Richards clocks up points as Wigan take turn at top

St Helens 10 Wigan 32

Just about everybody else has had a turn this season, but the reigning champions went to the top of Super League with a commanding display against their oldest rivals.

Saints were unable to cope with the Warriors' physical intensity and relentless kicking game. Apart from losing ground in the race for play-off places, they also lost their winger, Jamie Foster, with a first-half head injury that required 22 stitches, which meant a reshuffle and most of a game in the centres for the outward-bound Kyle Eastmond. Foster returned before the end but neither Eastmond nor anyone else could produce a spark for them last night.

The Wigan coach, Michael Maguire, called it "one of the best performances of my time here," and had particular praise for his stand-off Brett Finch. "He's been working very hard, it was his best game for us – and I know there's more to come from him too."

Royce Simmons admitted that his Saints had been outplayed. "They beat us all over the park, because they just had too much ball," he said.

Pat Richards and Lee Mossop made early breaks that could have led to something, even before Wigan drew first blood after 14 minutes. Paul Wellens uncharacteristically fumbled a high kick and from that gift of possession Mossop forced his way over from Thomas Leuluai's short pass.

Richards added the conversion and a penalty when Sam Tomkins was held down by Chris Flannery, but it was a couple of minutes on either side of the half hour that tilted the match in Wigan's direction.

Richards decisively outjumped his opposite number, Tom Makinson, to take Paul Deacon's high kick and touch down. Saints had hardly digested that when another bomb, this time from Richards, caused further chaos in their ranks. Joel Tomkins picked up the pieces and, after due examination for evidence of a knock-on, the try stood. Richards landed his fourth goal for a 20-point lead.

Wigan will still have been conscious of failing to score a single point in the second half of their last two matches. They ended that unwanted record six minutes after the break, when Michael McIlorum's pacy little break sent Finch over for a try.

Saints got onto the scoreboard when Tony Puletua crashed over for a try which Makinson converted in Foster's absence. Makinson also added a second try to Saints' quest for respectability, but that was all it ever was, with Jeff Lima underlining Wigan's superiority with a late try from Finch's kick.

Wigan, despite some recent hiccups, are very much back in the contest for first place.

St Helens: Wellens; Makinson, Shenton, Meli, Foster; Gaskell, Lomax; Graham, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Wilkin, Soliola, Puletua.

Substitutes used: Eastmond, Flannery, Ashurst, Magennis.

Wigan: S Tomkins; Charnley, J Tomkins, Carmont, Richards; Finch, Deacon; Lima, Leuluai, Mossop, Hansen, Hoffman, O'Loughlin.

Substitutes used: McIlorum, Coley, Prescott, Tuson.

Referee: T Alibert (France)

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
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

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?