Super League: Wigan claim the points against St Helens on Good Friday
Wigan Warriors secured bragging rights in Lancashire on Good Friday with a 28-16 success over rivals St Helens.
Last Updated: 29/03/13 6:15pm
Shaun Wane's side looked in cruise control with an 18-0 half-time lead, but Saints fought back after the break and only a late second try of the game from Pat Richards finally settled Wigan's nerves.
Saints were gifted an early chance to open the scoring following a knock-on by Sean O'Loughlin, however, they squandered the opportunity when Paul Wellens' fired pass to Ade Gardner proved too strong.
Wigan struck first with Richards going over in the left-side corner. The Warriors were awarded a penalty for Tommy Makinson not being square following a Darrell Goulding break and the home side capitalised on excellent field position.
The visitors struck back but, although Mark Percival made a break and picked out Makinson, the under pressure Saints stand-in full-back was unable to hold onto the ball.
And Wane's men doubled their advantage on the back of a Willie Manu mistake. Wigan took full advantage with Matty Smith's short ball finding substitute Jack Hughes and he delayed the pass to find Sam Tomkins who ghosted over untouched.
Saints did eventually pressure Wigan's try line, but that only resulted in the Warriors' third try. Josh Charnley gathered a loose ball near his own try line before going to length of the field for an 18-0 scoreline with Richards converting all three scores.
The visitors were quick out of the blocks in the second half with Paul Clough going over from close range for his first of the season, although the video referee was needed to assist in the award of the try.
Saints were in the ascendency, but Wigan responded. Aided by a break from Charnley, the ball ended up with Blake Green and he found Dom Crosby with a short pass to restore the 18-point advantage.
From the restart tempers flared in the Wigan camp when Ben Flower pushed Tomkins as he attempted to claim the kick off. Matt Smith opted to kick the ball into touch to stop Saints scoring which resulted in a penalty.
St Helens capitalised from the short field. Sia Soliola had a quick play the ball and Francis Meli was not going to be stopped from close range. This time Percival was unable to add the extras.
However, their spirited showing in the second half continued when Jordan Turner superbly kept the ball alive to Meli and Makinson was in support to cross the try line. The youngster converted to make it an eight-point game.
Hopes of a grandstand finish were finally ended when Wigan spread the ball out wide for Richards to touch down for his second of the game. The video referee was called for, but the Australian-born winger was correctly given the decision to effectively seal victory.