Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Warriors Indiscipline Sees Saints Win

Huddersfield's victory on Sunday meant the pressure was on Wigan to return to the top of Super League as they travelled to Langtree Park to face St Helens.

Wigan fans were cautious in the build-up to the game with the mercurial Sam Tomkins and the talismanic Sean O'Loughlin and Harrison Hansen missing against a Saints team in great form.

So it was no surprise that Saints made the better start as McCarthy-Scarsbrook found a gap in the middle but was only denied by a superb tackle by Hampshire, but Saints forced a drop-out and were soon over for the opening score as Meli offloaded to Swift who raced over the line and O'Brien added the extras for a 6-0 lead.

Swift was soon in for his second with Lomax being the provider by spotting a gap in the Wigan defence and giving the winger an easy run to the line which was added to by O'Brien's conversion for a 12-0 lead inside 17 minutes.

Wigan needed a response but a knock on on the Saints line followed by a forward pass from Green to Gelling took the pressure off but the were rewarded in the 25th minute as Hampshire earned a penalty after being taken out after a grubber and a set of quick hands to the left saw Richards in space  to go over for a super try but miss the conversion to make it 12-4.

Both sides pushed for the next try and just before the interval, Wigan gave themselves hope of a comeback as a high diagonal kick from former Saint Matty Smith was knocked by Swift leaving Charnley with an easy touchdown in the corner but again Richards missed so Wigan were 12-8 behind into the break.

Saints could have had a perfect start to the second period as substitute Greenwood raced clear only to  drop the ball on the line after superb pressure by Hampshire and the full back had his reward as a slick one handed flick to Charnley sent the winger racing over the line to put Wigan in front as Richards added the extras for a 12-14 lead.

Wigan were penalised as Taylor went in hard on O'Brien who left the field which saw Taylor put on report and Makinson kick the penalty to being the score level at 14 all. Wigan pushed on the next set but on the 5th tackle, the entire stadium was in awe as Richards arrowed a kick from the touchline that flew over the posts for a drop goal from 40 metres and sent the East stand wild as Wigan led 14-15.

Wigan's discipline cost them again as Dudson was penalised for foul play and Wigan were put on a Team Warning but Makinson surprisingly missed the penalty and minutes later repeated his failure from a similar position to leave Saints 14-15 behind when they should have led 18-15.

The lack of a leader for Wigan was clear as another incident this time for offside saw Green sin binned and Turner took over the kicking duties and dispatched the penalty to put Saints 16-15 up.

Smith hit a drop goal for Wigan to level the scores but to no avail as in the final minutes a break by Makinson from his own line to 10 metres from the Wigan line allowed Greenwood to race over the line and sent the Saints faithful wild as Turner added the extras to give Saints a 22-16 lead and break Wigan hearts.

The hooter sounded and Saints celebrated a famous win while Wigan reflected on a third defeat in four and a second consecutive away loss after leading with ten minutes remaining at Wire and here at Saints.

The thoughts now move to a crucial Challenge Cup Semi Final against London on Saturday but a defeat in the derby is always hard to take with hopes that revenge may come in the end of season playoffs.