Another Good Friday for Wigan
Wigan’s win at Langtree Park was their seventh consecutive win over St Helens in the annual Good Friday fixture between the sides. It’s a stat which is unlikely to play on the players’ minds, particularly as Saints have beaten the Warriors a number of times in between Good Friday defeats, but it certainly makes for a miserable day out for St Helens supporters.
Keiron Cunningham’s side did start the brightest but Wigan’s defence stood strong before scoring three excellent tries to lead 16-0 at the break. Saints threatened to get back into the game through Joe Greenwood’s try but the result was never in doubt and Wigan claimed a well-deserved two points.
Manfredi the man
Dom Manfredi put in a man-of-the-match display on the wing and was outstanding in both defence and attack. During the opening quarter he pulled off two try-saving tackles which could have seen the game pan out very differently.
The winger then crossed for the opening try of the game on 20 minutes, side stepping past Jack Owens on the wing before going over unchallenged. He was then instrumental in gaining the Warriors field possession for their second try which saw Sam Powell collect his own kick through to score.
Saints fall behind again
It was the second consecutive week that St Helens have fallen 16-0 behind and unlike in last week’s game against Leeds they were unable to recover from going three tries down against the Warriors.
Momentum is huge in rugby league but Saints need to find it in them to make sure that conceding one try doesn’t bring with it another two shortly afterwards.
They face a difficult away trip to Widnes on Easter Monday now and head coach Keiron Cunningham will be looking for a response from his players.
Perfect response from the Warriors
After losing their first game of the season and seeing their remarkable 21-month unbeaten home record come to an end against Widnes last week this was the performance Shaun Wane will have wanted from his players.
They overrode Saints’ early pressure before dominating the game, played some excellent rugby and eased to victory over their rivals.
A win over struggling Hull KR at home on Monday could see Wigan go joint-top depending on how other results go.
St Helens 12 (0)
Tries: Greenwood, Fages
Goals: Walsh (2)
Wigan 24 (16)
Tries: Manfredi, Powell, Tomkins, Smith
Goals: Smith (4)