LIVERPOOL ST HELENS 49 ANSELMIANS 11

First published in Rugby Union

Liverpool St Helens eventually overcame a determine Anselmians side to register another important North One West bonus point victory. They were made to work hard for the win as with 30 minutes gone only three points separated the sides. The game was effectively won in a pulsating five minute period just before half time when, in unstoppable form, the home side ran in three tries.

LSH had another perfect start after three minutes when a Phil Kearns break was continued by Ian Stanley and John Pape for Greg Smith to neatly score under the posts, Smith converting his try. 7-0. Anselmians hit back with a penalty from John Close, 7-3, before LSH went further ahead after 16 minutes with well taken try from Matt Cunliffe in the left hand corner after Mark Fryer, Jan Lourens and Josh Grant-Butler had all battered their way towards the line before moving the ball left along the backs. Smith converted. 14-3 A charged down clearance kick from Stuart Crampton then gifted the visitors a try 14-8, followed soon after by the award of a penalty for a high tackle, slotted by Close to make it 14-11 on the half hour mark.

LSH then upped a gear to produce a magical spell just before half time beginning with a try from close range from Sean Mackin. The new number 8 has made a big impact at the lane and had another fine game. Smith converted, 21-11.

Almost from the restart Ian Stanley picked up the ball deep in his own half and set off on the sort of run where only he knows where he is going. This time deciding to run straight at any opposition player in his way, he ran through, bounced off and then outpaced them all to score an outstanding try from 70 yards. Smith converted 28-11. Two minutes later the ever busy Phil Kearns made another telling break offloading to James Burrows who dived over to score. Smith converted, 35-11 at half time.

And then the heavens opened producing a massive hailstorm followed by a number of showers of heavy rain. This, together with a baffling series of decisions from the whistler, led to a much slower tempo in the second half. Nevertheless LSH pressed home their advantage in the 62nd minute with a try from Stuart Crampton, converted by Smith wide out on the left, 42-11, followed by a second try for Stanley with ten minutes to go, converted again by Smith, 49-11, to give the young fly half a perfect set, seven out of seven successful kicks. Both the last two tries came after decisive breaks from centre Dan Filson showing great pace and vision on a most promising debut.

This week LSH entertain Kirkby Lonsdale 3pm kick off.

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