Joe Burgess’ hopes of being selected for May’s test against Samoa will have been boosted as he scored two tries on his comeback from injury, as Wigan Warriors beat St Helens 29-18 on Good Friday.
With youngsters Liam Marshall and Tom Davies impressing in recent weeks in Burgess’ absence, Shaun Wane started the former Roosters man at centre rather than on the wing in the derby.
He showed great determination to score his first try of the afternoon 20 minutes into the tie, before latching onto George Williams’ kick-through to score again in the second half.
Williams produced a really impressive performance, with three assists in total and 18 carries, a performance which his coach put down to settling his future after the 22-year-old signed a new long-term deal at the DW Stadium earlier in the week.
Warriors coach Wane said: “George played with better composure today, you can tell a weight has been lifted off his shoulders.”
Liam Farrell was also impressive in the derby, scoring a rare try as well as finishing the game with 22 carries, more than anyone else on the pitch.
Sean O’Loughlin made his return from an injury lay-off, although Wayne Bennett will only be able to pick a maximum of three players from any Super League club for the Samoa test.
Matty Smith, one of six St Helens players in the Elite Performance Squad, didn’t have the happiest of returns to the DW Stadium against his former employers.
Prop Kyle Amor received an early red card whilst centre Mark Percival made 14 carries.
Scrappy game but will take the 2 points and look forward to Monday 🐯👊🏼— Luke Gale (@snozzer_gale) April 14, 2017
Luke Gale assisted three tries as Castleford Tigers remained top of the table with a 42-24 win over Wakefield Trinity.
Greg Minikin and Mike McMeeken also got an assist each in the local derby.
Ryan Hall scored his fourth try in five games as Leeds Rhinos beat Hull FC 52-24 at the KCOM Stadium yesterday.
Kallum Watkins also scored for Leeds, with full-back Jamie Shaul scoring an impressive long-range effort for the hosts. Prop Scott Taylor was also on the scoresheet for Hull.
Stefan Ratchford and Chris Hill featured as Warrington Wolves chalked up their second win of the season over Widnes Vikings on Thursday.
Daryl Clark missed out on matchday selection but has been included in the 19-man squad for Easter Monday’s clash with Huddersfield Giants.
The Giants were narrowly shaded out 22-29 by Catalans Dragons on Wednesday night, although England winger Jermaine McGillvary scored his sixth try of the season in the match.
England take on Samoa on May 6 at the Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Sydney and fans can watch the game via an exclusive live stream for the early bird price of just £3.49 - sign up here.