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The luck of the draw threw together Super League´s top two sides in a semi-final encounter of the highest calibre as St Helens faced the Wigan Warriors for a place in the Challenge Cup final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium at the end of the month.

Saints won the Super League encounter earlier in the season on Good Friday, but this was the Challenge Cup, and you can never write off Wigan in the cup, even if the bookies had made Saints the clear favourites and given Wigan an eight-point start on the handicap coupon.

The bookies believed that Saints were a shoe-in for the first final berth, it would take a miracle for Wigan to progress.

It was a sensational start for Wigan as they opened the scoring with just two minutes on the clock. Liam Marshall was the beneficiary after Josh Simm spilled a high kick and Wigan took full advantage to move the ball from right to left with the winger summersaulting over the line off a Jake Bibby pass to score in the corner. Harry Smith was wide with his conversion attempt as his teammates prepared for the inevitable Saints onslaught.

Wigan last the ball on their own forty metre line on five minutes and after a high tackle by John Bateman gifted another set inside the wigan ten, but the Wigan defence held strong. The stall was set for a classic.

A knock-on from Harry Smith under the shadow of the crossbar but when Saints spilled the ball Bevan French picked up and sprinted eighty metres to the Saints line before a great tackle from Jack Welsby. Joe Batchelor held on too long to slow the play-the-ball and saw the yellow card from referee James Child.

On the fifth tackle Cade Cust hit the line and speed off a Sith pass and spun over the line to ground on his back off. Smith was again wide with the conversion, the Warriors 8-0 ahead.

The third Wigan try came on twenty-nine with a Liam Farrell weaving run through the centre of the field to rip through a broken Saints defence and go over under the sticks for a great solo four pointer. This time Smith was accurate with the boot and with half an hour on the clock it was 14-0 to the Cherry and Whites.

Mark Percival went close on thirty-three, but strong Wigan defence held him up and a resolute Warriors defence had managed to keep the current cup holders pointless in the first half after a near perfect first half from Matt Peet´s men.

Saints got the all-important first try of the second half after a Liam Marshall mistake, spilling the ball in the tackle. Saints took full advantage moving the ball to the right with Konrad Hurrell crashing through the Wigan defence to ground in the corner. Tommy Makinson smacked his touchline conversion through the uprights for 6-14, game on.

On the next set Jonny Lomax picked up a tapped back kick from the fingertips of Makinson to stoop low to the ground and dive in from ten metres out. Makinson again added the conversion and there were just two points between the sides.

Saints were in front on fifty-six, James Roby scything his way through the Wigan defence to stretch for the line and ground one-handed above his head. Makinson added the conversion to the third unanswered second half try, Saints four point ahead and with the momentum well and truly on their side.

With eleven minutes remaining Marshall collected a wayward pass twenty from his own line and sprinted eighty minutes to outpace the Saints chasers to score under the sticks to level the scores. Smith added the conversion to edge the Warriors back into a two-point lead.

There were no further scores in a brutal last ten as Wigan held on for the win.

After a great first half for Wigan the second half fightback from Saints was equally good and it was ironic that it was a Saints error, a sloppy pass as they looked to extend their lead, which allowed Marshall a long range try for the winner which put the Warriors into their thirty-third final, looking to raise the trophy aloft for the twentieth time.

St Helens: Welsby, Makinson (3G), Hurrell (T), Percival, Simm, Davies, Lomax (T), Walmsley, Roby (T), Lees, Batchelor (SB on 16), Mata´utia, Knowles. Subs: Lussick, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Paasi, Sironen.

Wigan Warriors: Field, Marshall (2T), Thornley, Bibby, French, Cust (T), Smith (2G), Singleton, O´Neill, Byrne, Bateman, Farrell, (T) Smithies. Subs: Mago, Ellis, Havard, Shorrocks.

Half-Time: 0-14.

Full-Time: 18-20.

Score Progression: 0-4, (SB), 0-8, 0-12, 0-14 : HT : 4-14, 6-14, 10-14, 12-14, 16-14, 18-14, 18-18, 18-20 : FT.

Referee: James Child.




