Wigan prolong St Helens' wait for League Leaders' Shield

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Dan Sarginson crossed for two first-half tries as Wigan dominated St Helens
Betfred Super 8s
St Helens (4) 10
Tries: Makinson 2 Goal: Richardson
Wigan (14) 30
Tries: Sarginson 2, Bateman, Davies, Gildart, O’Loughlin Goals: Williams 3

Wigan denied local rivals St Helens the chance to secure the League Leaders’ Shield with a stunning 30-10 derby win.

Warriors ran in six tries to lead throughout despite losing influential full-back Sam Tomkins to a knee injury in the warm-up.

Dan Sarginson’s double and John Bateman’s try before Tommy Makinson’s reply put them 14-4 ahead at the break.

Further scores after the interval from Tom Davies, Oliver Gildart and Sean O’Loughlin put the gloss on a big win.

Wigan strengthened their chances of a home semi-final, but Saints will have to wait to win a first League Leaders’ Shield since 2014.

Wigan made their mark early as Sarginson barged his way over for the opening score inside four minutes, before having to weather a storm from Saints in the opening half-hour.

Both sides had tries disallowed in an engaging opening quarter, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook for obstruction in Saints’ build-up and then Sam Powell for Wigan after an earlier knock-on by Bateman.

After Sarginson’s second score, Bateman shrugged off about half a dozen challenges to barge through from 10 metres out and put Wigan in the ascendancy.

Makinson gave St Helens hope when he caught a Danny Richardson cross-kick inches inside the whitewash as the half-time hooter sounded.

But any chance of a Saints comeback was snuffed out moments after the restart as Davies nudged over for Wigan’s fourth.

Makinson clawed a second try back for Saints after a brilliant offload from McCarthy-Scarsbrook and with 30 minutes to play, there were only eight points in it.

But Wigan turned on the class in the closing quarter, Gildart stunning the home crowd with a try from inside own half as he sprinted and outfoxed Ben Barba to cross the try line.

O’Loughlin then made it a night to remember for the Warriors as he crashed over from close range for his first try of the season.

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook:

“It was definitely not good enough, that’s obvious. We had some chances, but we weren’t good enough to take them.

“Full credit to Wigan, they were better than us in every area of the game.

“We’d beaten them twice and we under-estimated how much they wanted to beat us.

“It was comprehensive in the end. We were all over the shop and every time they moved the ball around they looked threatening, whereas we looked disjointed and were just fumbling our way through the 80 minutes.”

Wigan coach Shaun Wane:

“There was a bit of emotion. I’ve enjoyed coming here. I’ve had some hidings and some good wins.

“It’s a myth I hate them, I have lot of respect for people here.

“We were good away to Catalans but this was a lot more intense and a more important game. They threw down the gauntlet, saying they wanted the league leaders and a 3-0 whitewash.

“They will get the leaders shield and they deserve it, they are a very good team, no question, that’s what makes is so sweet. We put a game plan together and it worked.”

St Helens: Barba; Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Grace; Lomax, Richardson; Douglas, Roby, Thompson, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Taia, Knowles.

Replacements: Amor, Wilkin, Lees, Ashworth.

Wigan: Escare; Davies, Isa, Sarginson, Gildart; Williams, Leuluai; Navarrete, Powell, Flower, Greenwood, Bateman, O’Loughlin.

Replacements: Clubb, Sutton, Partington, Hamlin.

Referee: Chris Kendall



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