Friday 31st August 2012, 20:00 - Round:26
|Tony Puletua, Mark Flanagan 2, Paul Wellens 2, Anthony Laffranchi,||T|
Jonny Lomax, Gary Wheeler 2,
Attendance: 13,262 Official: R Silverwood Venue: Langtree Park
St Helens skipper Paul Wellens struck at the double to move his side nearer a top four play-off spot with victory over London Broncos.
Mark Flanagan also crossed twice for Saints who led only 6-0 until just before the break.
The Broncos were in confident mood after three wins in a row – the last a 62-18 hammering of Carnegie Challenge Cup winners Warrington Wolves a fortnight ago.
London were missing Chris Bailey, Chris Melling and Michael Witt, with Dan Sarginson still out after a month’s absence with an ankle problem.
St Helens welcomed back Jon Wilkin and Josh Jones to compensate for the loss of Michael Shenton and Chris Flannery.
Saints, who won 34-24 at the Stoop on the opening day of the season, took only three minutes to go ahead when Tony Puletua burst on to a James Roby pass to score near the posts and Jonny Lomax converted.
Saints took advantage of a high tackle by Tony Clubb on Roby in the build-up to Puletua’s opener.
Clubb made amends by intercepting a Lomax pass to deny Saints a second try and the Broncos hit back to apply pressure.
Referee Richard Silverwood awarded 10 penalties in a stop-start opening 17 minutes.
Saints introduced Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook off the bench midway through the first half and he immediately made his presence felt against his old club with some tough tackling.
A storming burst by Iosia Soliola tested the Broncos defence, which was equal to the task until another penalty allowed Lomax to carve out a try for Flanagan after 35 minutes.
Lomax missed the straightforward conversion and Wellens had a try disallowed just before the break for a forward pass.
Saints made a storming start to the second half with Luke Dorn, making his 200th appearance in the British game, forced to race back to pull off a try-saving tackle on Francis Meli.
A blunder by Omari Caro, who failed to collect a Lomax kick, led to Flanagan’s second try after 45 minutes to make it 14-0.
Then Wellens added Saints’ fourth touchdown to score for his fifth successive match but Lomax missed a third conversion from four attempts.
Clubb was held up over the line for the Broncos before Wellens took Puletua’s pass to grab his second try and make it 24-0 on the hour.
Dorn almost notched a Broncos try in front of the 13,262 crowd but was recalled for a forward pass from Chad Randall.
London held out until Anthony Laffranchi crashed over for the final try in the last minute.
TA: Try assists
MT: Marker tackles
MI: Missed tackles
TB: Tackle busts
AT: Attacking kicks
AG: Av gain
CB: Clean break
DR: Run from dummy half
FT: Forty twenty
MG: Missed goals
Clean Breaks: 3