Wigan v St Helens: Big match verdict

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Despite losing Good Friday’s derby at Wigan, 29-18, never-say-die Saints produced their finest - and most heroic - performance of the season.

They faced an almost insurmountable task after Kyle Amor was shown a red card early in the first half.

It was a controversial and highly debatable ruling by referee Ben Thaler, who did Saints little favours and made some rather strange decisions in the heat of the battle for supremacy, with many observers feeling it only warranted a yellow card which was supported by live Sky TV replays of the incident.

To some extent it wrecked what was expected to be a closely fought affair involving two teams who have not really been in the best of form lately - but it was inevitable that having to play more than an hour a player short would take its toll on a tiring Saints’ side - and this proved spot on in the end.

But even so, St Helens gave their deadly rivals a run for their money and were still in the hunt until the latter stages - testament to their courage, guts and determination.

It was a remarkable achievement given the circumstances but every single player worked like a Trojan and defended as if their lives depended on the result.

Assistant coach Jamahl Lolesi had told every player pre-match to stand up and be counted - and all 17 answered the clarion call

Naturally Wigan fans were ecstatic when the final hooter sounded after beating their deadly rivals but it was nothing more than a hollow victory with a little help from the man in the middle..