St Helens held on for a thrilling 12-16 victory against Wigan at the DW Stadium tonight.
Wigan took the lead after eight minutes when Sam Burgess scored in the left corner when he touched down a brilliantly judged kick from Sam Powell. Matty Smith couldn’t add the conversion.
St Helens halfback Luke Walsh suffered what appeared to be a painful back strain as he kicked the ball downfield, although there was no contact from any Wigan player.
But two minutes later Walsh gave a brilliant pass, cutting out two defenders, to Mark Flanagan, who gave a beautiful flick pass to winger Tommy Makinson, who scored a great try to equalise the scores. Walsh left the field at that point, not to return.
The game was finely poised, 4-4 at half-time, and both sides scored early unconverted tries – Paul Wellens from a kick by Jon Wilkin and Josh Charnley from a great pass by Matty Bowen.
But then St Helens took charge of the game when Percival added a penalty for a high tackle by Ben Flower and Tommy Makinson scored a superb try that originated in a great offload by Mose Masoe to James Roby.
Wigan had a try unluckily disallowed by Joe Burgess for a double movement, before Charnley scored his second try with two minutes remaining. Wigan attacked frantically at the end, but couldn’t get over the line again.
A full report and analysis will feature in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express.