Match Report: St Helens 34 Wigan 18
Posted by Bilko on May 06 2007 - 19:16
Wigan let themselves down badly against the old enemy yet again as bad discipline in the first half eroded any chance of victory.

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St Helens v Wigan Warriors.
Engage Super League XII Round 13 - Millennium Magic.

Saturday 5th May 2007. Kick Off 7:00pm at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.
Match Played Indoors with Stadium Roof Closed.

Thoughts on the Match

Well you could just read my Good Friday match report because this was pretty much a replay of that game.

Like Good Friday we lost the game in the twenty minutes either side of half time. When the interchanges begin to kick in we just don't have the depth.

20 minutes in - 12-6 to Saints and its a contest. We take off Feka, they bring on James Graham and within 6 minutes 12-6 quickly became 22-6 and you can't chase deficits like that down against St Helens.

Our discipline didn't help though. It is shocking, it has been all season and we are not learning. It's the same old candidates, Mr Hock and Mr O'Loughlin. And they always seem to be stupid interference penalties as well. So annoying.

As disappointing as this one was I still look at the bigger picture. St Helens have been the finished article for 3 years now. We are still in the early days of rebuilding following a dismal two years and I think the interchange bench is the major factor. We have decent players on it but no prop is making a major impact like Feka does when he returns off the bench. We lose so much when is off the field.

All in all we were clear second best, just like Good Friday, but I still remain very positive about our future. Brian Noble said after this one "There is a good team in there waiting to get out. The effort is there, which is a good thing." - And I'm right on his wavelength of though.

On the Millennium Magic Weekend - I Have to say following the towns football team as well I was a bit depressed to say the least following Latics afternoon defeat but boy was I soon picked up by the amazing atmosphere both in and outside the Millennium Stadium. What an effort we all made and for me the best atmosphere I've ever been in. Just a bit disappointed we were tucked in the corner when behind the goals was empty. I don't think there is a shadow of doubt that we had the most fans out of all 12 clubs in Cardiff, although I say that having not been about on the Sunday. We sang and sang and sang and showed our proud passion. And the best thing about it was that personally I didn't witness any nastiness or trouble during the whole weekend. Not saying it didn't happen but I didn't see any issues. We should be proud as a sport that we can mingle in a stadium with minimal problems.

Story of the Match

Saints took the lead in the 7th minute when Francis Meli scored after Jon Wilkin charged down a clearance kick from Shane Millard. He didn't score but they eventually worked it out wide to Meli who went over and a conversion from Paul Sculthorpe made it 6-0.

Wigan levelled the scores on 12 minutes after getting a fortunate repeat set as Feka Paleaaesina regathered his own fortuitous kick. This allowed Thomas Leuluai to send Bryan Fletcher over for try. Fletcher broke the tackle of Paul Wellens and Pat Richards' conversion made it 6-6.

Saints quickly regained the lead as Wellens made up for his defensive error by finishing off a pass from Jason Cayless. Sculthorpe's conversion made it 12-6. Feka went off and as James Graham came on for Saints they took control.

First Matt Gidley scored then Wellens got his second. 12-6 had quickly become 22-6 and that is how it would remain right to half time.

Clearly first try was crucial after the break. Saints got it on 47 as Wellens completed his hatrick. 28-6 - Game Over.

Wellens got a 4th either side of Wigan tries for Chris Ashton and Darrell Goulding. Trent Barrett showed a bit of magic for two possible late scores which could have made it interesting but the video ref chalked off both.

Game Breaking Moment

Like Good Friday the middle 3rd of the game was were Wigan lost it.

Top Player

Feka Paleaaesina - Brilliant performance. If only we had 4 clones of him in a prop rotation.

Reaction to the Action

Brian Noble: "The game went away from us starting in the first half. We keep opening the door and slamming it shut in our face. Our kicking game was poor in the first half. We improved in the second half and stood up a little bit but we weren't patient enough. We made enough breaks to score another 18 or 24 points but we didn't and we couldn't defend our own line well enough. I'm really frustrated. There is a good team in there waiting to get out. The effort is there, which is a good thing."

Saints coach Daniel Anderson: "(Paul Wellens) was absolutely superb and once again was fantastic at finishing but he is the first to admit he can't win games by himself. A lot of blokes made significant contributions. Francis Meli is on fire at the moment. I thought the officiating was inconsistent. Every dud call went against us so to win with that style was tremendous."

