Saints crash out at Wigan
Warriors bag semi-final berth with comfortable win
Last Updated: 12/05/12 4:56pm
Wigan kept their bid for a 19th Challenge Cup on track with an 18-4 victory over arch rivals St Helens in their quarter-final clash at DW Stadium on Saturday.
The current holders booked their place in the last four with tries from Sam Tomkins, Sean O'Loughlin and Brett Finch plus six points from the boot of Josh Charnley.
Paul Wellens crossed early in the first half for the visitors but it was nowhere near enough to prevent St Helens from failing to reach the semi-final stage of the Challenge Cup for the first time in 12 years.
The first points came after just five minutes when Michael Shenton collected Jonny Lomax's delightful kick through the Wigan defence and carried the ball to the line before being brought to a halt.
Wellens collected the offload and flopped over for the try, confirmed by the video official, to put his side into an early 4-0 lead.
The Wigan reply came swiftly though when, with the hosts in a good attacking position in front of the Saints posts, the ball was fired out to the left to Tomkins who darted through the gap for a superb try.
Josh Charnley booted the conversion to put the Warriors into a 6-0 lead and eight minutes later the home side extended their advantage in almost identical fashion.
This time though it was Sean O'Loughlin who shot through to score after the dummy runner had opened up a gap in the St Helens defence.
Charnley again added the extras to make it 12-4 but those were to be the last points before the break, with neither side able to break down their opponents' defence before the end of a hard-fought opening half.
Nine minutes after the restart Finch put Wigan firmly in control with a magnificent try to stretch the hosts' lead to 12 points.
The Australian stand-off blasted into a hole in a stretched Saints defence and set off on a devastating run, selling an exquisite dummy before stepping inside and jinking his way to the line.
Charnley missed the conversion leaving the scores at 16-4 but soon after a magnificent charge upfield my Makinson saw the visitors pushing hard for a try of their own.
Attacking deep inside Wigan territory Saints spread the ball wide to Wheeler who dived for the line at the corner, only to have the ball knocked away inches short of the line. The TV official confirmed no try.
Charnley made it 18-4 with a penalty on 67 minutes to push the game further away from Saints, who were unable to improve on Wellens' score near the start.