The gloss was removed from Saints' first victory at the JJB Stadium for five years by the sight of concussed second- rower Lee Gilmour being carried from the field on a stretcher. And Anderson's solemn mood turned to anger when the Great Britain scrum-half Sean Long, acting captain in the absence of Paul Sculthorpe, joined his leading try-scorer, Darren Albert, in hospital for X-rays on a suspected broken cheekbone.
The Wigan captain, Terry Newton, who was placed on report by the referee, Ian Smith, for the challenge on Gilmour, was also involved in the Long incident and could face repercussions when the Rugby League examine the video of the ferocious, ill-tempered match this week.
Anderson accepted that Albert's injury was the result of an accidental collision with the Wigan full-back Brett Dallas, but he rounded on the match officials and afterwards hit out at Wigan's tactics. "You blokes saw the incidents," he said. "Lee Gilmour was out cold for about four minutes, and the video will clarify how late the tackle on Sean Long was, if you can call it a tackle.
"There was a lot of passion and emotion and, although I understand rugby league is a tough game, I didn't think the game was played within the rules. I was disappointed with the match officials because they've got access to video. They could have seen the incidents."
St Helens had their centre Jamie Lyon yellow-carded in the first half for a professional foul, while back-row forward Jon Wilkin was sin-binned after the break having dived into a mêlée, one of a series of unsavoury incidents. But Saints shrugged off the sin-binnings and injury disruption to run in six tries and clinch the League Leaders' Trophy with a game to spare.
Keiron Cunningham, the man of the match, laid the victory platform with two first-half tries, while others came from Ade Gardner, Paul Wellens, Wilkin and Maurie Fa'asavalu as St Helens extended their unbeaten run to 14 matches. First-half tries from David Vaealiki and Joel Tomkins kept Wigan in touch as they went in search of a fifth successive win, but this was a game too far for their patched-up squad.
Down to just 17 fit players, the former Saints coach Ian Millward gave a debut to 18-year-old forward Lee Jewitt but admitted he would struggle to raise a team for Wigan's final match at Huddersfield.
Elsewhere, London Broncos' 26-18 defeat at Salford kept alive Wigan's slender play-off hopes, but they looked a tired side, and Millward admitted: "The last eight weeks have probably caught up with us."
The Broncos remain above the Warriors on points difference, but their final game is at home to relegated Widnes and their coach, Tony Rea, remains confident that they can hang on to sixth spot.
"I know we can bounce back next week," he said. "We need to have a good week in training, get some confidence back and make sure we're ready for Widnes."Reuse content