Super League: St Helens 30-14 Wigan Warriors
|First Utility Super League|
|St Helens (8) 30|
|Tries: Swift, Turner, Burns, McDonnell, Wilkin Goals: Percival 5|
|Wigan Warriors (10) 14|
|Tries: Sarginson, Burgess, Tomkins Goals: Smith|
St Helens beat rivals Wigan Warriors to go top of the Super League table.
Dan Sarginson and Joe Burgess went over for Wigan, with Adam Swift and Jordan Turner scoring for the home side, who trailed by two points at the break.
Travis Burns and Joel Tomkins exchanged tries before Shannon McDonnell and Jon Wilkin took advantage of poor Wigan defending to win it for the hosts.
Wigan's Ben Flower, playing Saints for the first time since his Grand Final red card, was booed at every touch.
The win leaves Saints a point clear of Leeds, who lost to Castleford on Thursday, and four ahead of third-placed Wigan.
The visitors, who lost Flower to a six-month ban after he punched the now-retired Lance Hohaia in last year's Grand Final, took the lead in the opening stages at Langtree Park.
Sarginson took the ball low from George Williams and ran in at the left corner, but St Helens hit back with two tries in four minutes as a well-worked move saw Swift squeeze over in the left-hand corner for his 10th Super League try of the season and Turner barged his way over.
Burgess took advantage of a poor Burns pass to run 90 metres and go over, but Matty Smith missed the conversion which meant Wigan's lead was 10-8 at half-time.
The game swung back the home side's way four minutes after the break, as a kick through bounced awkwardly in front of Matty Bowen and half-back Burns pounced on the loose ball to score.
Tomkins ran in for Wigan's third try and touched down in the right corner to level at 14-14, but Mark Percival's penalty edged reigning champions St Helens back ahead.
Percival then added the extras when Bowen was unable to deal with a high ball and opposing full-back McDonnell pounced to score his fourth try in five matches.
Wigan's sloppy night continued as Sarginson's misplaced pass saw captain Wilkin go over and Percival added his fourth and fifth penalties of the night to secure a 13th win of the season, as well as revenge after their defeat at DW Stadium in April.
St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham:
"In the second half we were ruthless. You've got to bear in mind we were playing against the best side in the competition on current form.
"It was a real good yardstick to see where we were at as a team. We've been chipping away at the points in the last few weeks, just growing that belief among ourselves and I think we really came of age tonight.
"We're in a really good place, I'm really pleased for them.
"There's an awful lot of passion around this game. You feel you actually deserve more than two points when you come away with the spoils."
Wigan coach Shaun Wane:
"It was a poor team performance and it's a tough one to deal with. We just didn't play in the right areas of the field.
"It was an awful performance, we just never got into an arm wrestle and came up with silly errors and penalties. I'm really disappointed that we didn't challenge them in any area today.
"We didn't throw anything at them apart from the first six minutes.
"Without a doubt the best team won and it hurts really badly. We've got to take it on the chin."
St Helens: McDonnell; Dawson, Percival, Turner, Swift; Burns, Wilkin; Amor, Roby, Walmsley, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Flanagan, Jones.
Replacements: Masoe, Richards, Savelio, Fleming.
Wigan: Bowen; Charnley, Tomkins, Sarginson, Burgess; Williams, Smith; Mossop, McIlorum, Flower, Bateman, Farrell, O'Loughlin.
Replacements: Crosby, Powell, Tautai, Patrick.
Referee: Richard Silverwood (RFL).