Millennium Magic: Meli seals comeback as Saints share spoils

Wigan began the defence of their Super League title with a draw as a St Helens fightback lifted the Millennium Magic weekend above the mediocre. Otherwise it was an undistinguished day in Cardiff as a difficult surface, over-officious refereeing, a lack of atmosphere and rusty play prevented the season-opening showpiece from rising beyond the mundane. The day attracted a gate of more than 30,000.

Wigan and Saints – eventually locked at 16-16 – were not immune. The first 10 minutes were all about Saints battering at the Wigan line. As soon as Wigan mounted some pressure they scored, Ryan Hoffman going over after Josh Charnley had turned the ball inside. Saints went close through James Roby and Michael Shenton but the only other points of the half came when Harrison Hansen chased a Sam Tomkins kick to score.

In the second half Wigan scored, through George Carmont, as soon as they spent any time in Saints' territory. Saints got on the scoreboard when Roby's break set up Jon Wilkin. Tony Puletua got another and Francis Meli squeezed in at the corner to tie the scores. Jamie Foster could not convert and Tomkins and Kyle Eastmond missed late drop-goals.

For Saints' coach, Royce Simmons, it was a timely boost after the trauma of a dash home to Australia on the death of his father. "It's been the worst week of my life, losing my best mate," he said. "I'm happy to have got a point after being so far behind. It was a courageous effort."

Warrington lost to Huddersfield and saw key players injured. The Wolves, many people's choice to push Wigan this year, went down 28-18 and finished without Matt King and Lee Briers, both carried off after what seemed to be innocuous incidents, King for a scan on knee ligaments, Briers with concussion. Chris Bridge, Mike Cooper and Scott Grix also picked up injuries.

Danny Brough was the hero for the Giants, with two tries and four goals, though Warrington took the lead with a try from Joel Monaghan. They soon trailed to tries by Keal Carlile and Brough's first, a 90-metre breakaway. The Giants went further ahead through Darrell Griffin and Shaun Lunt. Late Wolves tries by Ben Westwood and Ryan Atkins were split by another dazzling score from Brough.

Last year's bottom club, Catalan Dragons, were blown away by Luke Gale. The Harlequins stand-off scored two tries and kicked a conversion and a drop-goal in an 11-4 win. A 78th-minute try from Damien Blanch was little consolation for the Dragons, who had the centre Setaimata Sa carried off in a neck brace.

Castleford then faced Wakefield, who had been bought out of administration the day before. There is a defiance about Trinity, and after they had gone behind to a try from Joe Arundel they led through Julien Rinaldi and Dale Ferguson. Cas led at the break thanks to Brett Ferres, Nick Youngquest and Dean Widders. Tries from Rangi Chase and Adam Milner stretched the lead before Ferguson and Luke George went in for Wakefield. Cas won 40-20, Paul Jackson and Widders scoring late on.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable