Naiqama’s debut try helps Saints to opening-day victory

St Helens opened the Super League season in 2019 with a 22-12 victory over Wigan Warriors at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

With the scores level at the break, two tries from the Saints sealed the home side’s win over the reigning Super League champions.

Saints were on the board quickly when Romain Navarrete’s early error allowed Kevin Naiqama to make a perfect start to his St Helens career. Then Dom Peyroux’s burst up the middle set up Jonny Lomax for St Helens’ second try inside the opening quarter.

But Wigan slowly ground their way level at the break. After Dan Sarginson was denied by a forward pass from Joe Greenwood, Ben Flower barged over off a dummy half pass from Sam Powell. Then Liam Marshall picked off Lachlan Coote’s pass and ran 87 metres to score.

Ten minutes into the second half, St Helens regained the lead when Regan Grace scored spectacularly in the left-hand corner. That’s the way it stayed until James Roby snuck over from dummy half to seal Saints’ victory in the final ten minutes.

Saints: Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Peyroux, Knowles; Interchanges: Paulo, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Amor, Lees
Tries: Naiqama, Lomax, Grace, Roby; Goals: Percival 3

Warriors: Hardaker, Davies, Sarginson, Gildart, Marshall, Williams, Leuluai, Flower, Powell, Navarrete, Greenwood, Farrell, O’Loughlin; Interchanges: Isa, Hamlin, Clubb, Bullock
Tries: Flower, Marshall; Goals: Hardaker 2

Full match reports from this and all the other Super League games on opening weekend will feature in Monday’s League Express.