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Summary

  1. FT: St Helens 22-12 Wigan
  2. Naiqama and Lomax score in blistering Saints start; Flower and Marshall respond
  3. Grace puts St Helens back in front, Roby crosses late on
  4. St Helens-Wigan local derby is first game of 2019 Super League season
  5. Wigan clinched 2018 Super League title after Saints had won League Leaders' Shield

Live Reporting

By Matt Newsum

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodnight

    FT: St Helens 22-12 Wigan

    Saints tackle Wigan's Zak Hardaker

    We've waited since early October for another taste of club rugby league and this was well worth the wait.

    The intensity was high, the skills were high, the ferocity was outstanding. It was a real exhibition of all that is good about rugby league.

    Saints came out on top but will still get better, Wigan have lots of ponder both great and not so.

    You know what's even better? We'll have games every week between now and October. The nights will get warmer and lighter, but let's hope the quality stays just as high.

    You can follow rugby league on the BBC across TV, radio and online throughout the weekend and of course right the way through to next winter.

    Stick with us, and you'll be right. It's good to be back, isn't it? Good night.

  2. The opening fixtures

    #bbcrl

    This evening's Saints-Wigan derby was just the tasty aperitif for the rest of the opening weekend. Here are the rest of the fixtures:

    Friday, 1 February:

    Castleford Tigers v Catalans Dragons (19:45 GMT)Huddersfield Giants v Salford Red Devils (19:45 GMT)Hull Kingston Rovers v Hull FC (19:45 GMT) *

    Saturday, 2 February

    Warrington Wolves v Leeds Rhinos (17:15 GMT) *

    Sunday, 3 February

    London Broncos v Wakefield Trinity (15:00 GMT) *

    * Commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  3. 'Not the start we wanted'

    FT: St Helens 22-12 Wigan

    Wigan head coach Adrian Lam told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "It's not the start we wanted.

    "We dropped the ball on the first set and then for the next 20 minutes we were backs against the wall, but to come back and be 12-12 at half-time showed plenty of character.

    "We started the second-half slowly as well and when we needed the points at the end of the game we looked a little bit flat because of the work we had done.

    "But whether we won or lost tonight, it's not going to define our season."

  4. 'No better way to start a season'

    FT: St Helens 22-12 Wigan

    St Helens celebrate Regan Grace's try

    St Helens prop Alex Walmsley told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "It's unbelievable to be back (from a long-term neck injury). What an atmosphere, what a game, there's no better way to start a season than Wigan at home, with a win as well.

    "I had lots of nerves tonight and I think they will be there for a while, but it's all good nerves and positive energy and as soon as I stepped on to the pitch it was as if I'd never been away."

  5. 'It was an awesome battle'

    FT: St Helens 22-12 Wigan

    St Helens centre Kevin Naiqama told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "It was an awesome battle, back and forth, and we expected that from Wigan. We expected a tough, physical match and that's what we got.

    "It was awesome to get the try early. I've heard a lot about the St Helens-Wigan derby and it was great to experience it.

    "The atmosphere was outstanding - there's nothing like this at home."

  6. 'We showed glimpses of how we can play'

    FT: St Helens 22-12 Wigan

    St Helens' James Roby told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "It's been a really good week. I'm over the moon to get an extension to my contract and to then back it up with a win over Wigan.

    "The boys did really well and we came through it good. We showed glimpses of how we can play.

    "With the shot-clock there was more urgency to get to the scrums and the drop-outs. I really like the rule changes, I think they make the game more exciting and quicker for the fans.

  7. 'It's been a cracker'

    FT: St Helens 22-12 Wigan

    Andrew Henderson

    Warrington Wolves assistant coach on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    There have been encouraging signs for both teams. There was some real positive play and I thought we saw some real intensity and desire defensively.

    Both teams have contributed to a super game of rugby league tonight.

    For the opening night it has been a cracker and not much has separated the teams.

  8. How did the debutants go?

    St Helens 22-12 Wigan

    There were exciting debuts across the board, across a really engaging game.

    Kevin Naiqama will get the headlines for Saints having scored a try on his maiden appearance, while Lachlan Coote showed his class with some smart running and chiming-in passing game.

