Percival Snatches Classic Contest

Mark Percival produced a golden moment in the history of the Totally Wicked Stadium as Saints beat Wigan 22-19 on Thursday night.

With three minutes to go, the centre collected Matty Smith’s high bomb to score in the corner and take the roof off the ground.

It was his second try of a scintillating game that was also punctuated by his world class finish mid-way in the second half.

Both sides were scrappy with the ball throughout but there was no doubting it was edge of the seat stuff.

Saints got off to the best possible start when they scored after just four minutes.

Alex Walmsley did the damage down the middle and on the last, Smith’s high kick was plucked out of mid-air and put down by Ryan Morgan.

His fifth try in five games.

Saints could have extended that lead shortly afterwards but were called for a knock on after another high ball.

On 14 minutes Wigan replied.

Saints had to drop out following a chip into their in goal area and on the following set, Tommy Leuluai laid on a pass for Tom Davies to cross.

George Williams added the extras, although they looked wide, and then slotted a penalty over on 22 minutes – ironically coming after Saints in three consecutive sets had fair shouts for high tackles.

Lewis Tierney then polished off a move around the ruck on the half hour mark.

Saints had been defending since their early flurry but on 34 minutes won their first penalty before Smith chipped along the floor for Taia to pounce.

Percival added with the extras, but missed the chance to tie it up at half time following Saints second penalty of the match.

14-12 to the visitors at the break.

Saints put pressure on Wigan’s line early in the second half and won several repeat sets.

Taia went close but Saints couldn’t find a way through.

And, as is so often the case, on 60 minutes the visitors scored.

On the last a simple chip through saw Joe Burgess touchdown after Saints failed to deal with the ball.

At 18-12 the next try was crucial – and it came the way of the Saints.

And it was absolute genius from Mark Percival.

In broken play the centre took a pass from Theo Fages, around 20 metres out, and danced through the defence to go under the sticks.

Leuluai put Wigan back ahead with a drop goal with ten minutes to go until the dramatic, last gasp introduction from Percival.

Smith’s pinpoint kick was wonderful and the centre did the rest to leave the place bouncing.

Match Summary:

Tries: Morgan, Taia, Percival (2)
Goals: Percival (3 from 5)

Tries: Davies, Tierney, Burgess
Goals: Williams (3 from 4)
Drop: Leuluai

Penalties Awarded:
Saints: 5
Warriors: 4

HT: 12-14
FT: 22-19

REF: Phil Bentham

ATT: 13138


2. Tommy Makinson; 5. Adam Swift, 4. Mark Percival, 3. Ryan Morgan, 28. Regan Grace; 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith; 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 36. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin, 20. Morgan Knowles.
Subs: 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Tommy Lee.

21. Lewis Tierney; 36. Tom Davies, 32. Liam Forsyth, 5. Joe Burgess, 35. Liam Marshall; 6. George Williams, 7. Thomas Leuluai; 8. Frank-Paul Nuuausala, 9. Michael Mcilorum, 19. Ryan Sutton, 20. Willie Isa, 12. Liam Farrell, 13. Sean O’Loughlin.
Subs: 16. Sam Powell, 17. Taulima Tautai, 28. Jack Wells, 37. Callum Field.

RD15: Saints v Wigan Highlights

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