Landmark night for Atkins as Warrington beat Saints, more woe for Wigan

Updated: 

Ryan Atkins scored his 200th career try as Warrington Wolves fought back to overcome local rivals St Helens 40-18, while Salford Red Devils continued their fine campaign by beating injury-hit Wigan Warriors 31-16.

Last year's runners-up Warrington started the Super League season with a seven-match winless run but they produced a performance that typified the character they have shown to turn their fortunes around.

Adam Swift crossed in the opening minute and Ryan Morgan's try was converted by Tommy Makinson to give Saints - still under the stewardship of Sean Long, Jamahl Lolesi and Derek Traynor despite the appointment of Justin Holbrook this week - a 14-point lead.

Benjamin Jullien and Mike Cooper hit back before the break and the brilliant Harvey Livett - who ended the match with 16 points - kick-started a phenomenal second period which included scores for Rhys Evans and Tom Lineham.

Atkins completed a second-half double in the 80th minute to reach his milestone with the Wolves now having won five of their last six outings as Saints' struggle for consistency continues.

Wigan coach Shaun Wane said he was without 14 senior players ahead of the visit of Salford, with captain Sean O'Loughlin's departure for international duty with England adding to an already extensive absentee list.

The Red Devils put 26 unanswered points on the board before defending champions Wigan threatened a comeback with three tries in the space of 12 minutes, but it proved too little, too late as Salford won at the Warriors for the first time in 20 years to go second.

There was more bad news for Wigan after the buzzer, with Wane confirming Morgan Escare will miss the remainder of the season due to a knee injury sustained in the loss to Castleford Tigers last weekend.