Sculthorpe turns table on big brother

Wigan 30 St Helens 14
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Danny Sculthorpe has lived in the shadows of the more illustrious Paul throughout his career, but he was the brother basking in the glow of victory last night.

Danny Sculthorpe has lived in the shadows of the more illustrious Paul throughout his career, but he was the brother basking in the glow of victory last night.

Two classically old-fashioned pieces of prop-forward play from the younger Sculthorpe set up tries for Wigan in the first half as, with the resurgent Adrian Lam also in marvellous form, they knocked all the composure out of Saints.

It is three weeks since these two sides met in the Challenge Cup final, at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, since when Saints have grown steadily in assurance and Wigan have looked less convincing by the day.

A steady start was essential for the home side and they got it when Andy Farrell's penalty put them in front, albeit by a margin soon to be wiped out by one from Sean Long.

Wigan's bright opening looked to have Saints slightly rattled when Paul Sculthorpe's high tackle on Gareth Hock enabled Farrell to kick them back into the lead. A greater concern for Saints was the loss of their second rower, Lee Gilmour, who was carried off after hurting himself in a tackle.

For Wigan, though, it got better and better when Nick Fozzard lost the ball in the tackle and Danny Sculthorpe with his first touch, after coming on as a substitute, laid off a perfect pass for Lam, hauled off ignominiously in his last game at Warrington, to race in for the game's first try.

Two minutes later, Sculthorpe did it again, this time serving the ball up for Brett Dallas who sent Martin Aspinwall away for another try, with Farrell this time missing his conversion.

Wigan could have been further ahead if Dallas had not been called back for a knock-on by Terry Newton or had he not fumbled an interception from Paul Sculthorpe.

There was no argument, however, about the way that the revitalised Lam slipped a peach of an inside ball through for Kris Radlinski, to run through on the angle for the third Wigan try, converted by Farrell to give them an 18-point lead at the break.

Saints needed to make inroads early in the second half, but instead Farrell kicked Wigan further ahead, before he had a try disallowed for obstruction.

The game was truly in the bag for Wigan after 56 minutes when Lam's kick got away from Ade Gardner and Radlinski followed up for his second try.

Long's break created a try for Martin Gleeson and Paul Sculthorpe got one from Ricky Bibey's kick, but the visitors were already running out of time and two penalties from Danny Tickle kept Wigan firmly in control.

Wigan: Radlinski; Dallas, Aspinwall, Connolly, Hodgson; Orr, Lam; O'Connor, Newton, C Smith, Hock, Farrell, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used: Wild, Tickle, D Sculthorpe, M Smith.

St Helens: Wellens; Albert, Gleeson, Talau, Gardner; Hooper, Long; Fozzard, Wilkin, Edmundson, Gilmour, Joynt, P Sculthorpe. Substitutes used: Fa'asavalu, Hardman, Bibey, Stankevitch.

Referee: I Smith (Oldham).

Results, table, page 60

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