20th July 2018, 00:31 | super_league
St Helens put one hand on the League Leaders’ Shield with an impressive 14-6 derby win over Wigan Warriors that takes them 10 points clear at the top with one round left of the regular Betfred Super League season.
Even without Ben Barba and Mark Percival, Super League’s leading tryscorers with 39 touchdowns between them, Saints had too much flair for an injury-hit Wigan side who will lose second spot in the table if Castleford Tigers beat Huddersfield Giants on Friday night.
Second-row pair Dominique Peyroux and Morgan Knowles scored Saints’ tries but more significantly were at the heart of a magnificent defensive effort that carried their side to a 13th successive victory.
It was also St Helens’ 100th league win over Wigan which was lapped up by the 3,000 travelling fans who will be confident of a return to Old Trafford.
All the Warriors had to show for their efforts was Sam Tomkins' converted try 10 minutes from time.
St Helens coach Justin Holbrook said: “It definitely wasn’t easy. It was one of the toughest games I’ve watched. Neither team gave an inch, there was big hit after big hit for 80 minutes, which showed the brutality of our game.
“They’re a quality side and, although I know they had some troops out, they kept coming and it ended up as a cracking derby. It was as physical as you can get."
Wigan boss Shaun Wane said: “The best team won, without a shadow of a doubt.
“They had the majority of the game but I’m really proud of our efforts. It was a typical derby. They got stuck into each other, there were injured bodies and blood everywhere, which is a great sign.”