Brave Warriors Suffer Derby Defeat

Full Time at the JJB Stadium -

Wigan Warriors 14

T - Richards, Hock, Dallas
G - Dobson

St Helens 28

T - Lyon, Meli, Gardner, Talau
G - Lyon (6)

Match Report

Wigan battled bravely but the honours in this local derby went to the visitors with St Helens running out victors. Wigan unable to turnaround a 0-14 half time advantage.

There were some hard working efforts by a number of Wigan players, Michael Dobson settled in quickly on his Warriors debut with a number of good kicks over the top of the Saints defence and in the forwards the cherry and whites had to match up to the big visitors forward line.

St Helens came close early on down the left, a great tackle by Ashton on Meli halting the visitors in full flow.

Wigan prompted and probed in Saints territory but couldn’t find a way through. A real see saw battle in the opening 20 minutes. The deadlock finally broken with a St Helens try on 24 minutes, a long pass close to the line split the defence and Jamie Lyon was able to dive over, Lyon himself hit the extras to make it 0-6.

A Lyon penalty made it 0-8, but it should have been a scrum with a Wigan head and feed as Talau clearly knocked on, ball back said referee Ashley Klein.

Paul Sculthorpe knocked on with a try scoring chance as the half drew to a close. The Warriors then their own worst enemies forcing the play close to their own line and a stray O’Loughlin pass was intercepted by Francis Meli for St Helens second try. Lyon converted the goal to open up a 0-14 advantage.

Wigan were denied a chance at the start of the second half, Richards in space down the right but McAvoy’s pass to him judged forward in the opening sixty seconds. At the other end a good Danny Orr tackle stopping Jon Wilkin close to the line from a Sean Long chip.

Wigan opened up their account on 48 minutes, O’Loughlin with a great pass out of the back door to Pat Richards, the Aussie diving over in the corner for his ninth try of the season. Tickle missed a difficult goal, 4-14.

A Lyon penalty for a high tackle made it 4-16 on 53 minutes.

St Helens player Jon Wilkin was put on report as McAvoy looked to take a high tackle.

The points looked sealed, a wayward pass out wide by Wigan was taken by Long who sent Ade Gardner in for his side’s third try on 57 minutes to make it 4-20, the conversion was missed.

That though was not the case as Gareth Hock powered his way through Jason Cayless and Paul Wellens for the Warriors second try soon after. Tickles goal struck the posts 8-20.

Any thoughts of a late revival from Brian Nobles side were ended as a Willie Talau try on 74 minutes made it 8-24 and Lyon added the goal 8-26.

Credit to Wigan they weren't done, a Brett Dallas try in the corner and Dobson conversion made it 14-26.

Late on Orr was sin binned and Lyon hit the final points of the night with a penalty, it ended 14-28.

Team News

Wigan gave a debut to 19 year old scrum half Michael Dobson who signed for the club this week after a loan spell with Catalans Dragons. The Warriors welcome back on the bench Nathan McAvoy and Danny Hill.

Wigan Warriors

Chris Ashton, Pat Richards, Darrell Goulding, David Vaealiki, Brett Dallas, Danny Orr, Michael Dobson, Scott Logan, Mickey Higham, Bryan Fletcher, Danny Tickle, Gareth Hock, Sean O'Loughlin

Subs - Iafeta Paleaaesina, Jerry Seuseu, Nathan McAvoy, Danny Hill

St Helens

Paul Wellens, Ade Gardner, Jamie Lyon, Wille Talau, Francis Meli, Leon Pryce, Sean Long, Jason Cayless, Kieron Cunningham, Paul Anderson, Paul Sculthorpe, Lee Gilmour, Jason Hooper

Subs - Vinnie Anderson, Nick Fozzard, Maurie Faasavalu, Jon Wilkin

Referee - Ashley Klein

Attendance -18,358

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