Saints were in full control as we beat Wigan Warriors 24-6 on Sunday evening in the first meeting between the sides since the 2020 Grand Final.
It was a bright start for the Saints, Lachlan Coote was held up inches short of the line, whilst Theo Fages was agonisingly close to scoring under the sticks, but Jackson Hastings cleared the ball for a dropout before the Frenchman could score.
Saints did take a 13th minute lead though after Wigan were penalised for a high shot on Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Coote making no mistake from in front of the sticks and we led 2-0.
One minute later we had our first try of the evening. A high Coote kick was fumbled by Jake Bibby under pressure from Mark Percival, Regan Grace picked up the loose ball to score. Coote added the extras from close to the left toucline, 8-0.
Shortly after we had another two points from in front of the sticks courtesy of Coote’s boot, after the Warriors were caught offside again, 10-0 Saints led.
Another try followed in the 24th minute. A big break by Morgan Knowles downfield, and on the last Fages’ pass was collected by Coote and our number one fought off an attempted Jackson Hastings tackle to score. Coote then converted his own try to give us a 16-0 lead.
Coote fancied his luck again on the half hour mark on the last tackle, but was held up inches short of the try-line, as he looked for his second try of the half. Our full back did have another chance to add an extra two from in front of the sticks a few minutes later, as Wigan were once again ruled offside on the own try-line. Coote made no mistake, 18-0 Saints led.
Kai Pearce-Paul was sin-binned seconds before the break for a late shot on Coote on the left side of the pitch, which sparked a brawl between both sides. Coote was able to continue after the late shot, but his penalty went wide on the hooter, 18-0 Saints led at the break.
Willie Isa, who was lucky to avoid a sin bin for a late hit on Mark Percival in the first half, was sent to the bin five minutes into the second half, after a late shot to the head of Grace. Percival then marked his return to the Saints team with a great solo run, cutting in from the left side to ground the ball next to the sticks under pressure. The decision went to the video referee, but Percival still had control of the ball as he grounded it. Coote once again added the extras, 24-0.
The Warriors did grab a consolation though. A short pass close to the Saints line found Liam Farrell, and he forced his way over from close range. Harry Smith added the extras, 24-6 Saints led.
Saints went close to a great try 15 minutes from the end. A Coote chip wasn’t dealt with by Wigan, Grace flicked the ball back from off the pitch, but Jonny Lomax was in touch as he went to ground the ball.
But it didn’t matter as Saints won 24-6 on a wet evening at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Saints Team: Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Sione Mata’utia, Joe Batchelor, Morgan Knowles.
Interchanges: Kyle Amor, Agnatius Paasi, Jack Welsby, Lewis Dodd.
Tries: Regan Grace (14), Lachlan Coote (24), Mark Percival (49)
Conversions: Lachlan Coote (3 from 3)
Penalties: Lachlan Coote (3 from 4)
Wigan Warriors Team: Jackson Hastings, Jake Bibby, Willie Isa, Oliver Gildart, Liam Marshall, Harry Smith, Thomas Leuluai, Brad Singleton, Sam Powell, Joe Bullock, Jake Pearce-Paul, Liam Farrell, Ethan Havard.
Interchanges: Liam Byrne, Oliver Partington, Joe Shorrocks, Brad O’Neill.
Tries: Liam Farrell (55)
Goals: Harry Smith (1 from 1)
Sin-Bins: Kai Pearce-Paul (40), Willie Isa (45)