SAINTS failed to withhold a rampant Wigan for the third time this season as they lost 42-16 at the Magic Weekend.
The Warriors ran in six first half tries to kill off their opposition before an almighty brawl saw three men off for an early bath.
Saints failed to take advantage of the extra man though and ironically Wigan stretched the lead and ultimately took the points.
The damage was done in a blistering first half as Mike Rush’s men were 30-6 down and lucky not to be further behind.
Sam Tomkins and Josh Charnley bagged braces as Saints had no answer to their attacking flair.
In fact, Paul Clough’s score was the only highlight in a half they’d want to forget.
The second half didn’t start in the best way with George Carmont scooting 70 yards to increase the lead, before a brawl got the blood boiling.
Gareth Hock and Chris Tuson saw red as did Shaun Magennis for fists aplenty.
But a Charnley penalty and Liam Farrell try sandwiched Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook’s sole effort.
Wellens adding his 200th in the Red Vee at the death.
Saints welcomed back Ade Gardner for the injured Tommy Makinson whilst Magennis was recalled to the bench for the unfit Mark Flanagan.
As expected the opening stages were tough and intense. Saints tested Wigan with two high balls but on the second one, the Warriors recovered and turned defence to attack.
They moved the ball into the centre and Sam Tomkins was on hand to back up Brett Finch’s break.
Josh Charnley tagging on the easy conversion.
It was hardly the start Saints wanted but they did win a penalty shortly after and put some pressure on Wigan’s line.
The lead was doubled, however, on ten minutes. Simple passing down the centre saw Gareth Hock extend the advantage with the defence not putting a finger on him.
And it got worse. Saints had had a warning when Anthony Gelling was felled by Gardner in the corner, but on their next set the ball was moved right and Charnley popped up for Wigan’s third of the evening.
Tomkins added his second almost straight after to compound a miserable opening 22 minutes for the Saints.
And it didn’t get much better as Sean O’Loughlin tagged another shortly afterwards.
But just before the hooter Saints got a foothold in the game with an offload from Jonny Lomax cleaned up by Paul Clough.
Yet, that wasn’t the end of the action as after the hooter Wigan keep the ball moving and Charnley grabbed his second.
Carmont extended the lead at the start of the second half then in the 54th minute the game exploded. There was a little niggle in the scrum with Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and within seconds Hock had sparked a huge brawl. Shaun Magennis and Chris Tuson traded blows with Hock trying to fight anyone who moved.
That left Ben Thaler with no choice but to send off Tuson and Hock, with Magennis joining them.
Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook got the scoreboard going Saints’ way once again, before Charnley tagged on a penalty.
But even though they were a man up Wigan created an overlap and Liam Farrell stretched the lead.
The excellent LMS looked like he’d bagged his brace with ten minutes to go but the Thaler said he was on his back – even though the video showed a clear try.
Paul Wellens notched his 200th in Saints’ colours as Saints entered the final stages but whilst it was a nice accolade for the club legend, it rounded off a very disappointing night.
Tries: Clough, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Wellens
Goals: Lomax (2 from 3)
Tries: Tomkins (2), Hock, Charnley (2), O’Loughlin, Carmont, Farrell
Goals: Charnley (5 from 10)
REF: Ben Thaler
1. Paul Wellens; 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Michael Shenton, 17. Gary Wheeler, 5. Francis Meli; 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Jonny Lomax; 8. Josh Perry, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 9. James Roby, 13. Chris Flannery, 4. Sia Soliola, 12. Jon Wilkin.
Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Tony Puletua, 16. Paul Clough 18. Shaun Magennis.
1. Sam Tomkins; 2. Josh Charnley, 3. Darrell Goulding, 4. George Carmont, 24. Anthony Gelling; 6. Brett Finch, 7. Thomas Leuluai; 22. Gil Dudson, 9. Michael McIlorum, 10. Lee Mossop, 11. Harrison Hansen, 12. Gareth Hock, 13. Sean O’Loughlin.
Subs: 14. Jeff Lima, 16. Liam Farrell, 17. Chris Tuson, 21. Epalahame Lauaki.