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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 7th May 2022 4:23 PM | Views : 7954 | Replies : 1 | BACK TO STORIES
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TABLES:
Matches on TV
Sat 25th Jun
L1 RND: 12
15:00
West Wales-Cornwall
MINT2022 RND: 1
06:20
NZ-Tonga
MINT2022 RND: 1
08:40
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Sun 26th Jun
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10:50
New South Wales-Queensland
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15:15
Hull KR-Huddersfield
Mon 27th Jun
CH RND: 16
19:45
Barrow-Halifax
Fri 1st Jul
SL RND: 17
20:00
Castleford-Huddersfield
Sat 2nd Jul
SL RND: 17
18:00
Catalans-St.Helens
Fri 8th Jul
CH RND: 18
19:45
Newcastle-Bradford
Sat 9th Jul
SL RND: 18
19:00
Leeds-Castleford
SL RND: 18
16:45
St.Helens-Wigan
SLRND: 18
14:30
Wakefield-Toulouse
Sun 10th Jul
SL RND: 18
15:15
Catalans-Warrington
SL RND: 18
13:00
Huddersfield-Salford
SL RND: 18
17:30
Hull KR-Hull FC
Mon 11th Jul
CH RND: 18
19:45
Halifax-York
Mon 18th Jul
CH RND: 19
19:45
York-Batley
Thu 21st Jul
SL RND: 20
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Leeds-Wigan
Sun 24th Jul
CH RND: 20
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Whitehaven-Leigh
Fri 24th Jun
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SL RND: 16 Warrington4-0Hull FC
SL RND: 16 Wigan40-6Toulouse
Thu 23rd Jun
SL RND: 16 St.Helens42-12Leeds
Sun 19th Jun
NRL RND: 15 Canberra20-18Newcastle
NRL RND: 15 Canterbury36-12Wests
Sat 18th Jun
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WINT2022 RND: 1 ENGLAND36-10FRANCE
NRL RND: 15 Cronulla18-10Gold Coast
NRL RND: 15 NZ Warriors6-40Penrith
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Fri 17th Jun
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Leigh 16 638 136 502 30
Featherstone 15 604 200 404 27
York 15 386 268 118 24
Batley 14 404 229 175 21
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Barrow 15 365 306 59 19
 
Bradford 15 325 329 -4 16
Sheffield 15 339 368 -29 14
Widnes 15 311 415 -104 10
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LondonB 15 230 424 -194 5
Dewsbury 15 205 504 -299 4
Workington 15 166 545 -379 2
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Betfred League One 2022 ROUND : 12
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Keighley 10 431 90 341 20
Swinton 10 396 153 243 16
Crusaders 10 369 192 177 16
Rochdale 10 390 234 156 14
Doncaster 10 300 248 52 12
Hunslet 10 262 226 36 11
 
Oldham 10 312 214 98 7
Midlands 10 278 339 -61 6
LondonS 10 192 426 -234 6
West Wales 10 88 556 -468 2
Cornwall 10 138 478 -340 0
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Betfred Super League XXVII ROUND : 16
 PLDFADIFFPTS
St.Helens 16 404 170 234 28
Wigan 16 434 301 133 24
Catalans 15 340 202 138 22
Huddersfield 15 341 256 85 21
Hull FC 16 310 289 21 16
Castleford 15 317 334 -17 14
 
Hull KR 15 271 298 -27 14
Warrington 16 300 380 -80 12
Leeds 16 261 322 -61 11
Salford 15 291 385 -94 10
Wakefield 15 247 366 -119 10
Toulouse 16 236 449 -213 4
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National Rugby League 2022 ROUND : 14
 PLDFADIFFPTS
Penrith 14 416 213 203 24
Melbourne 13 462 204 258 22
NQL Cowboys 14 350 171 179 20
Brisbane 13 292 223 69 18
Cronulla 13 298 238 60 16
Parramatta 13 313 287 26 16
Souths 13 310 269 41 14
Sydney 14 303 264 39 14
 
Manly 14 294 296 -2 14
Canberra 14 250 291 -41 12
St.George 13 221 313 -92 12
NZ Warriors 14 242 393 -151 8
Newcastle 13 166 342 -176 8
Canterbury 14 194 325 -131 6
Gold Coast 14 224 362 -138 6
Wests 13 184 328 -144 6
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