Plenty of positives in Saints' opening day victory

Plenty of positives in Saints' opening day victory

Plenty of positives in Saints' opening day victory

First published in Sport St Helens Star: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Sports Writer

Saints got their new season off to a cracking start with a 38-8 mullering of last year's beaten grand finalists Warrington.

The victory was so emphatic that the buoyant Saints contingent taunted their hosts with more than a few renditions of "going down,going down."

But from a Saints perspective it underlined why there has been a real sense of optimism building in town due to the significant number of new signings, not least Aussie linchpin Luke Walsh.

Although Wolves had taken an early 4-0 lead courtesy of a 99th second Joel Monaghan, a purple patch of three tries in nine minutes mid way through the first half gave Saints an unassailable 20-4 half time lead.

It was a strong effort from the men in the red vee who gave a muscular performance with a number of high tackles producing howls from the Wolves contingent.

It was a perfect try-scoring senior debut for both Kyle Amor and Walsh, the latter capping a fine game with seven goals.

Walsh provided the spark for the opener with Jonny Lomax interjecting before Jordan Turner sent Tommy Makinson in with a miracle ball on 12 minutes.

The next try came courtesy of the dancing feet of born-again number six Gary Wheeler who took on the line before popping it up for James Roby to straighten on to and touch down.

And following a Walsh 40/20 Amor bashed his way over for the third shortly afterwards, with a third Walsh conversion and then penalty giving Saints a 20-4 interval lead.

Saints were first out of the blocks in the second half when Anthony Laffranchi powered over under the sticks and that killed the game.

Saints were probably guilty of clocking off mentally and had a few lapses with the ball in hand.

But defensively they remained resolute and it took a crawpy rebound off the top of the post padding to assist Wolves in their second score through Joel Monaghan.

There was to be no unlikely comeback for the home side, who have only beaten Saints once in their ten years at Halliwell Jones.

Saints finished with a flourish with the prolific Adam Swift polishing off good work from Mark Percival to add another.

And to put the icing on the cake Walsh snaffled a Ben Westwood pass to zip in, tossing the ball into the crowd to show his delight.

Saints will take a lot of positives from the game - particularly their defence, the steel of their pack and the masterful display of the halves.

There is a long way to go, but Saints and their fans will be pleased to get off to a good start after last year's nightmare opening performance.

Warrington: Ratchford; Riley, Bridge, Atkins, J Monaghan; M Monaghan, Myler; Hill, Higham, Asotasi, Waterhouse, Westwood, Currie. Subs: B Evans, Laithwaite, O'Brien, GRiley.

Saints: Lomax; Makinson, Turner, Percival, Swift; Wheeler, Walsh; Walmsley, Roby, Amor,Wilkin, Manu, McCarthy-Scarsbrook. Subs: Laffranchi, Soliola, Jones, Wellens.

Ref: P. Bentham

Comments (1)

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8:50am Fri 14 Feb 14

frankly says...

it was a super performance from 1 to 17..early days but good signs for the season
it was a super performance from 1 to 17..early days but good signs for the season frankly
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