St Helens strike late to beat Warriors
St Helens substitute Joe Greenwood scores late to beat rivals Wigan Warriors
St Helens recorded a close victory over arch rivals Wigan Warriors to keep up their hopes of staying in the top eight to reach the play-offs.
It was always going to be tough game for the Wigan players, with regular starters Sam Tomkins, Harrison Hansen and captain Sean O'Loughlin being rested to try and save them for the Challenge Cup semi-final against the London Broncos on Saturday.
Saints started off as the stronger of the two sides with two early tries from 20-year-old winger Adam Swift, who was starting his first game. Both were converted by Gareth O'Brien.
Wigan then started to fight back with half-backs Blake Green and Matty Smith trying everything and anything to get a score for their side, and they ended up succeeding with Green and Liam Farrell combining to send Pat Richards over in the corner. Josh Charnley then capitalised on a dropped catch from Swift from a high kick to score Wigan's second of the night.
With Richards missing both the conversion's from out wide Wigan were trailing 12-8 at halftime. However, early in the second half the Warriors took the lead, with young Ryan Hampshire - the understudy to Sam Tomkins - producing a wonderful back hand pass to give Charnely the room to score his second of the night and to take his Wigan tally to 98 tires in 90 games. This all came after Hampshire dislodged the ball from Greenwood's grasp as he was diving for the line.
Richards added the extra's to give Wigan a lead of 14-12, but Saints drew level on 54 minutes due to a penalty being conceded by Scott Taylor - who was also put on report for a late tackle on O'Brien. Wigan then regained the lead with a spectacular 50-meter drop goal from Richards. As Wigan began losing their discipline, Tom Makinson had two chances from penalties to put Saints ahead but missed them both.
Due to these two misses Jordan Turner took over the kicking duties and took advantage of his first kick when Green was sin binned in the 67th minute, giving the Saints a slender lead 16-15. With just six minutes left, up stepped Smith to add a drop goal to level the scores. Wigan then began to make there way up the field and kicked the ball into the corner to try and gain some ground, however Makinson ran back Smith's deep kick from his own 20 meter area and found space to set up the position for Greenwood to score the match winning try which was converted by Jordan Turner.
This result meant that Huddersfield stayed top and Wigan remained in second, whilst the win also helped Saints keep up their hopes of a play-off place.
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