Friday 8th March 2013, 20:00 - Round:6
|Chris Bridge 2,||T||Jordan Turner, Lance Hohaia, Francis Meli, James Roby,|
Jonny Lomax 3,
Attendance: 13,381 Official: R Silverwood Venue: Halliwell Jones Stadium
St Helens finally kickstarted their Super League campaign with a convincing win over Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Nathan Brown has endured a frustrating time since taking charge at Saints but his new side clicked into gear as early tries from Jordan Turner, Lance Hohaia and Francis Meli put them in charge.
Below-par Warrington eventually replied through Chris Bridge but their notoriously poor record against Saints continued to haunt them as James Roby condemned the Wolves to a second successive defeat.
Bridge claimed a second try on the breakaway in the dying moments but Saints, who had won 37 of the previous 44 Super League encounters between the clubs, held on.
It was a welcome result for Brown after only two wins and some indifferent performances in the opening five games and Saints looked more like their old selves as they established a 14-4 half-time lead.
They scored three times inside the opening 20 minutes with Warrington’s defence caught napping.
Saints grabbed their first as Turner took a short pass from Jonny Lomax and stretched an arm over on the left.
They doubled their lead after a failed Bridge interception allowed them further possession in dangerous territory. Hohaia, the third player to be tried at stand-off already for Saints this season due to injuries, powered over by the posts off a pass from his half-back partner for the night, Jon Wilkin. Lomax added his solitary conversion of the first half.
Warrington almost responded immediately as fit-again Michael Monaghan charged down a Wilkin kick and released Ben Westwood with a flick pass. Saints regrouped and Warrington’s chance was lost as Ryan Atkins spilled the ball on the left.
The Wolves contributed to their own downfall by conceding two penalties in quick succession prior to Saints’ third try, which featured a looping pass from Lomax for Meli to score in the corner.
Warrington, still missing the inspiration of Lee Briers, were unable to apply any significant pressure. They spurned two good chances when Monaghan knocked on at close range and Chris Riley failed to gather a Richie Myler pass.
The hosts at last gave themselves some hope in the final minute of the first half as Myler connected with one of his long-range specials and Bridge found room to touch down out wide.
Warrington started the second period well but found the Saints defence in resolute mood.
The visitors went close to punishing Warrington further when substitute Joe Greenwood forced his way through but the video referee ruled he was held up.
Saints were unable to reprise some of their expansive play of the first half yet inched further ahead when Lomax landed a penalty on the hour.
Warrington pressed in hope of forcing their way back into the match but Saints continued to hold firm. The contest was effectively ended 10 minutes from time when Chris Hill lost the ball in a tackle from Anthony Laffranchi and Roby raced through and behind the posts.
Lomax added the extras and although Bridge gave the most optimistic home fans some hope with Brett Hodgson converting, the result was never in doubt.
ting, the result was never in doubt.
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