DANIEL ANDERSON’S men continued their domination of the Wigan-St Helens derby but they were made to work exceptionally hard for their latest spoils.
A 19-12 engage Super League success at Knowsley Road last night enabled Saints to extend their winning run against their arch rivals to eight matches, including three this year, but this was their toughest test yet.
“We made it a derby, which is what we wanted to do,” said Wigan coach Brian Noble. “The other two maybe weren’t quite there but this is as intense as it can get.
“I thought we were good in relation to where we’ve been against this team. We’ve progressively got better as the season has gone on.”
Wigan battled against seemingly insurmountable odds to push the champions all the way in a tense, close-fought clash.
They lost Great Britain prop Stuart Fielden after only three minutes when he knocked himself out trying to stop Saints front rower Nick Fozzard and his replacement Paul Prescott hobbled off 14 minutes later never to return.
The result gave St Helens a two-point lead at the top of the table following Wakefield’s surprise 23-16 win at Leeds.
The Rhinos led 16-10 with 18 minutes left, but Ryan Atkins’ try, converted by Jamie Rooney, levelled the scores.
Rooney then put over a drop goal to nudge his side in front and Luke George went over for a last-minute try, Rooney’s kick piling on the agony for Leeds.