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Match Report: Wigan 12 St Helens 46
Posted by Bilko on July 20 2008 - 16:11

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Wigan Warriors v St Helens.  Engage Super League XIII Round 22.
Friday 18th July 2008. Kick Off 8:00pm at JJB Stadium.

Match Report from Sportinglife.com

Form team St Helens cruised to a 15th straight win and a crushing hat-trick of engage Super League derby triumphs against 12-man Wigan at the JJB Stadium on Friday night.

The Warriors were forced to play all but the first five minutes a man short after hooker Michael McIlorum was sent off by referee Ashley Klein for a high tackle on Great Britain winger Ade Gardner and Saints made them pay with an eight-try romp.

Scrum-half Sean Long scored one of the tries and kicked six goals from seven attempts on his 300th appearance for free-scoring Saints, who have piled up 214 points in their last four matches and run in 149 in three games against Wigan this year.

Poor McIlorum was forced to watch the latest embarrassment from the stand after being shown the fastest red card of the season.

It had been an ignominious opening by the youngster, whose knock-on in the first set of tackles had gifted Saints possession from which they scored the game's first try.

Wigan could not have envisaged a worst start as they set out to atone for two heavy defeats by their arch rivals already this year at Knowsley Road and the Millennium Stadium.

They went into the game without skipper Sean O'Loughlin and prolific scorer Pat Richards, whose illness left them without a recognised goalkicker, and they were quickly on the back foot after conceding two tries in the first 12 minutes.

Long, who began his professional career at Wigan 12 years ago, was given a guard of honour by his St Helens team-mates as he entered the field to mark his landmark occasion and he was quickly into the action.

It was his pass that sent second rower Lee Gilmour crashing over for Saints' first try after just two minutes and he added the conversion.

When hooker Keiron Cunningham burst through through the attempted tackles of Trent Barrett and Richard Mathers 10 minutes later to grab a second try, Wigan looked to be heading for another hiding.

Both Saints wingers ought to have added to the try haul but Gardner's effort was disallowed for a forward pass and Francis Meli dropped Leon Pryce's pass with a clear run to the line.

The misses began to look costly when Wigan scrum-half Thomas Leuluai took a return pass from Gareth Hock to cross for a 21st-minute try and Cameron Phelps kicked his first goal in England.

But substitute hooker James Roby took over from where Cunningham left off by forcing his way over for a close-range try on 29 minutes and Long kicked his third goal.

And Saints added a fourth try on the stroke of half-time when Long and Pryce combined to get the ball out to an unmarked Matt Gidley, who unselfishly sent Gardner in for his 25th try of the season.

Wigan coach Brian Noble belatedly sent on replacement hooker Micky Higham before half-time, relieving Leuluai of his extra duties, but the former St Helens man was partly responsible for conceding the next try six minutes into the second half.

His pass meant for Stuart Fielden was misdirected and Saints second rower Jon Wilkin was quick to react, dribbling the ball towards the line before picking up and scoring in one movement.

Wigan were again all at sea five minutes later when substitute Chris Flannery's kick exposed a huge hole in the home defence, enabling Gidley to follow up and score a soft try.

Further evidence that it was not Wigan's day came when winger Liam Colbon and Leuluai both had tries disallowed by video referee Ben Thaler.

Wigan fans among the 19,958 crowd began heading for the exits on 57 minutes when a superb offload from Leon Pryce sent his half-back partner Long over for the visitors' seventh try and the scorer added the conversion before taking a deserved breather.

Sweet passing along the line then created an overlap from which Gardner scored his second try, his 23rd in Super League this year, and Gidley added the touchline goal.

Wigan were a badly-beaten team but they had the consolation of finishing the scoring when Higham grabbed a late try and Phelps kicked a second goal.