    Wigan full-back Zak Hardaker showed flashes on his first appearance in 16 months, while the riproaring Joe Bullock showed real signs he can be a top-class forward in his second spell at the Warriors.

  9. Full time

    St Helens 22-12 Wigan

    St Helens celebrate

    St Helens beat the reigning champions Wigan Warriors in a pulsating, scintillating and breathtaking derby at Langtree Park to begin the campaign with a precious two points.

    Tries from Kevin Naiqama, Jonny Lomax, Regan Grace and James Roby secured the win. It's a big, big two points too.

    Wigan stay on minus-two points, they showed remarkable effort and scored through Ben Flower and Liam Marshall...

    Adrian Lam will have to wait for his first taste of victory as coach, but there were many encouraging signs.

    It's finished at 21:35 too! That's more like it.

  10. Post update

    St Helens 22-12 Wigan

    How good is James Roby? Still. There are some awesome hookers in the Super League - McIlorum, Clark, McShane etc...

    But this guy must still be the best.

  11. Post update

    St Helens 22-12 Wigan

    Two to go. It will take a massive swing now for Wigan.

    Can't fault the effort from either side but James Roby's try looks to be enough.

  12. Post update

    St Helens 22-12 Wigan

    Tommy Makinson is down, might be a touch of cramp.

    Wigan have a scrum though. It's the Warriors who need their famous spirit to come back at this stage.

    They won't this time.. loose carry by George Williams.

  13. Post update

    St Helens 22-12 Wigan

    Andrew Henderson

    Warrington Wolves assistant coach on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    It's a famous James Roby play. Close to the try line he shows one way, comes back and catches his marker out on the other side of the ruck.

    It's great deception from Roby and we've seen it so often. I think Saints will go on to win now.

  14. TRY: St Helens 22-12 Wigan

    James Roby, con Mark Percival

    That might just be the ball game and the man to seal it? The skipper, James Roby.

    Saints get a play-the-ball a couple of metres out, the big boppers are set either side and Wigan have all eyes for the musclemen.

    No one spots the crafty Roby, who skips out of acting half and shows poise to touch down with a clever finish.

    Ten points in it. Five to go. Big ask for Wigan now.

  15. Post update

    St Helens 16-12 Wigan

    We've had four second-half points. Which absolutely dispells the myth you need points and tries to have a good game. Gripping.

    St Helens again find themselves stretched across the park as Wigan bash away. However, Saints continue to scramble, filling the gaps hastily to quell the Wigan attack.

    Eight to go. Take a big gulp.

  16. Post update

    St Helens 16-12 Wigan

    Andrew Henderson

    Warrington Wolves assistant coach on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    The first 20 minutes of the second half was all St Helens but Wigan stood firm and only cracked once.

    They absorbed a lot of pressure and now they look the stronger of the two teams.

    Wigan have a great opportunity to snatch this game at the death.

  17. Post update

    St Helens 16-12 Wigan

    Sparkling break from Liam Marshall! Ripped through the middle.

    Saints on the rack, Wigan pressing. They have the field position...

    Tommy Leuluai measures the kick, tries to pick out Tom Davies in the corner but it's knocked on.

    It is real bite-yer-knuckles stuff.

    Saints lose it! Luke Thompson can't draw in that flat pass from James Roby and Wigan have a 40m scrum.

  18. Post update

    St Helens 16-12 Wigan

    Really good set for territory for Wigan, who hand the ball back to Saints a metre from their line.

    Kyle Amor and Alex Walmsley are the forwards tasked with eating up metres. Kick gets the ball away.

    Wigan's turn to have dig...

  19. Post update

    St Helens 16-12 Wigan

    Imagine having not played a competitive game since November - for the international boys in these teams - and having to come back to a game like this.

    Bruising. I'm shattered and the furthest I've moved is to the loo. It is sensational.

    Wigan get a penalty, Zeb Taia hang on too long in the tackle. Cute from the former England full-back Zak Hardaker to get the decision.

  20. Post update

    St Helens 16-12 Wigan

    Wigan working the angles, sliding away to the left after a bash through the middle.

    Kick through almost put Gabe Hamlin away but there was Lachlan Coote to secure the ball.

    It remains high-octane, it remains breathless, it remains intense. Wow.

    St Helens v Wigan