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)

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
healthMeet the volunteer users helping to see if the banned drug can help cure depression and addiction
Arts and Entertainment
tvDick Clement and Ian La Frenais are back for the first time in a decade
Life and Style
tech
News
i100
News
Foo Fighters lead man Dave Grohl talks about the band's forthcoming HBO documentary series
people
News
i100
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

Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Today's pre-school child costs £35,000, according to Aviva. And that's but the tip of an iceberg, says DJ Taylor
Fifa corruption: The officials are caught in the web of US legal imperialism - where double standards don't get in the way

Caught in the web of legal imperialism

The Fifa officials ensnared by America's extraterritorial authority are only the latest examples of this fearsome power, says Rupert Cornwell
Bruce Robinson: Creator of Withnail and I on his new book about Jack the Ripper

'Jack the Ripper has accrued a heroic aura. But I'm going after the bastard'

The deaths of London prostitutes are commonly pinned on a toff in a top hat. But Bruce Robinson, creator of Withnail and I, has a new theory about the killer's identity
Fifa presidential election: What is the best way to see off Sepp Blatter and end this farce?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

What is the best way to see off Sepp Blatter and end this farce?
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards