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

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on pottermore site this morning

Arts and Entertainment
Charlie Sheen said he would
tv

Charlie Sheen could be set to revive his role as a hedonistic womaniser

Life and Style
Jamie Oliver’s version of Jollof rice led thousands of people to post angry comments on his website
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes