chris Ashton was a bad error of judgment.

Apart from that we lost to the far better side on the day. They were quicker, offloaded better and it was there ability to continually make the half break in the impact of the tackle which was the main different between the sides. Also the dummy half battle was dominated by St Helens which was another key to their victory.

I said in the match preview that getting the lead is very important in derby matches and although we did get a gift 6-0 lead, the half time score of 16-8 was too much to fight back especially as they scored first after the restart.

With all said and done us Wigan fans have to remember that we are heading in the right direction. Today's score was disappointing and perhaps flattering to Wigan but St Helens had to work for that result today unlike this time last year at Knowsley Road for example. For me though it was an afternoon which highlighted how like our front row is beyond Fielden and Feka. Three of the Saints subs scored and it highlighted their strength in depth. To compete at the top we are going to have to work better on that next season.

Match Report from Official Website

St Helens gained the two Super League points in a rough, tough derby contest against Wigan at the JJB Stadium on Good Friday.

Over 24,000 spectators packed in to watch the contest between the fierce rivals and it was Saints who scored six tries to Wigan’s two in a pulsating contest. Wigan led early, Saints hit back and although were able to score four tries in a row, Wigan were always within touch. Even at 8-22 you just felt the game was still not all over, particularly with over 35 minutes left.

Wigan Warriors took the lead on five minutes. Saints centre Matt Gidley with an adventurous inside pass on the final tackle which was taken by Thomas Leuluai and he was able to send Pat Richards racing away from half way down the touch line for the first try. Richards himself added the goal, a great start for the Warriors 6-0.

The visitors responded on ten minutes, Gilmour with a pass to Francis Meli and the winger was able to escape O’Loughlin and then Calderwood to score an equalising try which Sculthorpe converted to level the game at 6-6.

Willie Talau gave St Helens the lead on 24 minutes, sneaking in past Phil Bailey to dive over in the corner. Wigan lost possession in their own half and Talau and Meli combined for the centre to score. This time Sculthorpe missed the extras, 6-10.

With eight minutes left of the half, Saints were in again. Wigan with the drop out, Fa’asavalu received the ball and from the next play, great individual work by James Roby saw him scoot away from a couple of tackles for a good try. Roby with pace and skill to dive over for the four points which Sculthorpe converted. St Helens led 6-16.

Richards added a penalty just before the interval to make it 8-16 at half time.

From a quick tap penalty St Helens spread the ball out to the left and Pryce supplied Fa’asavalu with a short pass and he was able to stretch over for the visitors fourth try, Sculthorpe’s conversion made it 8-22.

On 50 minutes, Wigan hit back. Barrett sending in Thomas Leuluai for a try under the posts. The conversion from Richards made it 14-22.

Saints were denied a try on 55 minutes, Talau thought he had scored his second of the night only to be denied by the video referee for obstruction earlier in the move.

St Helens looked to have wrapped the game up with 15 minutes left, Long with the break, Roby in support and he was able to find Matt Gidley inside for the try. Long this time attempted the conversion which was wide, 14-26.

A Sean Long penalty extended the advantage to 14 points, 14-28.

The Warriors continued to battle but were unable to claw their way back into it. A Mike Bennett try in the final seconds ended the game,14-32.

Game Breaking Moment

Kicking for two at 16-6 when a try to potentially make it 16-12 was a possibility. 16-6 or 16-8 - I didn't see the sense in it and it left them with too much of a commanding lead.

Top Player

Probably David Vaealiki. He scored the clincher and his effort is much improved. He is now upped a level to "average" so far this season. Last season of a contract? "Oh I'll start playing" syndrome methinks.

Reaction to the Action

Brian Noble: "It's a pretty impressive (St Helens) bench. They all added something when they went on the field. You can't let St Helens play the ball that quickly. They were on the front foot for long periods and we couldn't quite get back in the arm wrestle. The quality of our attack was poor. We built no pressure at all. We're very disappointed that we've not played as we practised. We had people doing away from the script that we set. If you keep giving the ball away on play two, you don't get to attack. Full credit to St Helens, who are a bit more used to playing with each other than we are at the moment. There is still that element of newness. I thought (the sin binning of Michael Withers) was a tough call. It makes you work a lot harder when you've got 12 men against a good team."

