SAINTS boss Justin Holbrook was delighted after seeing his side cap off a run of three consecutive games against Super League's top four with an emphatic 32-10 win over rivals Wigan.

In particular he praised the defensive effort that kept the reigning champions to just one opportunistic try when the game was already in the bag.

Two tries from Tommy Makinson, and singles from Lachlan Coote, Jonny Lomax and Kevin Naiqama secured the spoils, and with Warrington losing at home to Salford, that gives Saints a 10-point lead at the summit.

Holbrook said: “I am really happy that – I have been talking a lot about how many hard games we have played, and I know every game is hard, but to play second, third and fourth three weeks in a row and then on the top of it being our toughest rivals in Wigan.

"It was a huge credit to the playing group the way they keep turning up. It was a massive effort tonight and a great win."

Defensively Saints were excellent, hammering the Wigan ball carriers and harassing their playmakers to keep them out until the last quarter.

"Watching the last four or five games and seeing how dangerous Wigan have been with the ball and their threats are everywhere.

"To do as good a job as we have done – to contain them to one opportunistic try. It shows how hard they are working – superb defensively.

"Morgan Knowles is a fantastic player who works as hard as anyone and Dom Peyroux was enormous as well. We defended really well," he said.

Holbrook explained that skipper James Roby was ruled out on Thursday having trained all week.

“He still wanted to play – as I expected – but it was the smarter decision to leave him out.

“The reason we got it operated on was to try to get him to play pain free.

"He would have been fine to play tonight but he would have been in some discomfort, so it was the better option to not take that risk," he said.

Coote, who added six goals to his try, left the field after the hour mark.

Holbrook explained: "He got a little twinge in his knee so there was no point leaving him out there so we got him off as a precaution."