Home team Score Away Team

St Helens

  • Gardner, Gidley (2),
    Goals: Long (2),
16 - 16

Wigan

  • Carmont, Tomkins,
    Goals: Richards (4),
  • First Utility Super League
  • 5th Sep 2008
  • KO 20:00
  • Att: 13,500

Saints clinch top spot

Wigan battle for draw at Knowsley Road

Last updated: 6th September 2008   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Saints clinch top spot

Gidley: try double

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St Helens ended the regular season top of the Super League table after a 16-16 draw with Wigan Warriors at Knowsley Road on Friday evening.

Just six days after beating Hull FC at Wembley to complete a hat-trick of Challenge Cup triumphs, Saints were forced to overcome an early 12-0 deficit to earn a share of the spoils with their fierce rivals.

They did so without the services of stand-off Leon Pryce, who was rested due to a calf injury.

Wigan led 12-6 at half-time through tries from George Carmont and Joel Tomkins.

Matt Gidley got Saints' opener just before the break and, after the interval, the hosts took control, moving into a 16-14 lead courtesy of a try from Ade Gardner and Gidley's second.

That looked to be enough for the win until Pat Richards landed a 71st-minute penalty to salvage a point for Wigan.

Expansive

The Warriors adopted a surprisingly expansive approach while dominating territory and possession during a scoreless opening quarter-of-an-hour.

And their cause was further boosted when Saints skipper Keiron Cunningham, on the occasion of his 435th appearance for the club, took a knock and was forced off for the rest of the opening half.

The temperature of an already intense contest was further raised when James Graham was sent to the sin-bin in the 20th minute for his furious reaction to being shoulder barged by Iafeta Paleaaesina.

There appeared to be little wrong with Paleaaesina's challenge, which made contact with Graham's jaw as the Saints second rower, making a dummy run, ducked into the collision.

Wigan cashed in on the extra man with two tries in three minutes to open a 12-0 lead.

Centre Carmont twice sidestepped would-be tacklers to grab the opener on 26 minutes and loose forward Tomkins followed across the whitewash from Trent Barrett's mis-pass shortly afterwards. Richards landed both conversions.

And the visitors held their 12-point advantage until a minute before half-time when the video referee ruled Gidley had scored in the right corner.

The Saints centre slid towards the line as Thomas Leuluai came in at an angle with a last-ditch tackle. The try was awarded as replays failed to show if Leuluai had prevented the ball being grounded. Sean Long slotted the extras to reduce the deficit to 12-6 at the interval.

That completed St Helens' record of scoring in the first half of every game of the regular season.

Wigan extended their lead to 14-6 in the 43rd minute when Richards drilled a long-range penalty between the uprights after Jon Wilkin was penalised for delaying a play-of-the-ball.

Cunningham return

Cunningham returned to the fray early in the second half and made an immediate impact directing play from dummy half.

The hosts got back within two at 14-12 on 53 minutes when Gidley's flick pass gave Gardner a simple finish in the right corner and Long added the touchline conversion.

And they moved 16-14 in front five minutes later through Gidley's second try. The Australian barged over from close range after the ball had been spun wide from left to right. Long was off-target with the additional two points.

After video referee Ian Smith chalked off another Saints try for Francis Meli due to a double movement, the momentum swung back to Wigan when Richards booted a 39-metre penalty to bring the scores level at 16-16 with nine minutes remaining.

Richards could have earned Wigan's first win at Knowsley Road for five years but his drop goal attempt sliced wide in the 77th minute.

The result brings an end to Saints' 21-match winning streak although they have the consolation of claiming the league winners' shield for the fourth year in a row.

A point was enough to keep Wigan's hopes of a home play-off tie alive. They will finish fourth in the table unless Warrington beat Huddersfield on Saturday.

Super League Table

Super League Table - September 14 2014
Pos Team P Pts
1 St Helens 27 38
2 Wigan Warriors 27 37
3 Huddersfield Giants 27 37
4 Castleford Tigers 27 36
5 Warrington Wolves 27 35
6 Leeds Rhinos 27 32
7 Catalans Dragons 27 29
8 Widnes Vikings 27 27
9 Hull K R 27 23
10 Salford Red Devils 27 23
11 Hull FC 27 22
12 Wakefield Wildcats 27 21
13 Bradford Bulls * 27 10
14 London Broncos 27 2
Forthcoming First Utility Super League Fixtures
TimeFixture
First Utility Super League
Thursday 5th February
20:00Widnes vs Wigan
Friday 6th February
20:00St Helens vs Catalans Dragons
Saturday 7th February
15:00Warrington Wolves vs Salford Red Devils
Sunday 8th February
15:00Huddersfield vs Hull
15:00Hull K R vs Leeds
15:30Castleford vs Wakefield
Thursday 12th February
20:00Salford vs St Helens
Friday 13th February
20:00Hull vs Warrington
20:00Leeds vs Widnes
20:00Wigan vs Huddersfield
Today's Results
TimeResult
First Utility Super League
Saturday 11th October
St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan
Friday 3rd October
Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington
Thursday 2nd October
St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons
Friday 26th September
Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons
Thursday 25th September
Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington
Saturday 20th September
Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans Dragons
Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes
Friday 19th September
St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford
Thursday 18th September
Wigan 57 - 4 Huddersfield

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