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Jonny Lomax excels as Saints stun Wolves 22-10
10:57pm Friday 8th March 2013 in Sport
SAINTS produced a tremendous all round performance to see off the Wolves after stunning them with a whirlwind start.
With Jonny Lomax again outstanding both in attack and defence at full back, the dynamic James Roby a constant thorn in Wolves side at dummy half and some powerful forward play from Sia Soliola, Saints took control with three tries in the first quarter.
It was the perfect platform to help maintain the club’s remarkable record at the Halliwell Jones – and with Saints remaining unbeaten on their travels this year they could be forgiven for asking to pay all their games away.
With Lance Hohaia back in the fold at stand-off and Mark Flanagan returning to loose forward after missing last week’s defeat against Leeds, Saints once again started with a different attacking combination.
Hohaia had a good game, too, with his kicking game being the pick of the Saints contingent.
The new formation seemed to work early doors, when after some slick play from Lomax from full back which earned a repeat set Saints piled on the pressure.
And they drew first blood in when Roby and Lomax combined to send Jordan Turner steaming over on five minutes.
Saints were on-song, and a ninth minute break from Roby, producing his best display of the season, backed up by Anthony Laffranchi, paved the way for another assault on the line.
And from there Hohaia sold a great dummy to poach a close range try, which Lomax goaled.
Saints added to that lead when Lomax’s floated long ball released Francis Meli, who bustled his way over in a tight spot to make it 14-0, the goal being missed.
Saints withstood some Wolves pressure, only to give the hosts a toe-hold with some loose play with les than two minutes to go to the break.
Instead of seeing out the last set safely, they tossed the ball wide and produced an handling error.
It was a rare blip in an otherwise impeccable performance, but it was immediately punished.
Wolves took full advantage with returning centre Chris Bridge storming over on a diagonal run to touch down.
Hodgson missed the goal, but Wolves had something to cling to coming into the second half.
But resolute Saints withstood the potentially dangerous opening ten minutes of the second half, and were assisted in that task by some superb defence, particularly when Lomax swooped on a dangerous grubber to save them.
Saints made the lead two converted tries when Lomax slotted a penalty from 30 metres just past the hour mark.
And Saints more or less made the game safe when Wolves prop Chris Hill lost the ball in thunderous challenge, with the alert Roby snatching the chance to zip in and touch down under the sticks.
Lomax tagged on the extras to make it 22-4 and it was then a case of seeing out the clock.
Wolves did keep it interesting when Bridge crossed for his second, goaled by Hodgson.
But there was no way Saints were letting this one slip away.