Home team Score Away Team

Wigan

  • Richards, O'Loughlin, Tomkins,
    Goals: Richards (3),
18 - 26

St Helens

  • Wellens (2), Scarsbrook, Lomax,
    Goals: Foster (5),
  • Super League
  • Qualifying Play-off
  • 18th Sep 2011
  • KO 14:45
  • Att: 12,893

Saints shock champions Wigan

Impressive win leaves visitors just 80 minutes away from Grand Final

By Jonathan Jurejko   Last updated: 19th September 2011   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Saints shock champions Wigan

Wellens: Grabbed two tries to help Saints beat their fierce rivals

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St Helens moved straight into the Super League play-off semi-finals with a 26-18 win over reigning champions Wigan.

Saints dominated Sunday's qualifying play-off against their great rivals from the start and raced into a richly-deserved 14-0 lead before the half hour mark.

Wigan rallied to get within two points in the second half before Saints regained the initiative through Paul Wellens' second try and another from Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook.

Joel Tomkins touched down to set up a dramatic finale but Saints managed to hold out and earn themselves a well-deserved week off before they resume their Grand Final bid.

It means Wigan, who finished the regular season in second place ahead of Saints, must pick themselves up for a preliminary semi-final against Catalan Dragons at home next weekend.

Frantic

Contests between these old foes are usually explosive affairs and it took just ten seconds for the repeat of last season's Grand Final to set alight.

Wigan half back Paul Deacon's knock on from the kick off gave a full set to the visitors deep in home territory but a golden opportunity was spurned as winger Tom Makinson was unable to power past Sam Tomkins with the line at his mercy.

It was a frantic start with shell-shocked Wigan put onto the back foot by the quick tempo of the organised Saints side.

Two more chances went begging for the visitors as Jon Wilkin dropped the ball with the line at the mercy before Wigan captain Sean O'Loughlin held up James Graham under the posts.

But it did not take Saints long to get their reward as they stormed into a well-merited 12-0 lead.

Experienced full back Wellens stepped in between two Wigan defenders to grab the opener before Michael Shenton burst through again to set up the simplest of tries for the supporting Jonny Lomax under the home posts.

Jamie Foster booted both of the routine conversions and added a penalty just before the half hour mark when Brett Finch was penalised for holding down.

Still Saints pressed as the game continued at a fast and furious pace but Sam Tomkins, recently crowned Super League player of the year, could not give his side a much-needed lifeline when he failed to ground the ball as he reached out for the line.

Momentum

Wigan piled on the pressure as the half time hooter approached and, just as some heroic Saints defending looked to have kept the Challenge Cup winners at bay, they forced two more sets which allowed Pat Richards to finally find a way through in the left corner.

Michael Maguire's half time team talk clearly paid dividends as O'Loughlin scampered over shortly after the restart with Richards' second conversion reducing the deficit to two points.

However, any momentum they hoped to build from the breakthrough was lost almost immediately.

Lomax's powerful 30 metre burst set up Saints in a great position for Wellens to grab his second try before McCarthy-Scarsbrook dived over on the hour with Foster adding both conversions.

Wigan hit back again through Joel Tomkins's 64th minute try, which was completed by Richards' cool conversion, but they failed to breach a strong Saints defence which held firm to seal a first win of the season over their hosts.

Super League Table

Super League Table - August 17 2014
Pos Team P Pts
1 St Helens 24 36
2 Wigan Warriors 24 33
3 Leeds Rhinos 24 32
4 Warrington Wolves 24 32
5 Castleford Tigers 24 32
6 Huddersfield Giants 24 32
7 Catalan Dragons 24 23
8 Widnes Vikings 24 23
9 Hull K R 24 21
10 Salford Red Devils 24 19
11 Wakefield Wildcats 24 19
12 Hull FC 24 18
13 Bradford Bulls * 24 8
14 London Broncos 24 2
Forthcoming Super League Fixtures
TimeFixture
Super League
Thursday 28th August
20:00Warrington vs Huddersfield
Friday 29th August
20:00Widnes vs Wigan
20:00Hull vs Hull K R
20:00Leeds vs St Helens
Saturday 30th August
17:00Catalan Dragons vs London Broncos
Sunday 31st August
15:00Wakefield vs Salford
15:30Castleford vs Bradford
Thursday 4th September
20:00St Helens vs Warrington
Friday 5th September
20:00Wigan vs Leeds
Sunday 7th September
15:00Salford vs London Broncos

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