Saints & 12-man Hull FC claim derby spoils
St Helens beat arch rivals Wigan Warriors to go four points clear at the top of Super League as their superb start to the season continued, while Hull FC claimed derby glory against Hull KR despite an early red card.
Leaders Saints led 12-2 at the break thanks in part to a superb individual try from Ben Barba from inside his own half, that four-pointer marking a league-leading ninth of the campaign for the Australian.
But Joel Tomkins and Willie Isa went over after the restart to turn the game on its head, only for young half-back Danny Richardson to level matters at 14-14 with his boot.
A stunning finish in the left-hand corner from Regan Grace restored Saints' advantage and, after converting that try, a Richardson drop-goal put them out of sight, with Tomkins' second coming too late to set up a grandstand finish.
Hull FC led 6-0 when winger Bureta Faraimo was dismissed for a shoulder charge to the head of Chris Atkin but the 12-man visitors extended their advantage to 22-12 at the break, Fetuli Talanoa crossing for a first-half double.
Home side Hull KR were able to cut into that gap with two second-half scores, but Thomas Minns' hat-trick ultimately proved in vain.
Defending champions Leeds Rhinos avoided a second successive defeat, captain Kallum Watkins converting Ash Handley's late try to earn a 22-22 draw with Huddersfield Giants, the Rhinos skipper having failed with a crucial conversion that would given them the lead in the 25-24 defeat to Castleford Tigers last time out.
Josh Charnley scored twice on debut as in-form Warrington Wolves made it three consecutive wins with a 32-18 defeat of Widnes Vikings, while Salford Red Devils piled the pressure on bottom club Catalans Dragons and coach Steve McNamara by beating the French side 32-16.