Match report as Wigan Warriors lose to St Helens in the Good Friday Derby at the Totally Wicket Stadium
The Warriors were defeated 21-18 in what was an enthralling match
- Joel Tomkins (2) and Willie Isa with Wigan’s tries.
Wigan Warriors lost in the Good Friday Derby for the first time in nine years as they went down 21-18 in a compelling game.
After Morgan Escare’s early penalty goal, Ben Barba got the first try of the game to give Saints the lead.
Zeb Taia then extended the home side’s advantage before Joel Tomkins scored five minutes after half time to bring the Warriors back into the game.
Willie Isa then went over and George Williams’ conversion gave Wigan the lead, however, a Danny Richardson penalty conversion levelled things up with eight minutes to go.
Saints won the game when Regan Grace dived over in the corner before Richardson added a drop goal soon after.
Another Tomkins try right at the end was not enough for the Warriors and it was St Helens took the bragging rights.
Shaun Wane was forced to make one change to the side that beat Huddersfield last weekend as Sam Tomkins missed out through illness.
Morgan Escaré, who had also been ill in the week, came into the starting 13 while Josh Woods made the bench.
Justin Holbrook also made one change for St Helens with Ryan Morgan replacing Adam Swift.
Wigan were first on the scoreboard as Morgan Escaré kicked a penalty goal. A ball steal on Ben Flower gave the Warriors the penalty in front of the sticks and Escare made it 2-0 after five minutes.
However, just before the half way mark of the first half, St Helens got the first try as Ben Barba touched down. Luke Thompson provided a neat offload to the fullback who then found a gap, skipped past Escaré and raced away to go over. Danny Richardson added the two points and Saints went 6-2 ahead.
The home side were starting to get on top and three minutes before the break, Zeb Taia crashed over and extended Saints’ lead. The second row took a short ball from James Roby and managed to beat two Wigan men to score from close range. Richardson added the extras and St Helens went 12-2 in front heading into half time.
St Helens 12–2 Wigan Warriors
The Warriors fought back straight away in the second half as Joel Tomkins crossed the whitewash. A clever inside pass by George Williams a few yards out from the line found Tomkins who was able to shrug off the attempted tackle to dart over. Escaré converted and closed the score gap to just four points with over half an hour still left to play.
Shaun Wane’s side, disrupted by the withdrawal of Sam Tomkins, lost his replacement, Morgan Escaré, midway through the half as he left the field for a concussion assessment.
Wigan took the lead through a Willie Isa try with just 15 minutes remaining. Skipper Sean O’Loughlin got the ball away on the left side and it fell to Isa who beat two Saints men to touch down with an outstretched hand. Williams took over kicking duties and gave the Cherry and Whites the advantage, 12-14 Wigan ahead.
The home side levelled a few minutes later with a penalty goal from Richardson. The ball came loose in the tackle on Morgan Knowles by O’Loughlin and Richardson converted to make it 14-14 with eight minutes to go.
St Helens went back in front on the 76th minute with a try from Regan Grace. A long pass from Jonny Lomax found Grace out wide on the left and the winger dived over to score. Richardson added the two points and Saints went 20-14 ahead.
A Richardson drop goal then put the home side further in front at 21-14.
Joel Tomkins went over in the right corner for his second try right at the death but it wasn’t enough as St Helens took the win.
St Helens 21–18 Wigan Warriors
St Helens– 21
Tries: Barba, Taia, Grace
Goals: Richardson 4/4
Drop goal: Richardson 1/1
Wigan Warriors– 18
Tries: Tomkins (2), Isa
Goals: Escaré 2/2 Williams 1/2
St Helens: 23. Ben Barba, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 19. Regan Grace, 1. Jonny Lomax, 18. Danny Richardson, 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dominique Peyroux, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin
Interchange: 6. Theo Fages, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 15. Morgan Knowles
Wigan Warriors: 20. Morgan Escaré, 2. Tom Davies, 14. John Bateman, 4. Oliver Gildart, 5. Joe Burgess, 6. George Williams, 7. Sam Powell, 8. Tony Clubb, 9. Tommy Leuluai, 10. Ben Flower, 19. Willie Isa, 12. Liam Farrell, 13. Sean O’Loughlin
Interchange: 11. Joel Tomkins, 15. Ryan Sutton, 17. Taulima Tautai, 34. Josh Woods
Referee: Robert Hicks