Reaction to the Action

Brian Noble: "The verdict is it's difficult enough to play this team with thirteen, to try and play them with twelve is a tough ask. When we look at the tape we will probably be disappointed with some of the tries we conceeded but the effort was intact. We ended up with 15 players at the end, Coley and Paleaaesina had knocks. Effort doesn't bring home the bacon and as I said playing this team with 13 men. I was disappointed so early on but I don't get to make the decision. There was a bit of delay there, I need to find out why the delay was in the sending off. Surely if it was that obvious he would have done it straight away. I'll look at it, it spoilt the game but if he thinks it's a sending off he has to do what he has to do. Michael (McIlorum) is pretty devastated as you would be, he feels quite responsible but there were other people. I thought we showed good effort at times, we just invited St Helens into our half too many times and with 12 men they are too good a team to do that too.They have world class players right across the park.  We will re-group, we now have six games to get our act together which I am confident we will. We are trying to get some people back on deck, we may get to look at Tim Smith and Pat Richards will be whole lot healthier than he was today."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position St Helens -
1 Richard Mathers Full Back Paul Wellens 1
14 Liam Colbon Winger Ade Gardner 2
3 Darrell Goulding Centre Matt Gidley 3
4 George Carmont Centre Willie Talau 4
21 Cameron Phelps Winger Francis Meli 5
6 Trent Barrett Stand Off Leon Pryce 6
7 Thomas Leuluai Scrum Half Sean Long 7
8 Stuart Fielden Prop James Graham 17
17 Mike McIlorum Hooker Keiron Cunningham 9
15 Andy Coley Prop Bryn Hargreaves 18
16 Harrison Hansen 2nd Row Lee Gilmour 11
22 Joel Tomkins 2nd Row Jon Wilkin 12
11 Gareth Hock L.Forward Paul Sculthorpe 13
- - - - -
9 Mick Higham Substitute Jason Cayless 10
10 Iafeta Paleaaesina Substitute James Roby 14
24 Eamon O'Carroll Substitute Chris Flannery 16
27 Lee Mossop Substitute Maurie Fa'asavalu 23

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 12 - St Helens 46
Tries (2):
Thomas Leuluai
Mick Higham
- Tries (8):
Lee Gilmour
Keiron Cunningham
James Roby
Ade Gardner 2
Jon Wilkin
Matt Gidley
Sean Long
Cameron Phelps 2/2
- Goals:
Sean Long 6/7
Matt Gidley 1/1

Scoring and Incident Pattern

2nd Minute Wigan 00 St Helens 04 Try: Lee Gilmour
- Wigan 00 St Helens 06 Conversion: Sean Long (1/1)
6th Minute Wigan Sent Off Mike McIlorum (High Tackle)
11th Minute Wigan 00 St Helens 10 Try: Keiron Cunningham
- Wigan 00 St Helens 12 Conversion: Sean Long (2/2)
21st Minute Wigan 04 St Helens 12 Try: Thomas Leuluai
- Wigan 06 St Helens 12 Conversion: Cameron Phelps (1/1)
30th Minute Wigan 06 St Helens 16 Try: James Roby
- Wigan 06 St Helens 18 Conversion: Sean Long (3/3)
39th Minute Wigan 06 St Helens 22 Try: Ade Gardner
- Wigan 06 St Helens 22 S.Long Missed Conversion (3/4)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 06 St Helens 22
47th Minute Wigan 06 St Helens 26 Try: Jon Wilkin
- Wigan 06 St Helens 28 Conversion: Sean Long (4/5)
51st Minute Wigan 06 St Helens 32 Try: Matt Gidley
- Wigan 06 St Helens 34 Conversion: Sean Long (5/6)
57th Minute Wigan 06 St Helens 38 Try: Sean Long
- Wigan 06 St Helens 40 Conversion: Sean Long (6/7)
70th Minute Wigan 06 St Helens 44 Try: Ade Gardner (2)
- Wigan 06 St Helens 46 Conversion: Matt Gidley (1/1)
76th Minute Wigan 10 St Helens 46 Try: Mick Higham
- Wigan 12 St Helens 46 Conversion: Cameron Phelps (2/2)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 12 St Helens 46


Ashley Klein

Video Referee

Ben Thaler

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 7 St Helens 8

Goal Line Drop Outs Forced

Wigan 0 St Helens 2

Match Attendance



Match Weather


League Table at Conclusion of Super League 13 Round 22

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 St Helens 22 17 0 5 793 377 +416 34
2 Leeds Rhinos 22 17 0 5 687 333 +354 34
3 Catalans Dragons 22 15 1 6 584 487 +97 31
4 Warrington Wolves 22 13 0 9 574 566 +8 26
5 Wigan Warriors 21 11 1 9 498 552 -54 23
6 Bradford Bulls 22 11 0 11 561 513 +48 22
7 Wakefield Wildcats 22 10 0 12 470 576 -106 20
8 Hull Kingston Rovers 22 8 1 13 428 573 -145 17
9 Harlequins 22 8 0 14 437 641 -204 16
10 Hull FC 22 7 1 14 460 519 -59 15
11 Huddersfield Giants 21 6 1 14 454 557 -103 13
12 Castleford Tigers 22 5 1 16 459 711 -252 11

Round 22 Results
Fri 18 July Wigan Warriors 12 St Helens 46 19,958
Sat 19 July Huddersfield Giants 18 Warrington Wolves 19 5,033
Sat 19 July Catalan Dragons 24 Leeds Rhinos 37 9,880
Sun 20 July Hull FC 44 Hull Kingston Rovers 18 21,283
Sun 20 July Bradford Bulls 24 Wakefield Wildcats 10 9,429
Sun 20 July Harlequins 12 Castleford Tigers 66 2,112

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