This was a clash between two sides with identical 14-1
records at the top of the table with the victors being able
to go clear top. The one Wigan loss had been away at Saints
in April, when they went down 44-24, so they had that to
avenge and did so after a second half fright.
Peet's side dominated the territory in the first half but
after 25 minutes they only had one try to show for it. That
came in the 7th Minute with Oliver Gildart scoring and Jake
Shorrocks converting for 6-0. Opportunities to improve the
score had been wasted with two forward passes towards Jack
Higginson on the right wing being disappointing.
Saints had one opportunity first half which came from a
long 80 metre break from a Wigan error and they were
unlucky not to win a penalty for holding down. But in the
end, Wigan got the points their first half dominance of
territory deserved with Shorrocks scoring in the 26th
Minute and then Gabriel Fell going over three minutes
before half time. Shorrocks adding two goals made it 18-0
at the interval.
Wigan should really had made it 20-0 when receiving a
penalty twenty seconds before the half time whistle but
going for a glory try, Nick Gregson quickly wasted gift
points with a terrible offload.
Those two points could have come back to haunt Wigan as
Saints remarkably hit Wigan with four tries in the a 12
minute spell after the interval. Wigan meekly knocking on
their first possession of the second half set the tone and
Wigan being penalised for offside at one kick off and a
40/20 helped Saints get an almighty roll on.
Those four scores made it 22-18 to the visitors and you
really could only see one winner now but in saying that,
Wigan had been starved of good possession. Ironically, the
game turned back Wigan's way though from Saints possession
with Oliver Gildart returning an intercept on half way to
make it 22-22, Shorrocks missing the extras.
Fifteen minutes still remained but I thought Wigan's
forwards really muscled up to help Wigan close the game out
better. Brad Lawrence particularly impressed but he wasn't
The big try that was required came on 69 minutes with
Higginson finally getting a good pass to go over in the
right corner. Shorrocks nailing the conversion off the
touchline, to make it 28-22, was a key mental moment as
well for both sides.
Wigan were pushing on from this score and added two
tries to seal the result. Both came on last tackles with
Saints perhaps worrying about the drop goals. First Kyle
Shelford took advantage before Gildart capped off an
impressive display with a late hat-trick try.
In the end, both sides will look back at periods of
disappointment in the game. Saints whole first half and
Wigan's first twenty after half time but overall it was a
good battle in hot weather. It was certainly the right
result with Wigan having been the better side for 60 of the
80 minutes to Saints 20 minutes. If form continues these
two should meet again in the Grand Final later in the year
but plenty of games to play before then.