Warriors head to top of Super League with Saints win

Wigan Warriors moved to the top of Super League after an 18-6 win over St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium, with tries from Jake Bibby, Thomas Leuluai, Bevan French and Jackson Hastings on Friday, live on Sky Sports.

Last Updated: 30/10/20 11:47pm

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Watch highlights as Wigan Warriors beat St Helens 18-6 in Friday’s Super League, to move to the top of the table.
Watch highlights as Wigan Warriors beat St Helens 18-6 in Friday’s Super League, to move to the top of the table.

Wigan produced a storming finish to deliver a first derby win for coach Adrian Lam and displace St Helens after an 18-6 win at the top of the Betfred Super League.

The Warriors trailed 6-4 at half-time but scored three second-half tries to claim an impressive 18-6 victory and put themselves in prime position to claim the League Leaders’ Shield from their arch rivals.

The champions were knocked off their stride by their tough-tackling opponents and sorely missed England prop Alex Walmsley, who sat out the game due to suspension, as they went down to a second consecutive defeat.

Jackson Hastings scored one of four Wigan tries as the Warriors moved to the top of Super League
Jackson Hastings scored one of four Wigan tries as the Warriors moved to the top of Super League

It was uncompromising and unrelenting as the sound of the crunching hits reverberated around the empty Totally Wicked Stadium and even referee Chris Kendall could not avoid the ferocious nature of the contest.

In a tense opening quarter, the most notable incident was an accidental collision between Kendall and St Helens forward James Graham which left the Wembley referee needing time out to get his breath back.

With defences firmly on top, Saints were unable to make use of their dangerous wingmen Tom Makinson and Regan Grace while for the most part being able to keep a tight rein on Wigan’s dashing full-back Bevan French.

The deadlock was broken on 29 minutes after Saints stand-off Jonny Lomax broke through the Wigan defensive line and full-back Lachlan Coote was on his shoulder to take the final pass.

Lachlan Coote scored the opening try of the contest, after a scoreless first 30 minutes
Lachlan Coote scored the opening try of the contest, after a scoreless first 30 minutes

Coote converted his own try but Wigan struck back seven minutes before half-time when a strong run from former Saints second rower Joe Greenwood created the position for centre Zak Hardaker to place a slide-rule grubber kick into the corner for winger Jake Bibby to chase.

The ball bounced wickedly for Lomax and kindly for the former Salford man to score his third try for the club, which was too far out for Hardaker to convert.

Jake Bibby replied quickly for Wigan with a try
Jake Bibby replied quickly for Wigan with a try

It was a similar tale in the second half, with neither side willing to give an inch, but Wigan’s veteran scrum-half Thomas Leuluai was able to find a chink in the Saints defence on 53 minutes as he jinked through for his first try of the season.

Thomas Leuluai crashed over to put Wigan into the lead
Thomas Leuluai crashed over to put Wigan into the lead

That put the Warriors into the lead for the first time and, although Hardaker was wide with the conversion attempt, they added a third try nine minutes later when second rower Willie Isa released French on halfway and the Australian swerved around Coote to go in for his 16th try of the season.

Bevan French scored a superb try for Wigan after a searing run
Bevan French scored a superb try for Wigan after a searing run

Again Hardaker was off target with the boot, but the visitors made sure of the win 11 minutes from the end when Greenwood popped a ball out of the tackle for stand-off Jackson Hastings to go in for their fourth try.

Greenwood then tarnished his performance with a high tackle that earned him a yellow card, but it could not diminish the importance of his side’s hard-earned victory.

Reaction

1:19
Adrian Lam was delighted with his side’s performance after his side beat St Helens in the Betfred Super League.
Adrian Lam was delighted with his side’s performance after his side beat St Helens in the Betfred Super League.

1:44
Bevan French says concentration and patience were important in Wigan Warriors beating St Helens in the Betfred Super League.
Bevan French says concentration and patience were important in Wigan Warriors beating St Helens in the Betfred Super League.

Source : Sky Sports