St Helens 46 Wigan Warriors 10

St Helens talisman Sean Long made a telling return from injury to kick-start the season for his side with an impressive performance in their win over Wigan.

The former Great Britain scrum-half, who had missed his club's two previous matches with a knee injury, slotted straight back into action with a sparkling display as Saints rediscovered their form after a stuttering start to the season.

"I thought it was a classy, professional performance from us," said coach Daniel Anderson.

"It was a significant improvement on what we've doing of late.

"Sean was outstanding, there is no doubt about it. His decision-making was tremendous and his kicking was first class.

"In general, we worked a lot harder for each other."

Saints, who were still without four international forwards through injury, never looked back after running in 22 points without reply in the first 26 minutes to establish a stranglehold on the game.

Long scored one try, had a hand in three others and kicked four goals as St Helens climbed to third place in the table.

Wigan were never in contention and conceded two tries while hooker Mickey Higham was in the sin bin for persistent interference by his team.

"We were ordinary and we need to recognise that," admitted coach Brian Noble.

"We're all very disappointed. We didn't start real well and the penalties and errors played into Saints' hands. The sin-binning didn't help.

"It's important we respond as best we can on Monday."

Noble was forced to reshuffle his side after the first-half loss of full-back Pat Richards with an eye injury and could also be without second rower Phil Bailey and centre George Carmont for Monday's home match against Hull KR.