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Match Report: Wigan 25 St Helens 0
Posted by Bilko on August 20 2016 - 21:41

Wigan Warriors v St Helens - First Utility Super League - Super 8s Round 3
Friday 19th August 2016. Kick Off 8:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Report

Given what had happened in the previous derby at month earlier, Wigan's form coming into this game and Wigan's non Easter derby record that hasn't seen them win one at either DW or in St Helens since September 2007 - This was a huge result.

It wasn't just the result though. To inflict a derby nilling on St Helens for the first time in a league match for 61 years made this victory a bit more special. We also saw the first hat-trick from a Wigan player in a derby since Luke Robinson's trio at Knowsley Road in 2003.

It's not a secret that Anthony Gelling worries me with his defence but he bounced back from a bit of a mare in that regard at Castleford with a great attacking display here that is great to watch when he is on form.

Saints were pretty poor and rudderless without the suspended Luke Walsh but it's also important that Wigan don't get in pipe and slippers mode over this victory. 25-0 is impressive to look at but we were still cheaply wasteful with the ball an awful lot in this game.

After four losses in five though it was all about the result and Wigan got off to a perfect start with Gelling claiming his first try in the third minute after Adam Swift had gifted territory with a knock on.. Swinging right he got the ball and had a lot of work to finish but he managed to reach over superbly against both Matty Fleming and Swift. Big conversion also from Matty Smith made it 6-0.

Wigan were completing well at the start but Saints began to come back into the battle with some much needed possession helping them find territory. They had Wigan under the pump for a good ten minutes but a good tackle from Dan Sarginson sticks in my memory during that spell and although Saints forced two or three drop outs we managed to hold firm.

Important then having done that that we could come out of it with a second try. It came on the half hour with John Bateman's short pass sending Gelling through a gap for his second. Jordan Turner statuesque in defence and it was rounded under the posts for an easy conversion that carried a 12-0 lead to half time.

Saints were still in the game but they never really looked like finding a combination to trouble Wigan. Closest they came was a James Roby dart on 50 minutes but a brilliant tackle by Frank-Paul Nuuausala denied him.

I felt Wigan were playing the wrong tactics at this point. Saints were still full of hope and buzz but rather than Wigan slowing the play and trying to take the pace out of the game we were doing the opposite and keeping the intensity high. I just don't think Wigan are great at reacting to game situations and that comes back to the feeling that we lack a "Plan B".

In the end a drop goal from Matty Smith, calmly taken on the hour, put Wigan 13-0 ahead and it felt like that would be enough. More cementing of the result followed five minutes later when Gelling returned an intercept 90 metres for his hat-trick try. Arguably he should have been more switched on to getting that intercept as near to the posts as possible but in saying that it was still a poor conversion miss from Smith for only 17-0.

That actually meant that little changed for Saints, they still needed three scores, but Smith nudged a penalty on 71 minutes for 19-0.

Then with three minutes to go George Williams slid under the posts to wrap up a 25-0 victory, after Smith converted, and you had to be a little sad that Smith missed the one conversion as the final score would have matched the infamous 27-0 of Wembley 1989.

In essence I think we saw a derby here that was practically a mirror opposite of the previous one. That night it was Saints strong in defence and Wigan clueless in attack and here vice versa.

Like I said though it's the result that is so important to Wigan. They've halted a rot and it could prove timely with our first week off of the season to follow now whilst top spot rivals have Wembley to contend with. Sometimes you need resets during a season and the timing could prove great for Wigan.

Gelling will take the headlines for his three scores but you also have to credit Liam Farrell who worked tirelessly in this his first start since April 1st. Him being back in the team is huge for us and quite genuinely I have to question whether, no everyone is fit, whether captain Sean O'Loughlin deserves to get in the team.

Our captain is a club legend for sheer longevity through dark times and great times but I'm not sure I'm picking him at the moment ahead of Farrell, Bateman, Isa and Sutton in the back row areas. Especially as Lockers is struggling for 80 minutes at the moment.

Same with Lee Mossop. I think this current pack and bench looks about right for me at the moment and if Tony Clubb finds fitness late on as well then the selection headaches get even tougher. I think I'd stick with Jake Shorrocks as well as an alternate option at hooker for Sam Powell for the run in also. It'll be interesting to see how all this pans out.


- Wigan Position St Helens 1
1 Sam Tomkins Full Back Jonny Lomax 1
2 Josh Charnley

Right Wing

Jack Owens 22
3 Anthony Gelling Centre Dominque Peyroux 18
4 Dan Sarginson Centre Matty Fleming 24
20 Oliver Gildart Left Wing Adam Swift 5
6 George Williams Stand Off Jordan Turner 3
7 Matty Smith Scrum Half Theo Fages 19
8 Dom Crosby Prop Alex Walmsley 8
16 Sam Powell Hooker James Roby 9

Ben Flower


Greg Richards

14 John Bateman 2nd Row Morgan Knowles 28
12 Liam Farrell 2nd Row Joe Greenwood 20

Willie Isa


Jon Wilkin

19 Taulima Tautai Substitute Kyle Amor 10
21 Ryan Sutton Substitute Atelea Vea 11
24 Frank-Paul Nuuausala Substitute Louie
28 Jake Shorrocks Substitute Lama Tasi 14
- Shaun Wane Coach Keiron Cunningham -

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 25


St Helens 0

Tries (4):
Anthony Gelling 3
George Williams


Tries (0):

Matty Smith 4/5
--- ---
Drop Goals:
Matty Smith 1
--- ---

Scoring and Incident Pattern

02mins:49 Wigan 04 St Helens 00

Try: Anthony Gelling

Wigan 06 St Helens 00 Conversion: Matty Smith (1/1)
29mins:42 Wigan 10 St Helens 00

Try: Anthony Gelling (2)

Wigan 12 St Helens 00 Conversion: Matty Smith (2/2)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 12 St Helens 00
58mins:31 Wigan 13 St Helens 00

Drop Goal: Matty Smith

64mins:54 Wigan 17 St Helens 00

Try: Anthony Gelling (Hat-Trick)

Wigan 17 St Helens 00 Missed Conv: Matty Smith (2/3)
71mins:02 Wigan 19 St Helens 00

Conversion: Matty Smith (3/4)

77mins:50 Wigan 23 St Helens 00

Try: George Williams

Wigan 25 St Helens 00 Conversion: Matty Smith (4/5)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 25 St Helens 00


Ben Thaler

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 3 St Helens 6

Match Attendance



Dry and Mild Evening.

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