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Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Sunday, 18 September 2011 17:41 UK

Wigan 18-26 St Helens

Wigan (6) 18
Tries: Richards, O'Loughlin, J Tomkins Goals: Richards 3

St Helens (14) 26
Tries: Lomax, Wellens 2, McCarthy-Scarsbrook Goals: Foster 5

Paul Wellens
Wellens struck either side of half time at the DW Stadium

St Helens recorded their first victory in six meetings against Wigan to win their qualifying play-off clash and take a step nearer to the Grand Final.

Saints raced to a 14-0 first-half lead through Paul Wellens and Jonny Lomax tries and three Jamie Foster goals.

Wigan's Pat Richards then converted his own try just before half-time.

Sean O'Loughlin's try was answered by Wellens' second before Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook extended Saints' lead and Joel Tomkins hit back for Wigan.

The result means Saints can now look forward to a weekend off while Wigan, who seemed tired at times, will face a second semi-final at the DW Stadium next Sunday against Catalan Dragons.

The visitors started brightly and only a last-ditch Sam Tomkins tackle denied Tom Makinson in the second minute.

Wigan held out until full-back and skipper Wellens took a pass from Lee Gaskell and cut through the defence.

Jon Wilkin combined with Michael Shenton to put Lomax away for his try and, with Foster adding the conversions, Saints were 14-0 ahead inside half an hour.

The hosts had lost Ryan Hoffman to injury after 20 minutes and Andy Coley was put on report for a high tackle but they fought back and Sam Tomkins thought he had scored, only to lose the ball in a thunderous tackle by Lomax.

Then, with half-time approaching, Richards combined with his captain O'Loughlin for his 26th try of the season, adding the extras to cut the deficit to eight points.

After the break, O'Loughlin reduced the gap to two points when he took Brett Finch's cunning inside pass but, just as the champions looked to be taking control, Saints hit back with two scores inside 10 minutes.

Lomax broke out of his own half to set up Wellens for his second and Foster converted.

The video official was then called on to judge whether Josh Charnley had scored for Wigan but the review showed the winger had not grounded the ball.

McCarthy-Scarsbrook charged in for the visitors' fourth, Foster again converted, and although Joel Tomkins combined with Thomas Leuluai for Wigan it was not enough to deny Saints coach Royce Simmons a first derby success.

POST-MATCH VIEWS

Wigan coach Michael Maguire:

"We learned the hard way last year, when we had to play through, so it's another opportunity for us.

"We need to make sure we get everything right this week, there's a chance for us.

"There was always an opportunity there for us. The boys executed some good plays at times but unfortunately we didn't consistently do that."

St Helens coach Royce Simmons:

"Although we hadn't beaten them we could have had at least two wins so we came here pretty confident we could do a job.

"Our combinations are starting to get a bit of a roll. The young halves were really good. They played really square on and went to the line and I thought they kicked well today."

SQUADS

Wigan:

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

Replacements: Cross, McIlorum, Prescott, Farrell .

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

Replacements: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Dixon, Moore.

Att: 12,893

Ref: Phil Bentham (Warrington).



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see also
Super League play-offs 2011
25 Sep 11 |  My Club
Harlequins 16-34 St Helens
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Wigan 42-10 Crusaders
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Wigan 18-12 St Helens
06 Aug 11 |  Rugby League
St Helens 10-32 Wigan
17 Jun 11 |  Rugby League
Wigan 28-24 St Helens
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St Helens 16-16 Wigan
12 Feb 11 |  My Club
St Helens 10-22 Wigan
02 Oct 10 |  My Club


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