Brave Saints Lose Derby

SAINTS put in a monumental effort but sadly it was in vain as they were downed 12-4 at Wigan.

Missing important players before kick off – including Jon Wilkin who pulled up in training – they lost Joe Greenwood and Paul Wellens during a brutal derby that was more about endeavour than high skill.

Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook scored in the first half to make it a two point game but Wigan ground out the result.

In all fairness both sets of fans wouldn’t put this one down as a classic – the Warriors probably making the better of the conditions and numbers to take the win.

Pre-game Keiron Cunningham was forced in to a late change when Wilkin pulled up on training on Thursday.

That saw Lance Hohaia move to scrum half with Jordan Turner joining him at half back.

Saints got off the worst possible start when on their first set Turner’s kick, on the last, was charged down and Dom Manfredi took full advantage of a kind bounce.

Matty Smith converted and then the visitors has to fend off two penalties which put the Warriors in great territory.

And yet another penalty handed the home side a chance but Saints repelled borders… and almost scored.

A fantastic Turner break was felled about 20 metres short. The ball was spun right but the chance was lost as it came back inside.

Joe Greenwood came off with a leg injury a quarter of the game in and then Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook got Saints on the board after he bulldozed over.

Hohaia providing a fine pass.

Saints’ problem was not getting enough yards on their last tackle kicks – and then giving penalties away.

And on 22 minutes it took all the might of Wellens and Swift to bundle Anthony Gelling into touch.

It was full bore – both sides trading penalties and mistakes – until Hohaia forced an error from Hampshire.

It was a demure kick, forcing the full back to slip and go into touch but once again Saints couldn’t take advantage.

Saints had the better of the closing stages and arguably should have gone in up at the interval – and their task was made much harder as Wellens had to come off just one minute into the second.

A troublesome hip left Saints with two fit subs and a subsequent shuffle.

Swift and Makinson shared duties at full back with Dawson heading out to the wing, whilst Louie moved to the centres.

The changes didn’t affect Saints though as they continued to roll with their forwards and relying on the lively Hohaia for last tackle options.

Wigan looked lethargic too as Saints had them coming off their lines time after time.

Saints forced two knock ons from their hosts with 15 to go but couldn’t find a way through – Wigan stopping Luke Thompson right on the line.

On 68 minutes, Matty Dawson had the ball punched out in the tackle and the referee gave Wigan head and feed.

Swift took the high ball but when Greg Richards ran on the last in his own 20, Wigan had pressure right on their opponent’s line.

Whether he heard the ref’s call or not, it was academic as Wigan scored.

George Williams put the kick in and Joe Burgess touched down with inches to spare.

That was ultimately the final act as Wigan closed the game out whilst a jaded but not beaten Saints can certainly hold their heads up very high indeed.

Match Summary:


Tries: Manfredi, Burgess

Goals: Smith (2 from 2)


Tries: McCarthy-Scarsbrook

Goals: Makinson (0 from 1)


Warriors: 8

Saints: 2

HT: 4-6

FT: 4-12

REF: Phil Bentham

ATT: 24,054



20. Ryan Hampshire;  22. Dom Manfredi, 3. Anthony Gelling, 4. Dan Sarginson, 5. Joe Burgess; 6. George Williams, 7. Matty Smith; 17. Tony Clubb, 9. Michael McIlorum, 23. Lee Mossop, 11. Joel Tomkins, 12. Liam Farrell, 14. John Bateman.

Subs: 24. Taulima Tautai, 25. Larne Patrick, 26. Logan Tomkins, 28. Ryan Sutton.


20. Paul Wellens; 2. Tommy Makinson, 22. Matty Dawson, 4. Josh Jones, 5. Adam Swift; 3. Jordan Turner, 16. Lance Hohaia; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 14. Alex Walmsley, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 21. Joe Greenwood, 18. Luke Thompson.

Subs: 8. Mose Masoe, 15. Mark Flanagan, 19. Greg Richards, 25. Andre Savelio.

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