WIGAN’S first half performance was far too good for Saints as they went down 32-10 at the Stobart Stadium on Friday.
Their closest rivals were better in attack and defence and took their chances with aplomb to lead 20-0 at the break.
Errors from kicks led to two of Wigan’s three tries whilst Liam Mossop’s opener was far too simple.
In attack, Royce Simmons’ men couldn’t find a way through a Warriors’ defence that were all over his side and quelled any chance of fast play the balls.
In the second half, Brett Finch cruised over the line before Saints finally broke through with Tony Puletua.
Tommy Makinson then capped off a good performance with a try from Lee Gaskell’s chip.
But that’s about as good as it got for Saints – Jeff Lima adding another for the Warriors to leave Saints with a lot to think about.
Saints welcomed back Shaun Magennis, Matty Ashurst and Francis Meli into the 17 with Josh Perry missing out with a hamstring injury.
Warriors called on Sam Tomkins and George Carmont; who didn’t double up last week after their Origin Commitments.
Andy Coley also returned from injury.
Wigan were first on the attack with a high ball that was knocked on by both teams before Jon Wilkin chipped along the floor to gain territorial advantage.
On eight minutes the Warriors came down Saints’ right and almost carved out a chance only for the ball to go dead.
Saints nearly did the same seconds later – Jon Wilkin’s kick close to the line causing problems for Sam Tomkins.
But on 16 minutes Wigan forged ahead – and it wasn’t surprising. Saints let the opposition run far too many lines and Liam Mossop plunged over from short range.
Pat Richards making it 0-6 and then adding a penalty on 25 minutes to stretch the lead.
Richards then caught a high ball to the corner on the last tackle to leave Saints with a mountain to climb.
And it got much worse as Joel Tomkins grabbed an opportunistic try almost immediately after a high ball was again knocked to the floor.
Ok, it took a rebound off two Saints players and there was a hint of a Wigan hand in there, but he raced away with no-one near him.
With three minutes left in the half, Shaun Magennis just couldn’t pull in Francis Meli’s pass and Saints headed into the dressing rooms with a lot to improve on.
Half Time: Saints 0 Wigan 20
Francis Meli got on the outside of Josh Charnley twice early in the second half, but Saints couldn’t take advantage.
So it was again no surprise when Brett Finch punished Saints and increased the lead.
To be fair it didn’t get much better from there with the half-back partnership of Gaskell and Lomax finding it hard to create gaps.
But Tony Puletua finally got Saints on the board with a charge on the angle – Makinson converting.
Then Makinson crossed again – from Gaskell’s dab.
But Saints continued to put the ball to ground and although Jamie Foster was hauled to the floor after he kicked the ball through, they could have little complaint.
Jeff Lima scoring at the death with a try that looked offside and short to compound the misery.
Tries: Puletua, Makinson
Goals: Makinson (1 from 1), Foster (0 from 1)
Tries: Mossop, Richards, Tomkins, Finch, Lima
Goals: Richards (6 from 6)
REF: Thierry Alibert
1. Paul Wellens; 28. Thomas Makinson, 3. Michael Shenton, 5. Francis Meli, 22. Jamie Foster; 25. Lee Gaskell, 20. Jonny Lomax; 10. James Graham, 9. James Roby, 15. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 12. Jon Wilkin, 4. Sia Soliola, 11. Tony Puletua.
Subs: 7. Kyle Eastmond, 13. Chris Flannery, 18. Matty Ashurst, 21. Shaun Magennis.
1. Sam Tomkins; 25. Josh Charnley, 12. Joel Tomkins, 4. George Carmont, 5. Pat Richards; 17. Brett Finch, 6. Paul Deacon; 15. Jeff Lima, 7. Thomas Leuluai, 21. Lee Mossop, 11. Harrison Hansen, 16. Ryan Hoffman, 13. Sean O’Loughlin.
Subs: 9. Michael McIlorum, 10. Andy Coley, 14. Paul Prescott, 23. Chris Tuson.