St Helens 14 Wigan Warriors 33 match report: Champions end Saints' 100% record with stylish victory over league-leaders

Two tries from England international Liam Farrell helped the Warriors to close the gap on the Super League pace-setters

Reigning champions Wigan turned on the style to end the 100 per cent First Utility Super League record of neighbours St Helens in a Good Friday derby of pure quality in front of a sell-out Langtree Park crowd of 17,980.

England second-rower Liam Farrell produced two devastating finishes to score two of the Warriors' five tries and former St Helens scrum-half Matty Smith kicked six goals and a drop goal in a 33-14 victory, Wigan's fifth in a row that takes them to within four points of their table-topping rivals.

Wigan were also indebted to a wonderful all-round game from skipper Sean O'Loughlin, while second-rower John Bateman proved a revelation as a stop-gap centre.

Saints, for whom in-form winger Tommy Makinson took his try tally to 11 in just nine games, had snatched last-gasp victories from each of their three previous matches and they quickly found themselves behind once more.

St Helens prop Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook was punished for a fumble in the first carry of the match when O'Loughlin forced his way over from dummy half for the opening try.

However, with Australian Luke Walsh pulling the strings, St Helens were a constant threat and they drew level when outstanding full-back Jonny Lomax broke clear to get Makinson over for the first of his two tries.

Lomax went close to repeating the feat moments later and winger Matty Dawson, a useful replacement for the injured Adam Swift, had a try disallowed for obstruction as Saints clicked into gear.

Wigan's defence looked distinctly fragile at that stage but there was nothing wrong with their attack and they established an 18-6 lead with two tries in quick succession.

The ever-alert O'Loughlin supported a half-break by Blake Green to get unmarked right winger Dan Sarginson over, and then Farrell took a pass one-handed to produce a clinical finish after left winger Joe Burgess had re-gathered Green's chip over the Saints defence.

The champions had lost centre Iain Thornley after only six minutes with an upper-body injury and they suffered another blow when forward Eddy Pettybourne limped off after 28 minutes as the game underwent another momentum switch.

Makinson seized Walsh's cut-out pass to grab his second try, and stand-off Lance Hohaia got centre Jordan Turner over just seconds after he had one effort disallowed by video referee James Child.

It was three tries apiece at that stage but Walsh managed only one conversion to leave his side trailing 18-14 and, in contrast, Smith added a penalty on the stroke of half-time to his three conversions to open up a six-point interval lead.

That was into double figures within three minutes of the re-start when Farrell scored his second try in freakish fashion.

Burgess kicked ahead after finding his path to the line blocked and Farrell followed up to hack the ball on a second time, re-gathering possession when it rebounded fortuitously into his arms off Lomax.

Bateman, switched from the second row following the loss of Thornley, played a key role in the build-up and he displayed tremendous skill four minutes later to release Burgess for a 50-metre try.

Smith, whose goalkicking earlier in the season was a cause for concern, added both conversions to make it six from six and extend his side's lead to 32-14.

The scrum-half was off target for the first time with a long-range penalty attempt but finally put the game beyond the reach of his old club after 67 minutes with a drop goal.

PA

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
news
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
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

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living