Wigan claimed the first bragging rights of the season after a quite incredible derby victory against St Helens at the DW Stadium, edging out their bitter rivals 12-4.
For a game that ultimately proved to be so tight, it was incredible that it took Wigan less than a minute to break the deadlock. When Jordan Turner’s clearing kick was blocked by Lee Mossop, Dom Manfredi was the grateful recipient of a fortunate bounce, picking up and evading Lance Hohaia to race home and send the DW Stadium into raptures. Matty Smith converted, and Wigan led 6-0.
The intensity of the match was simply eye-watering, and Joe Greenwood was forced off the field with a nasty looking leg injury as both packs took it to each other all afternoon.
Saints would eventually post points midway through the first half; a great ball from James Roby fed Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, and he crashed over. However, Tommy Makinson missed the goal to leave it at 6-4.
Saints were dealt a further injury blow before the second half had even kicked off, to further compound their woes. Fullback Paul Wellens pulled up lame was the teams emerged for the second half, and he was eventually subbed, with Tommy Makinson going in at fullback.
Absorbing defence and incredible physicality was making this the most unmissable game of the season, with it becoming fast apparent that something special would be needed to split the two teams. And, with less than ten minutes left on the clock, it came via the hands of winger Joe Burgess.
George Williams’ kick was inch-perfect, and Burgess touched down seconds before going out of play to win the game for the Warriors, with Ryan Hampshire’s goal making sure.
Saints tried gamely to give themselves a chance late on, but this was to be Wigan’s day – and ultimately, it was a day where Super League could hold its head high after one of the most pulsating games in recent years.