Saints returned to winning ways on Friday evening with a dominant 26-2 win over the Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium in the derby in front of over 3000 traveling fans!
Saints took an early eighth minute lead at the DW Stadium. A big break downfield by the returning Regan Grace gave us great field position. A few tackles later close to the Warriors line, James Roby found Lachlan Coote down the left-hand side and he threw a cut-out pass to find Grace on the left wing who slid in to open the scoring. Coote added the extras from the left touchline to make it 6-0.
James Bentley and John Bateman both then got sent to the sin bin for an off the ball incident as tempers began to flare between the two sides. Wigan responded in the 16th minute, after Saints were caught offside and they opted to take two, rather than run it. Harry Smith converting, 6-2 Saints led.
Saints looked to have increased their lead in the 21st minute with a moment of magic. A Grace kick from the left wing was collected by Oliver Partington, but Lewis Dodd pinched the ball in a one-one-one steal and scored underneath the sticks. Coote once again added the extras to make it 12-2 which is how the first half ended.
Five minutes into the second half Saints were awarded a penalty after Coote was pulled back by the neck with the try line begging. A penalty try perhaps could have been given, but with Coote taken off following the tackle, Dodd stepped forward to add the extra two and increase our lead to 14-2.
Bateman was then sent to the sin bin for a second time for dissent off the ball with half an hour to go. Mark Percival almost further extended our lead a few minutes later, but he dropped the ball as the try line was beckoning.
We had another attempt to extend our lead as the returning Coote went for two from a penalty after Wigan got caught offside, the kick went wide, but from the restart the hosts were down to 12 men again, as Willie Isa was sent to the sin bin for a high shot on LMS.
We immediately made the most of that advantage. We threw the ball from right to left which resulted in Grace making a break down the left side, he then found Percival on his inside and he made no mistake this time to score! Coote missed the conversion, 18-2.
Saints had another chance to add an extra two after Liam Farrell tackled Matty Lees off the ball. Coote once again took it and this time he made no mistake, 20-2 to the Saints.
Our victory was then sealed in the final minute. Alex Walmsley crashing over from close range after collecting a short pass from Aaron Smith and our number eight was not going to be stopped and celebrated in front of the Saints fans. Coote added the extras from in front of the sticks, as Saints capped off a dominant performance at the DW Stadium with a 26-2 win.
Wigan Warriors Team: Zak Hardaker, Jake Bibby, Willie Isa, Oliver Gildart, Liam Marshall, Harry Smith, Jackson Hastings, Ethan Havard, Joe Shorrocks, Oliver Partington, Jake Pearce-Paul, Liam Farrell, Morgan Smithies.
Interchanges: John Bateman, Amir Bourouh, Joe Bullock, Liam Byrne.
Penalties: Harry Smith (1 from 1)
Sin Bins: John Bateman (16, 50), Willie Isa (61)
Saints Team: Lachlan Coote, Kevin Naiqama, Jack Welsby, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Lewis Dodd, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Matty Lees, Joel Thompson, James Bentley, Morgan Knowles.
Interchanges: Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Agnatius Paasi, Aaron Smith, Joe Batchelor.
Tries: Regan Grace (8), Lewis Dodd (21), Mark Percival (62), Alex Walmsley (80)
Conversions: Lachlan Coote (3 from 4)
Penalties: Lewis Dodd (1 from 1), Lachlan Coote (1 from 2)
Sin Bin: James Bentley (16)