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MATCH REPORT | Wigan Warriors 10-36 St Helens

Regan Grace scored a hat-trick as Saints ran rampant over Wigan with a 36-10 victory over rivals Wigan at the DW Stadium.

 

MATCH DETAILS

Saints got off the best possible start after Wigan gave away a couple of cheap penalties. James Roby took advantage from dummy half to easily push over Zak Hardaker for the first try of the game.

Hardaker made up for his poor attempted tackle responding with a try of his own five minutes later with a try in the corner. He was unable to convert his own try so Saints stayed in the lead at 6-4.

There was worrying scenes as players from both sides looked distraught as Tom Davies was stretchered off the field with a broken ankle.

Regan Grace got the first of his hat-trick as Jonny Lomax broke through the line to assist Grace in the corner.

Lachlan Coote converted a penalty to take them two tries ahead at 12-4.

Saints were starting to dominate with their forward duo of Luke Thompson and Alex Walmsley at the forefront. Grace got his second as Coote looked to be destined for the try line but was tackled just short. On the next play Grace scored easily in the corner to make it 18-4 which was probably a reflective score for the half.

Wigan had other ideas though and got themselves back into the game on the hooter. A poor Danny Richardson kick was collected by Oliver Gildart who beat Kevin Naqaima and then passed the ball to George Williams who scored from 40 metres out to make it 18-10 at the break.

6 minutes after half time Tommy Makinson put the lead back to 14 as it went through the hands of Richardson then Naqaima into Makinson hands to score untouched from 20 metres out.

Wigan then looked beat and started making silly mistakes. Joe Burgess played the ball and there was not a Wigan player within 5 metres of the the play the ball which which gratefully pounced upon by Coote.

A poor pass from Tommy Leuluai could only find Kevin Naqaima and was moved left to Grace who beat three players then beat Hardaker on the outside for the pick of his three tries.

Aaron Smith almost scored on his derby debut but could only win a penalty on the Wigan line. Coote converted to make it 30-10.

Fan favourite Coote then got in on the scoring fun taking a high bomb from under Hardaker’s nose to put the game to bed at 36-10.

In the final moments Dom Peyroux was sin binned for a shoulder charge on Jake Shorrocks who needed to be stretchered off. Wigan looked to score a consolation but they bizarrely tried to score rugby union style by trying to burrow over the line from dummy half despite having an extra man. Ben Flower was tackled on the last and the game finished 36-10.

FOUR POINTERS

Wigan forwards dominated

Something is awfully wrong with Wigan at the moment. Adrian Lam is struggling to get the best out of his players, especially in the forward pack. Wigan made just 957 metres compared to Saints’ 1510 with Joe Bullock being Wigan’s top metre maker in the forwards at just 73. This is something that Shaun Wane would not have stood for.

More debuts for Wigan?

Wigan have gave quite a few debuts out so far this season but with injuries to Tom Davies and Jake Shorrocks a long with a short turn around Wigan could be forced to give some more out on Easter Monday. It looks likely that England Academy scrum half Harry Smith could deputise against Salford.

Thompson- best prop in the world

Saints forward dominated performance was led by Luke Thompson and he is potentially the best prop in the world at the moment. Controversially I believe he is a better forward than James Graham was at the age of 23. The NRL must be calling soon.

Saints starting to run away

This weekend confirms Saints are the best side in the competition. They blew away Warrington last week and I’m not sure they even got out of second gear against Wigan. While Warrington lost at home to Salford which I could not see happening to Saints. They are now 4 points clear at the top.

 

THE RESULT

Wigan Warriors 10
Tries: Hardaker, Williams
Goals: Hardaker (1)
Drop Goals: n/a

St Helens 36

Tries: Roby, Grace (3), Makinson, Coote
Goals: Coote (6)
Drop Goals: n/a

 

SQUADS

Wigan Warriors: Hardaker, Davies, Hankinson, Gildart, Burgess, Williams, Shorrocks, Flower, Leuluai, Navarette, Isa, Smithies, Partington.

Interchanges: O’Loughlin, Tautai, Bullock, Greenwood

St Helens: Coote, Makinson, Naqaima, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Richardson, Thompson, Roby, Walmsley, Taia, Peyroux, Knowles.

Interchanges: Paulo, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Lees, Smith

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