Millward smiles in defeat

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The Independent Online

Millward quite rightly pointed to the marked improvement on his patched-up side's 75-0 humiliation by their arch rivals three weeks earlier and then revealed the capture of winger Mark Calderwood, Super League's leading try scorer, from Leeds.

Calderwood, who scored his fourth hat-trick of the season in the Rhinos' 54-14 win over Salford at Headingley, has signed a two-year deal and will link up with Wigan when his Rhinos contract expires at the end of the season. "We think it is a very significant signing and we are very excited about utilising his speed," said Millward.

The 23-year-old Calderwood, who has scored 21 tries in Super League X, becomes Wigan's fourth signing for 2006 and is seen as an automatic replacement for Great Britain winger Brian Carney, who is off to Australia at the end of the year.

Calderwood rejected the offer of a new deal from Leeds and also turned down bids from rugby union in order to press ahead with his ambition to play for Great Britain. "I had two offers from Premiership rugby union clubs but I not only want to stay involved in rugby league, I want an international spot," said Calderwood, who is in Brian Noble's initial 40-strong squad for the end-of-season Gillette Tri-Nations Series.

Wigan could have done with Calderwood's clinical finishing against St Helens as they failed to turn prolonged spells of pressure into points until it was too late.

Saints, with skipper Paul Sculthorpe pulling the strings, turned on the style to open up an 18-0 lead with converted tries in the first quarter from Willie Talau, Darren Albert and Lee Gilmour.

A solo try from Martin Aspinwall, with his first touch after returning from the sin bin, helped give the big Wigan following some encouragement but there was no way back for the Warriors once half-back James Roby had grabbed a fourth Saints score on the stroke of half-time.

Dazzling long-range efforts from Ade Gardner, Mark Edmondson and Talau stretched Saints' lead to 40-8 by the hour and threatened another humiliation but Wigan, lacking seven regulars through injury, restored pride with late tries though 19-year-old prop Bryn Hargreaves - his first for the club - and Jerome Guisset.

That all left St Helens coach Daniel Anderson less than impressed, even though his side stretched their unbeaten run to nine matches to remain just a point behind Leeds.

"It was a pretty scrappy game," he said. "But it's still good to get the two points."

Meanwhile, Leeds bounced back from their 32-24 defeat by London Broncos with a comfortable 54-14 victory over Salford.

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