Lachlan Coote scores 16 points as St Helens outclass fierce rivals Wigan with a relentless display in torrential rain.
|St Helens (18) 24|
|Tries: Grace, Coote, Percival Goals: Coote 6|
|Wigan (0) 6|
|Tries: Farrell Goals: Smith|
Wigan’s fifth consecutive Super League loss was as good as sealed by half-time as the hosts built an 18-0 lead thanks to tries by Regan Grace and Lachlan Coote, who also slotted five kicks.
Mark Percival cut inside three men to stretch the advantage against an increasingly ill-disciplined Warriors.
Liam Farrell got the visitors on the board but a comeback was never likely.
But the Challenge Cup finalists looked sharp and focused from the outset, with Coote orchestrating play as well as scoring a try and kicking a total of six goals throughout.
The damage was done in the first half, with Grace pouncing to touch down for the opening try after Jake Bibby spilled a high kick by Coote under pressure.
Coote’s third try of the season, coming when he scooped up a loose pass and crossed from close range on the back of a fine initial break by Morgan Knowles, put the visitors firmly in control.
Warriors, who had slipped from top of the table to fifth in the space of four games, then had Kai Pearce-Paul and Willie Isa sin-binned either side of the break, with a lack of composure in both defence and their rare attacks costing them dear.
The teeming rain contributed to Saints dropping the pace in the closing stages despite Percival’s fifth try of the season helping take the lead to 24 points.
Farrell darted over for his sixth try of the campaign in reply after good work by Pearce-Paul as a much-improved Wigan rallied, but Saints closed out a victory with little fuss in the first meeting between the sides since the enthralling Grand Final in November 2020.
St Helens head coach Kristian Woolf told Sky Sports: “I was really pleased with the first half. We approached it really well and had a good discipline about us.
“I loved the way we attacked and the way we defended as well. It was a bit hard in the second half; we got a bit sloppy and we need to be better but we did really well in the first half and that was enough.
“We started really confidently and did a really good job.
“Every time Mark Percival touched the ball it looked like something would happen. And Lachlan Coote has been integral to us. He has been a really big part of our success in the past couple of years and you know what you are going to get every week.”
Wigan head coach Adrian Lam told Sky Sports: “I was very proud of our players on a four-day turnaround against a side who have had nearly three weeks off.
“In the second half it was all front-foot defence and I was really proud of them. The players are working hard every week and if we put in that effort next week and the week after we will be back on winning terms.
“We have had more good times than bad times and with that effort we will turn it around. We are getting players back in the next couple of weeks. It is a difficult period and we are not happy but the turnaround is close and if we stay together we will be OK.”
St Helens: Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Mata’utia, Batchelor, Knowles.
Interchanges: Amor, Pa’asi, Welsby, Dodd.
Wigan: Hastings, Bibby, Isa, Gildart, Marshall, Smith, Leuluai, Singleton, Powell, Bullock, Farrell, Pearce-Paul, Havard.
Interchanges: Byrne, Partington, Shorrocks, O’Neill.
Referee: J. Child (RFL),