WE continue or dip into the archives to look at past Saints v Wigan encounters. Last year's opener against the reigning champions gave a taste of what was to come....

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SAINTS kicked off the new era in Super League with a 22-12 win over champions Wigan.

First half tries from debutant Kevin Naiqama and Jonny Lomax had given Saints a dream start, but they were pegged back by a barge over from Ben Flower and an intercept from Liam Marshall.

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A tough second half, underpinned with some huge defence saw Saints regain control with tries from the outstanding skipper James Roby and wing Regan Grace wrapping it up.

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Coach Justin Holbrook said: “I am very happy with that. We know that clashes with Wigan are always tough and so to come away with the win was a pleasing thing.

“We started really well and then we were a little bit unlucky to be level at half time.

“Once again give Wigan credit – they keep coming back because we could have skipped away with it in the first half and were unlucky with a few things.

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“Then the second half was a great defensive effort – they ramped up their game and we got caught on our line a fair bit and then we did the same to them.”

The match marked debuts for NRL trio Lachlan Coote, Kevin Naiqama and Joseph Paulo.

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Coote at full back showed some silky touches, was called up with his kicking game and was diligent in minesweeping a variety of Wigan kicks.

“For Kev to score so early and Lachlan to bring what I knew he would bring to the side was tremendous.

“Lachlan is such a calming influence and he reads a game really well.

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“On top of that to have Big Alex back for his first comp game was fantastic.

“I thought we all worked really hard as a team.

“I knew we would not be at our best – like every team – but this year we will get better as a team because we have a few new players and it will take us time.

“The important thing is we get the wins and we made a start on that tonight,” he said.

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“I thought we showed enough in attack and defensively we were really strong. To only concede from a barge over and a length of the field intercept against a very good Wigan side showed we were defensively great.

“In attack there were some good signs there.”

Flick through the gallery - Pictures: Bernard Platt.