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Saturday 10th September 2011, 15:00 - Round:27
|Karl Temata, Karl Pryce, Jamie O'Callaghan,||T||Tom Armstrong 3, Lee Gaskell, Scott Hale, Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook,|
Luke Gale 2,
Thomas Makinson 5,
Attendance: 3,546 Official: T Roby Venue: Twickenham Stoop Stadium
Tom Armstrong ran in a hat-trick of tries as St Helens staged a second-half rally to down Harlequins RL 34-16 at the Stoop.
The winger proved the difference as Saints, who were trailing 12-4 at the break, cashed in with five second half tries to go into the play-offs on a high.
Saints, already assured of third spot in the final table, elected to rest a host of regulars and gave prop Carl Forster for his Engage Super League debut.
The Londoners did not have that luxury, but were pressing for a surprise double having beaten their opponents on the road earlier this campaign.
An early Paul Wellens fumble allowed the hosts the early advantage, but they were unable to make a number of thrusts close to the line count.
The visitors, with former Quin Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook in their line-up, were showing plenty of application despite in effect having nothing to play for.
And Saints took the lead on 11 minutes, Armstrong crossing in the corner after full-back Luke Dorn had spilled Lee Gaskell’s towering kick.
That score was cancelled out soon after though when Karl Pryce leapt highest to knock back Dorn’s cross kick, allowing Karl Temata to crash over.
The visitors should probably have regained the lead on 18 minutes, only for Wellens to spill what appeared to be a try-scoring pass.
Despite the obvious end-of-season feel there was some real intent from both sides, leading to an entertaining affair.
And the capital side were certainly up for the battle, repelling a wave of assaults on their line close to the half-hour mark.
Having held firm, Quins showed some attacking prowess of their own to stretch their lead as Pryce cantered in at the corner after excellent work from Andy Ellis on 29 minutes.
St Helens thought they were back in moments before the break, only for an adjudged forward pass to chalk off Armstrong’s score as he scampered over, and home winger Mark Calderwood then hauled down Gaskell as he looked to score right on the hooter.
But Quins were certainly good value for their advantage as the sides went in at the break.
Saints poured on the pressure after the restart and despite some strong defence the visitors eventually claimed their second try, Gaskell scurrying through to touch down his own grubber.
The away side now had their tails up and suddenly the Londoners were being pinned near their own sticks.
That pressure was to tell when St Helens regained the lead on 57 minutes, neat passing along the line allowing Armstrong a clear run to the line.
There was no let-up from Royce Simmons’ men and Scott Hale was the next to score, crashing over from close range as the visitors opened up a 10-point gap.
By now it was a case of how many and Armstrong helped himself to his third on 67 minutes as the Quins defence fell apart.
The hosts did briefly rally when Jamie O’Callaghan touched down, only for McCarthy-Scarsbrook to quickly cancel that out.
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