BEN Flower was sent off for Wigan in the second minute as the Warriors went down 14-6 to St Helens in the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford.
The Welsh forward threw a punch at Lance Hohaia after losing the ball before landing another on the Saints half-back as he lay on the deck.
Referee Phil Bentham correctly showed Flower the red card and Wigan had to battle on with 12 men.
For most of the game the Warriors matched their opponents but in the end Saints just had a little too much as they went on to lift the Super League trophy for the first time since 2006.
Wigan did take a first-half lead with a Matty Smith penalty to make it 2-0 after Dan Sarginson was obstructed before Saints drew level from the boot of Mark Percival when Blake Green had held down in the tackle.
Just before the hooter sounded for the break though, a neat Warriors move was finished off by Joe Burgess in the corner to send Shaun Wane’s men in with a narrow lead at the break.
Wigan couldn’t build on that in the second half though and failed to record a single point as their ‘champions’ tag was taken away.
Saints took the lead when the departing Sia Soliola crossed after 55 minutes before Percival added the extras.
Smith did have a chance to kick the Warriors level from a penalty but his kick was wide and weak.
Wigan then had to defend well to keep their opponents from extending their lead before Liam Farrell made a 40-yard break for the line. After he was tackled, the ball was played out to John Bateman who knocked on.
St Helens continued to attack at the depleted Warriors and the pressure eventually told.
With just 10 minutes to go, Tom Makinson did superbly to catch a clever kick from Paul Wellens just in front of the line as he touched down. Percival’s conversion took the game away from Wigan and St Helens held on for a 14-6 victory.
Saints: Wellens, Makinson, Percival, Jones, Swift, Flanagan, Hohaia, Amor, Roby, Masoe, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Turner.
Subs: Manu, Walmsley, Richards, Thompson
Wigan: Bowen, Charnley, Gelling, Sarginson, Burgess, Green, Smith. Crosby, Powell, Flower, Tomkins, Farrell, O’Loughlin
Replacements: Pettybourne, Clubb, Bateman, Williams