Champions Stun Warriors

SAINTS produced a stunning performance to beat Wigan 30-14 in a pulsating clash at Langtree Park.

The champions overturned a 10-8 half time deficit to thrash their nearest rivals and go top of the First Utility Super League to boot.

They were utterly dominant in all areas of the game and defeated the as-near full strength visitors to continue their winning ways.

Jon Wilkin put the icing on the cake with a real captains knock – and his charges were simply excellent too.

And it was done with players battered and bruised – a number missing – and some with flu!

Despite suffering a finger dislocation last week, talisman James Roby started the game with Matty Dawson coming in for Tommy Makinson.

Wigan missing Anthony Gelling.

A bruising opening spell saw both sides rip into each other and then Joe Burgess taken off the field with concussion following an attempted tackle on Dawson.

Mark Percival took a high ball on five minutes but a mistake in Saints’ own 20 handed the visitors a set.

But the combination of Dawson and Percival stopped a flowing move.

Ten minutes in, such a move handed the Warriors the lead.

Saints gave away a penalty on the last, the ball went through hands and Dan Sarginson scored.

The home side were clearly upset, pointing to an obstruction, but the video referee thought otherwise.

Saints had a set on Wigan’s line following a high Sean O’Loughlin tackle and then put in some solid defence to force their opponents on the back foot.

Jon Wilkin’s high ball was taken by Matty Bowen on 20 minutes and then George Williams had to be alert for another chip over the top.

Saints were chipping away at Wigan’s defence and finally got the breakthrough their determination and patience deserved.

Big Mose Masoe stormed up the middle and from his quick play the ball, it flowed into the left hand corner and into the hands of Adam Swift for his 13th of the season.

Saints were on a roll and turned the screw further thanks to Travis Burns and Jordan Turner.

Burns spanked a 40:20 down field and a move that featured a wonderful dummy run from Masoe saw Jordan Turner go in.

Percival missed the conversion but within a set Saints were back on Wigan’s line – thanks to a kick from Turner.

He broke down the left hand side and forced a drop out from Matty Bowen.

With seconds in the half remaining, Saints pushed the ball right – but a loose pass was scooped up and returned by Joe Burgess to make it a two-point game at half time.

Saints didn’t hang around in wiping that deficit out – and it came in somewhat bizarre circumstances.

A kick on the last from Wilkin was theatrically spilled by Bowen and Burns gratefully collected the bouncing ball – over Wigan’s line!

Percival slotting his first conversion of the night.

But on 50 minutes Wigan hit back through Joel Tomkins on the back of back-to-back penalties.

Saints rolled straight back and took the two points on offer when Lee Farrell was caught for inference.

The champions kept on rolling and should have been further ahead as the game entered the final 15 minutes.

Wilkin was bizarrely penalised for being injured and having his head cut and then Turner lost the ball over the line.

Saints won the ball back from the restart and failed to score but on their next attack a massive high ball was spilled by Bowen and Shannon McDonnell scored.

The video referee taking an age to make the decision.

And it got much much better as Jon Wilkin pounced on another error to go under the posts moments later – goaled by Percival.

The Champions were clinical at times but it was their defence and kicking game that rocked the Warriors time after time.

James Roby kicking on the last tackle with five minutes to go epitomising the effort – and forcing a drop out.

Sarginson then tackled McDonnell in the air – and Mark Percival kicked his fifth of the evening and sealed a great win.

Match Summary:


Tries: Swift, Turner, Burns, McDonnell, Wilkin

Goals: Percival (5 from 7)


Tries: Sarginson, Burgess, Tomkins

Goals: Smith (1 from 3)


Saints: 10

Warriors: 6

HT: 8-10

FT: 30-14

REF: Richard Silverwood

ATT: 16692



34. Shannon McDonnell; 22. Matty Dawson, 17. Mark Percival, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Travis Burns, 12. Jon Wilkin; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 14. Alex Walmsley, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Mark Flanagan, 4. Josh Jones.

Subs: 8. Mose Masoe, 19. Greg Richards, 25. Andre Savelio, 30. Matty Fleming.


1. Matty Bowen, 2. Josh Charnley, 11. Joel Tomkins, 4. Dan Sarginson, 5. Joe Burgess; 6. George Williams, 7. Matty Smith; 23. Lee Mossop, 9. Michael McIlorum, 10. Ben Flower, 14. John Bateman, 12. Liam Farrell, 13. Sean O’Loughlin.

Subs: 8. Dominic Crosby, 16. Sam Powell, 24. Taulima Tautai, 25. Larne Patrick.

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