Farrell and Radlinski combine to undo Saints

Wigan 27 St Helens 18
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The Independent Online

The old double act of Andy Farrell and Kris Radlinski snuffed out Saints' unlikely second-half fightback to condemn them to their fifth defeat in six matches.

The old double act of Andy Farrell and Kris Radlinski snuffed out Saints' unlikely second-half fightback to condemn them to their fifth defeat in six matches.

Saints, awful in the first half, came back with two tries from the 17-year-old James Roby and could have seized the lead if Ade Gardner had been able to hold a low pass from Mike Bennett.

But then Farrell, a giant again at prop, made the crucial break and Radlinski, as so often in his career, was there in support for the clinching score, taking Wigan above Saints and into fourth place in Super League.

"You've got to give credit to Saints," said Wigan's acting coach, Denis Betts. "We knew if they got within touching distance we could be in trouble and that was the way it worked out."

Saints' Ian Millward claimed to detect some improvement on his side's recent performances.

"It was a very brave performance," he said. "After half-time we really raised the ante and at 21-18 we should have scored and would have been in front with the kick to come. I'm really proud of the second half."

Saints have had their problems of late, but they have not started a match as badly as they did at the JJB Stadium last night. They conceded a string of penalties from undisciplined play and inevitably started to leak the points to go with them.

They were far too easy to open up down the middle, as Adrian Lam and Radlinski did to send Sean O'Loughlin in for the third Wigan try, although an isolated moment of St Helens' magic lifted their spirits.

It came after Saints were reduced to 12 men with Jon Wilkin in the sin-bin for holding down, but Darren Albert made light of that by cutting in from the wing to send Jason Hooper over.

Saints were infinitely better after the break with Roby, almost a veteran by comparison to Scott Moore, making his first-team debut at 16, scoring twice in three minutes.

Late in the match Saints were handicapped by the absence of Wilkin thanks to a high tackle from Newton.

Wigan: Radlinski, Carney, Aspinwall, Wild, Dallas, O'Loughlin, Lam, Farrell, Newton, C Smith, Cassidy, Tickle, Hock. Substitutes used: O'Connor, M Smith, Beswick, Connolly.

St Helens: Wellens, Albert, Gilmour, Talau, Gardner, Hooper, Moore, Fozzard, Cunningham, Mason, Joynt, Wilkin, Sculthorpe. Substitutes used: Roby, Bibey, Bennett, Stankevitch.

Referee: I Smith (Oldfield).

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