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|Friday 12th June 2015|
|St Helens 30 Wigan Warriors 14|
|Langtree Park, St Helens|
|First Utility Super League 20 - Round 18 of 23|
Kick Off 8:00pm
|1||Matty Bowen||34||Shannon McDonnell||T|
|2||Josh Charnley||22||Matty Dawson|
|11||Joel Tomkins||T||17||Mark Percival||G5|
|4||Dan Sarginson||T||3||Jordan Turner||T|
|5||Joe Burgess||T||5||Adam Swift|
|6||George Williams||6||Travis Burns||T|
|7||Matty Smith||G||12||Jon Wilkin||T|
|10||Ben Flower||10||Kyle Amor|
|9||Michael McIlorum||9||James Roby|
|14||John Bateman||13||Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook|
|12||Liam Farrell||15||Mark Flanagan|
|13||Sean O'Loughlin||4||Josh Jones||T|
|8||Dom Crosby||8||Mose Masoe|
|16||Sam Powell||19||Greg Richards|
|24||Taulima Tautai||25||Andre Savelio|
You don't deserve to win any game if your literally gifting
eighteen points to the opposition and it was simple as that for
Wigan in this derby. You just cannot do that and expect to get away
Who knows what would have happened if those mistakes hadn't occurred but I suspect we'd have lost narrowly anyway if I'm honest.
What impressed me most about Saints was how methodical they were in completing sets and putting in kicks that consistently had Wigan beginning sets within 10 metres of the try line. They didn't get chance to do that early but after the interchanges took effect, they got on top enough to do that.
Wigan needed to do that in return but just didn't. They either didn't complete sets or when they did, the kicks were poor. Matty Smith in particular was a huge disappointment for me. I can't recall him and George Williams combining at all in this game with Williams best efforts coming individually.
That was a big factor because I totally disagree with those suggesting we were pack dominated. Saints made just 1039 metres on us which is a tremendous job done by Wigan considering defensively we had to make 15 sets worth of tackles more than they did. That's 90 more tackles, a hell of a lot. Your always likely to be ground down with that much extra work.
Wigan made a 1000 metres themselves despite so much less ball but without good kicks to ends sets it was never looking effective enough.
I thought Wigan had much the better of the first twenty minutes with an early try helping settle us down after Joe Burgess had to leave the field after a very early head knock. Saints being guilty of twice gifting late in the tackle count penalties to us also helped and Dan Sarginson punished one in the left corner. Matty Smith converted for 6-0 after 11 minutes.
Like I alluded to, I felt Saints improved when the interchanges came in and no sooner had that worrisome period of Micky McIlorum leaving the field occurred, Saints pounced to score twice in the left corner with first Adam Swift then Jordan Turner scoring. Joel Tomkins questionable in defence for at least one of those.
It was only 8-6, because Mark Percival failed to convert either, but I was thinking that we should be happy with that at half time because Saints continued to press. We got a big bonus though with Joe Burgess returning a loose ball 90 metres for a try two minutes from half time. Matty Smith though missed a sitter conversion. Not good enough really but Wigan led 10-8 at the break.
Saints got the lead back within three minutes of the restart. Bomb went up, Matty Bowen flapped at it and Travis Burns pounced to score. Percival converted and it was 14-10 to Saints.
Wigan got into a decent arm wrestle next twenty minutes and responded with a easy finish for Joel Tomkins down the right but Smith again failed to convert leaving the scores at 14-14 with just short of half an hour to go.
Saints then kicked a penalty on 56 minutes to go back in front at 16-14 but this looked a relieving option for Wigan who had looked up the pump. However as time wore on, that slender lead looked a great option, especially when Wigan gifted Saints a second try.
Again bomb went up, Bowen dropped it and this time Shannon McDonnell pounced to score. Percival converted for 22-14 and a two score lead was always looking massive in this kind of game with 15 minutes left. Two minutes later though Wigan completed a hat-trick of brain farts with Dan Sarginson passing, right under his own posts, to no one and Jon Wilkin dribbled on to score under the posts. That made it 28-14 and game over despite over ten minutes being left.
Saints added a late penalty to complete their win but Wigan need to have a strong review of this one. Credit Saints. I thought they did a proper good job on us but Wigan weren't too far away in my eyes. That said, when the pressure was turned on us, I failed to see who was responding to it with strong leadership. Until we fix that we will always just be short of winning a trophy.
First Utility Super League 20 - Round 18 Results
|Thu 11 June||Leeds Rhinos 24 Castleford Tigers 31||15,089|
|Fri 12 June||St Helens 30 Wigan Warriors 14||15,500|
|Sat 13 June||Catalan Dragons 20 Hull FC 14||7,956|
|Sun 14 June||Huddersfield Giants 30 Warrington Wolves 19||5,797|
|Sun 14 June||Hull Kingston Rovers 38 Widnes Vikings 16||6,982|
|Sun 14 June||Wakefield Wildcats 16 Salford Red Devils 24||3,240|
First Utility Super League 20 Table - After This Round
Top 8 Qualify for "Super 8s" after Round 23 / Top 4 Qualify for Play Offs
|10||Hull Kingston Rovers||17||7||0||10||408||471||-63||14|
|11||Salford Red Devils||17||6||1||10||332||441||-109||13|