Fast Starting Saints Open Account In Thriller

A fast starting St Helens side would have to work tirelessly to deny a resurgent Wigan side from snatching victory from under their noses.

Despite kicking off, St Helens would score the games opening try in just 1 minute 40 seconds, Navarrette knocking on in the opening set after some brusing contact. Kevin naiqama opening his Saints account after a long sliding line move left him fending off Sarginson from 10 metres out and stretching out score the opening try on the right edge, Percival swinging the kick inside the near post to convert the games opening try.

Wigan had begun to start feeling their way into the game, O'Lohglin setting Ben Flower away with an inside ball close to the line, St Helens defence staying resolute and Flower held up over the line on the last.

St Helens would extend their lead after 15 minutes of play, Jonny Lomax on his 200th appearance would be the man to finish but Dominique Peyroux would be the architect of the try, the second rower splitting the line and setting Lomax away as he turned Hardaker inside out, Percival slotting the kick with relative ease.
br /> St Helens made a huge break downfield through Welsh international Regan Grace, Justin Holbrook's men racing downfield and finding Tommy Makinson on the right wing, Makinson flying into the corner and only denied by a corner flag and a despairing Dan Sarginson dive.

Moments later it would be Wigan's turn to have a try chalked off, Joe Greenwood getting the ball carrying arm free and popping the ball up for Dan Sarginson, the eagle eyed Robert Hicks spotting the ball travelling forward and denying the Warriors their first try.

A very cheap penalty would set Wigan up on the St Helens line and Ben Flower would not be denied twice, the prop steaming onto a flat ball from dummy half and going over the man opposite him and placing the ball down, Hardaker converting.

Wigan would earn a repeat set on their very next set, Regan Grace with a second mistake under the high ball and spilling it dead. Saints were making a rod for their own back as a man in the ruck would see Wigan camp out on the Saints line for 6 more tackles, Coote returning Williams' kick on the last and St Helens surviving.

Liam Marshall would find himself in a 3 on 1 situation defensively, the winger reading Lachlan Coote's pass and all of the sudden Marshall was in a one man footrace to level the score 4 minutes shy of halftime, Hardaker converting once more out towards the left of the posts.

The start of the second half would be dominated by errors, Saints knocking on twice in the opening 3 minutes, St Helens finally settling down and beginning to make big metres and forcing a repeat set inside the opening 10 minutes of the half.

That repeat set would bring St Helens their first points of the second half, Reagan Grace acrobatically finding the corner after the ball went through the hands and found the Saints winger with enough space to squeeze over, Percival unable to convert his most recent attempt as Saints took a 16-12 lead.

The intensity levels seemed to have lifted in defence, Saints deciding to race out the line and forcing their agenda, Percival putting on two huge shots and forcing the ball loose on the second attempt, ill discipline with ball in hand costing Saints a golden opportunity in a game with limited chances.

Liam Marshall spotted a gap in behind the play and the ball and backed himself through the hole, Marshall speeding through and denied only by a Lachlan Coote cover tackle, Saints slowing the play and the 50 metre break coming to nothing for the visitors.

The veteran curator of the 9 jersey at Saints put the game to bed with 7 minutes left to play, Walmsley's surging run setting the perfect platform and then the ultimate opportunist sneaking over from dummy half to secure 2 competition points for Saints, Percival going 3 out of 4 off the boot and moved Saints to a 22-12 lead.

Wigan clearly saw their was life in the game still and opted for the short kick off, Makinson spilling the ball offering a lifeline to the Warriors, that lifeline would be short-lived when George Williams spilled the ball on the second tackle, St Helens taking an opening day win at a score-line of 22-12.

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