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Page last updated at 20:55 GMT, Friday, 17 June 2011 21:55 UK

St Helens 10-32 Wigan

St Helens (0) 10
Tries: Puletua, Makinson Goals: Makinson

Wigan (20) 32
Tries: Mossop, Richards, J Tomkins, Finch, Lima Goals: Richards 6

Wigan coach Michael Maguire
Wigan coach Michael Maguire was delighted with his side

Super League champions Wigan went top of the table with a resounding win over St Helens in wet conditions in Widnes.

Wigan were near faultless in the first half as Lee Mossop's score was followed by Pat Richards and Joel Tomkins tries in quick succession, all converted.

Brett Finch's try put Wigan further ahead after the break following superb defending by the Warriors.

Saints came back with tries by Tony Puletua and Ton Makinson but Jeff Lima's first Wigan try sealed victory.

Wigan are now unbeaten in their last four derby meetings against their old rivals.

The Warriors, boosted by the return of Sam Tomkins, George Carmont and Andy Coley, were quite simply irresistible in the first half as their defence suffocated their hosts, producing a one-sided affair.

Mossop's short-range try saw Wigan start to make gains down Saints' right flank and they capitalised when full-back Paul Wellens' spilled a Richards up-and-under.

It was probably one of the better performances in my time here

Wigan coach Michael Maguire

With their noses in front the visitors' powerful defence, with numbers in each tackle, starved Saints of field position.

Richards turned a good set of six into a penalty from 39 metres with 25 minutes gone. And that was followed by a superb kick-chase from the restart as Saints were forced to drop out from underneath their posts.

Richards then out jumped Makinson brilliantly to gather Paul Deacon's pinpoint cross-field punt to scamper over the line, the big Aussie winger adding the extras to put Wigan 14-0 ahead with half an hour gone.

Makeshift centre Joel Tomkins went over two minutes later after Kyle Eastmond, on for the injured Jamie Foster, failed to gather Deacon's high kick under pressure from Josh Charnley.

Richards' conversion made it 20-0 at the interval and, after the restart, Saints were still struggling to break out of their own 30-metre line.

Wigan's pressure told again when Finch, who was influential throughout at stand-off, went over.

But Saints finally got a break when, from a Wigan knock-on in their own 20-metre area, Jon Wilkin went close before Tony Puletua crashed over, Makinson converting.

The hosts scored again two minutes later when Makinson was first to Lee Gaskell's grubber kick but Foster, back on the field, missed the goal.

Francis Meli blew a promising chance when he failed to hold a Jonny Lomax pass before the scrum-half put in a huge try-saving tackle on Deacon under the posts.

But prop Lima pounced on a loose ball over the line for his first Wigan try in the dying minutes, Richards wrapping up a successful night's kicking by making it six out of six.


St Helens coach Royce Simmons:
"Our ball completion was poor and that generally comes back to not sticking to the game plan.

"We put ourselves under a bit of pressure. You get fatigued and you start running one out.

"They were very good at slowing the play-the-ball down because they had a lot of ball and a lot of energy. They beat us on the ground. They got in and squeezed us."

Wigan coach Michael Maguire:
"We knew it was going to be a very physical game and we prepared for that.

"We probably haven't been at our best in the last couple of weeks but I thought we stood up tonight, particularly in the first half when we laid a very good platform. It was probably one of the better performances in my time here.

"Brett Finch definitely performed. He's been working really hard trying to get things going but tonight I thought it was probably his best one for us. And I know from my time back in Melbourne that there's a lot more left in him."

TEAMS

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

Replacements: Eastmond, Magennis, Ashurst, Flannery.

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

Replacements: Prescott, McIlorum, Coley, Tuson.

Attendance: 11,540.

Referee: Thierry Alibert (France).



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see also
Bradford 14-14 St Helens
12 Jun 11 |  Rugby League
Castleford 22-22 Wigan
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Wigan 28-24 St Helens
22 Apr 11 |  Rugby League
St Helens 16-16 Wigan
12 Feb 11 |  My Club
St Helens 10-22 Wigan
02 Oct 10 |  My Club
Wigan 24-26 St Helens
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Rugby League on the BBC
15 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
Rugby league commentaries
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