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Saints Beat Champions Wigan In Super League Opener

St Helens ran out 22-12 victors at the Totally Wicked Stadium

Wigan remain on minus-two points in Super League after losing the opening match of the new season.

The champions were beaten 22-12 at the home of rivals St Helens.

Kevin Naiqama gave Saints the perfect start with a try after 93 seconds before Jonny Lomax crossed over.

Wigan responded to level 12-12 at the break thanks to tries from Ben Flower and Liam Marshall.

But the home side edged away in the second half with Regan Grace and James Roby diving over the line.

Saints coach Justin Holbrook was delighted to pick up the two points:

“It was always going to be a tough game, we knew that. To come away with the win is very pleasing.

"I thought there were a lot of good performances across the park from our boys.

"Obviously, we started well and I thought we were unlucky to go in at 12-all at half-time.

"Wigan kept coming back at us. In the second half it was a great defensive effort, we really ramped it up.

"I thought we showed enough in attack and, in defence we were really strong. To only concede a barge over and an intercept, against a very good Wigan side was really pleasing.”

The match was also the first to be played in Super League following the winter rule changes designed to speed up the game and make it more exciting.

Shot-clocks were used to reduce the time taken setting up scrums and taking drop-outs, while the two sides were limited to eight interchanges rather than the previous 10 in an attempt to increase the fatigue factor.

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