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Challenge Cup: Wigan 18 St Helens 4

Cup Holders Wigan moved within eighty minutes of a return to Wembley with an 18-4 win over St Helens in the Carnegie Challenge Cup at the DW Stadium on Saturday.
Challenge Cup: Wigan 18 St Helens 4
by NRL

Cup Holders Wigan moved within eighty minutes of a return to Wembley with an 18-4 win over St Helens in the Carnegie Challenge Cup at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

Saints scored first but after that never really looked like winning the tie. The Warriors took their chances in attack and defended superbly as St Helens struggled to find a way to score further points to pressure Shaun Wane's men.

Wigan grabbed three tries through Sam Tomkins, Sean O'Loughlin and a great solo effort from Brett Finch. Saints only points from an early Wellens touchdown.

Wigan were forced into a late change with Centre Darrell Goulding failing a late fitness test on a pull picked up in training on Thursday so Jack Hughes came in to partner Josh Charnley on the right. Elsewhere the Warriors welcomed back Paul Prescott who missed the win last time out against Hull KR. For Saints, Jon Wilkin returned to the side at Loose Forward.

It was Saints with the early pressure, Gelling penalised for not playing the ball properly and the visitors forced a goal line drop out as Sam Tomkins was called upon at the back. From the next set with just 5 minutes on the clock a Lomax kick into space and Shenton did well under pressure to off load for Paul Wellens to cross for the games first try, Lomax missed a relatively easy conversion, 0-4.

Wigan responded on 11 minutes, this time the Warriors gaining field position as Saints were penalised in the tackle on Hock. From a deep kick Wigan built an attack and a short pass from Finch sent in England International Sam Tomkins in for a try from close range, Charnley hit the extras and the home side were 6-4 to the good.

Wigan extended their lead, Carmont with a great pass away while spinning in the tackle to send Sean O'Loughlin in for the Warriors second try of the afternoon on 21 minutes.

On 33 minutes Wellens was set free down the middle but the full back just didn't have the pace to go all the way from inside his own half.

There was a stoppage in play soon after as Lauaki fell awkwardly in a tackle and there was concern as the big prop was forced off the field, thankfully he was able to get to his feet to be walked off the pitch with assistance.

Both sides had opportunities to score further points but the half ended 12-4 in the cherry and whites favour.

The next try was vital to which way the game would swing and a Tommy Leuluai pass on 50 minutes sent Brett Finch into a gap and the stand off still had lots to do to beat Wellens from 30 metres or so out to score the Warriors third try of the game. This time Josh Charnley missed the goal but Wigan had a two score cushion.

Saints had a chance through Wheeler for a try with an hour on the clock but he was unable to ground the ball in the corner under pressure from Hughes and Charnley.

A Charnley penalty from 40 metres out moved the score onto 18-4.

On 72 minutes a Meli break down the left came to nothing, great work by Leuluai back tracking.

Wigan worked hard for the win in a solid effort and following their Easter win at Langtree Park made it two from two in 2012 against their arch rivals, the sides meet again in two weeks at the Magic Weekend at the Etihad Stadium.

Carnegie Challenge Cup Quarter Final

Wigan Warriors 18
T - Sam Tomkins, Sean O'Loughlin, Brett Finch
G - Josh Charnley 3

St Helens 4
T - Paul Wellens
G -

Wigan Warriors - Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley, Jack Hughes, George Carmont, Anthony Gelling, Brett Finch, Thomas Leuluai, Paul Prescott, Michael McIlorum, Lee Mossop, Harrison Hansen, Gareth Hock, Sean O'Loughlin. Subs: Jeff Lima, Liam Farrell, Chris Tuson, Epalahame Lauaki.

St Helens - Paul Wellens, Tom Makinson, Michael Shenton, Gary Wheeler, Francis Meli, Lance Hohaia, Jonny Lomax, Anthony Laffranchi, James Roby, Josh Perry, Chris Flannery, Sia Soliola, Jon Wilkin. Subs: Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Mark Flanagan, Paul Clough, Shaun Magennis.

Referee - Richard Silverwood.

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