Team Sheets

- St Helens Position Wigan -
1 Paul Wellens Full Back Chris Ashton 1
24 Stephen Tyrer Winger Mark Calderwood 2
3 Matt Gidley Centre Phil Bailey 3
4 Willie Talau Centre David Vaealiki 14
5 Francis Meli Winger Pat Richards 5
6 Leon Pryce Stand Off Trent Barrett 6
7 Sean Long Scrum Half Thomas Leuluai 7
8 Nick Fozzard Prop Stuart Fielden 8
9 Keiron Cunningham Hooker Shane Millard 16
10 Jason Cayless Prop Iafeta Paleaaesina 10
12 Jon Wilkin 2nd Row Gareth Hock 11
13 Paul Sculthorpe 2nd Row Bryan Fletcher 12
18 Bryn Hargreaves L.Forward Sean O'Loughlin 13
- - - - -
14 James Roby Substitute Mick Higham 9
17 James Graham Substitute Paul Prescott 18
22 Paul Clough Substitute Harrison Hansen 19
23 Maurie Fa'asavalu Substitute Darrell Goulding 20

Score Sheet

St Helens 34 - Wigan Warriors 18
Tries (6):
Francis Meli
Paul Wellens 4
Matt Gidley
- Tries (3):
Bryan Fletcher
Chris Ashton
Darrell Goulding
Paul Sculthorpe 5/7
- Goals:
Pat Richards 3/3

Scoring and Incident Pattern

7th Minute St Helens 04 Wigan 00 Try: Francis Meli
- St Helens 06 Wigan 00 Conversion: Paul Sculthorpe (1/1)
12th Minute St Helens 06 Wigan 04 Try: Bryan Fletcher
- St Helens 06 Wigan 06 Conversion: Pat Richards (1/1)
16th Minute St Helens 10 Wigan 06 Try: Paul Wellens
- St Helens 12 Wigan 06 Conversion: Paul Sculthorpe (2/2)
22nd Minute St Helens 16 Wigan 06 Try: Matt Gidley
- St Helens 16 Wigan 06 P.Sculthorpe Missed Conversion (2/3)
25th Minute St Helens 20 Wigan 06 Try: Paul Wellens
- St Helens 22 Wigan 06 Conversion: Paul Sculthorpe (3/4)
Half Time St Helens 22 Wigan Warriors 06
45th Minute St Helens 26 Wigan 06 Try: Paul Wellens
- St Helens 26 Wigan 06 P.Sculthorpe Missed Conversion (3/5)
54th Minute St Helens 26 Wigan 10 Try: Chris Ashton
- St Helens 26 Wigan 12 Conversion: Pat Richards (2/2)
61st Minute St Helens 30 Wigan 12 Try: Paul Wellens
- St Helens 32 Wigan 12 Conversion: Paul Sculthorpe (4/6)
65th Minute St Helens 34 Wigan 12 Penalty Goal: Paul Sculthorpe (5/7)
66th Minute St Helens 34 Wigan 16 Try: Darrell Goulding
- St Helens 34 Wigan 18 Conversion: Pat Richards (3/3)
Full Time St Helens 34 Wigan Warriors 18


Ashley Klein

Match Attendance

32,384 (Combined Attendance for Millennium Magic Day 1)


Match Weather

Match Played Indoors.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 12 Round 13

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Leeds Rhinos 13 10 0 3 388 245 +143 20
2 St Helens 13 9 0 4 412 215 +197 18
3 Bradford Bulls 13 9 0 4 430 317 +113 18
4 Wigan Warriors 13 7 0 6 305 289 +16 14
5 Huddersfield Giants 13 6 0 7 329 216 +113 12
6 Harlequins 13 5 2 6 264 317 -53 12
7 Warrington Wolves 13 6 0 7 298 363 -65 12
8 Hull FC 13 5 1 7 241 252 -11 11
9 Wakefield Wildcats 13 5 1 7 287 356 -69 11
10 Catalans Dragons 13 5 1 7 251 357 -106 11
11 Hull Kingston Rovers 13 5 0 8 225 327 -102 10
12 Salford City Reds 13 3 1 9 246 422 -176 7

Round 13 - Magic Weekend Results
Sat 5 May Catalan Dragons 28 Harlequins 32 32,384
Sat 5 May Hull FC 10 Hull Kingston Rovers 14
Sat 5 May St Helens 34 Wigan Warriors 18
Sun 6 May Huddersfield Giants 36 Wakefield Wildcats 12 26,447
Sun 6 May Salford City Reds 18 Warrington Wolves 50
Sun 6 May Bradford Bulls 38 Leeds Rhinos 42