Saints coach Daniel Anderson: "We set a goal to play with intensity over 80 minutes and we did that. It was probably our most enthusiastic and energetic display of the season. Wigan still managed to cut us up but we got back and showed a pride in keeping our line intact. Obviously the key in big games is strength off the bench and once again our four boys played tremendously well. We had a lot of committed and enthusiastic players."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position St Helens -
4 Michael Withers Full Back Paul Wellens 1
2 Mark Calderwood Winger Ade Gardner 2
3 Phil Bailey Centre Matthew Gidley 3
14 David Vaealiki Centre Willie Talau 4
5 Pat Richards Winger Francis Meli 5
6 Trent Barrett Stand Off Leon Pryce 6
7 Thomas Leuluai Scrum Half Sean Long 7
8 Stuart Fielden Prop Nick Fozzard 8
9 Mick Higham Hooker Keiron Cunningham 9
10 Iafeta Paleaaesina Prop Jason Cayless 10
11 Gareth Hock 2nd Row Lee Gilmour 11
12 Bryan Fletcher 2nd Row Paul Sculthorpe 13
13 Sean O'Loughlin L.Forward Jon Wilkin 12
- - - - -
1 Chris Ashton Substitute James Roby 14
16 Shane Millard Substitute Mike Bennett 15
19 Harrison Hansen Substitute James Graham 17
24 Eamon O'Carroll Substitute Maurie Fa'asavalu 23

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 14 - St Helens 32
Tries (2):
Pat Richards
Thomas Leuluai
- Tries (6):
Francis Meli
Willie Talau
James Roby
Maurie Fa'asavalu
Matthew Gidley
Mike Bennett
Goals:
Pat Richards 3/3
-

 

Goals:
Paul Sculthorpe 3/4
Sean Long 1/3

Scoring and Incident Pattern

6th Minute Wigan 04 St Helens 00 Try: Pat Richards
- Wigan 06 St Helens 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (1/1)
11th Minute Wigan 06 St Helens 04 Try: Francis Meli
- Wigan 06 St Helens 06 Conversion: Paul Sculthorpe  (1/1)
18th Minute Wigan Sin Bin Michael Withers (Holding Down)
22nd Minute Wigan 06 St Helens 10 Try: Willie Talau
- Wigan 06 St Helens 10 P.Sculthorpe Missed Conversion (1/2)
32nd Minute Wigan 06 St Helens 14 Try: James Roby
- Wigan 06 St Helens 16 Conversion: Paul Sculthorpe (2/3)
39th Minute Wigan 08 St Helens 16 Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (2/2)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 08 St Helens 16
45th Minute Wigan 08 St Helens 18 Try: Maurie Fa'asavalu
- Wigan 08 St Helens 22 Conversion: Paul Sculthorpe (3/4)
50th Minute Wigan 12 St Helens 22 Try: Thomas Leuluai
- Wigan 14 St Helens 22 Conversion: Pat Richards (3/3)
62nd Minute Wigan 14 St Helens 26 Try: Matthew Gidley
- Wigan 14 St Helens 26 S.Long Missed Conversion (0/1)
70th Minute Wigan 14 St Helens 28 Penalty Goal: Sean Long (1/2)
80th Minute Wigan 14 St Helens 32 Try: Mike Bennett
- Wigan 14 St Helens 32 S.Long Missed Conversion (1/3)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 14 St Helens 32

Referee

Ashley Klein.

Match Attendance

24,028 - Sold Out. Capacity Restricted due to unreserved seating.

Television

Match Weather

Excellent Sunny Day.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 12 Round 8

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Leeds Rhinos 8 6 0 2 184 150 +34 12
2 St Helens 8 5 0 3 214 139 +75 10
3 Bradford Bulls 8 5 0 3 236 183 +53 10
4 Wakefield Wildcats 8 5 0 3 201 198 +3 10
5 Warrington Wolves 8 5 0 3 180 204 -24 10
6 Catalan Dragons 8 4 1 3 162 164 -2 9
7 Wigan Warriors 8 4 0 4 157 162 -5 8
8 Hull Kingston Rovers 8 4 0 4 135 187 -52 8
9 Harlequins 8 3 1 4 150 161 -11 7
10 Hull FC 8 2 1 5 132 156 -24 5
11 Salford City Reds 8 2 1 5 154 215 -61 5
12 Huddersfield Giants 8 1 0 7 152 138 +14 2

Round 8 Results
Thu 5 Apr Bradford Bulls 14 Leeds Rhinos 18 16,706
Fri 6 Apr Harlequins 30 Hull FC 28 3,545
Fri 6 Apr Hull Kingston Rovers 20 Catalan Dragons 34 6,701
Fri 6 Apr Salford City Reds 32 Warrington Wolves 34 6,177
Fri 6 Apr Wigan Warriors 14 St Helens 32 24,028
Fri 6 Apr Huddersfield Giants 56 Wakefield Wildcats 12 6,757

Comments
topdog on April 07 2007 - 14:32
wigan was playing without any passion so ya we was beaten by the best team but we didn't put much of a fight it looked like that when we got close to the line we have no set plays all we seem to do is Barret short ball to O'loughlin and you can read it like a book we need players with PASSOIN
Carl on April 07 2007 - 19:23
Wigan need to practice the basics in training. All season both passing and catching the ball has been erratic. The best we can hope for as we approach a third of the way through the season is a place in mid-table , only a maybe for top six.
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