THE Totally Wicked Stadium was bouncing when Tommy Makinson plucked Lewis Dodd's chip kick to the line to restore Saints' lead.

And it erupted again when Konrad Hurrell's late score made absolutely sure that the Good Friday spoils would be taken by Saints.

And those bragging right - at packed out stadium - were just as important as the two league that saw Saints leapfrog the champions at the Super League summit.

Some of Paul Wellens' predecessors in the coach's role from a decade or so ago occasionally sought to talk of Good Friday as "just another two points".

That has not been the talk under recent coaches - and Wellens more than most knows what this game means to the fans and people of St Helens.

Speaking after the game, Wellens said: "I've just said to the group - there is myself and there's a number of others from St Helens who understand what the fixture means.

"There's a few other blokes who are starting to learn and understand what it means, which is OK as well.

St Helens Star:

"But there's near 18,000 in the stadium, minus a couple of thousand behind the other set of sticks, who have gone home absolutely ecstatic because their team has won a derby.

"There are the wider things to that as well, the borough of St Helens has around 180,000 people in it.

"And there will have been people all over the borough glued to the TV screens this afternoon watching that game, cheering the boys on.

St Helens Star: Saints celebrate

"And I said to the playing group then as someone who understands coming from the town, you cannot underestimate the impact that your team winning a game like that has on the town and the wider community."

The game was a ding-dong tough battle, with Saints leading 2-0 at half time and they clung on to that until Bevan French poached a try from a kick through.

Crucially Harry's Smith's conversion missed - allowing Saints to nose in front eight minutes from time through Makinson.

Hurrell rumbled over to send the crowd into raptures at the end.

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It had been quite a game.

Wellens said: "We didn't expect anything different, but when it comes around, you never quite know how they're going to pan out.

"There's a ferocity to the games. There's a there's a chaos at times and emotions are riding high, given the importance of the game for both teams.

"And sometimes it comes down to the finest margins and I think it did that today."

At one point it looked like they were going to be denied, but Liam Byrne's red card handed Saints a numerical advantage for the last 17 minutes after his high shot that took Mark Percival out of the game.

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Wellens said: "I was still relatively confident that if I could just hold the ball and get to the end of our sets a few times, obviously them being down a man fatigue was going to be a telling factor.

"It took us to the back end of the game to be able to score those couple of tries, which was really pleasing on my part.

"When you play games like that on Good Friday, two teams have to contribute to such a hotly fought contest and I thought Wigan were outstanding today as well."