SAINTS won their first game in six matches with a classy 46-6 demolition of Leeds Rhinos.The confidence issue of recent weeks vanished in a performance of real class, power and pace to rip the Super League Champions apart.Highlight-reel braces for Jonny Lomax and Ade Gardner told only half the story as one to seventeen on the park could rightly be called heroes.Saints totally dominated the first half and deservedly led 24-0.A double from Lomax, who looked a yard quicker than he has done all season, Ade Gardner and Gary Wheeler blitzed the Rhinos.It was nothing less than the home side deserved though as the events of the past week clearly had fired them up.Tony Puletua ran like a man possessed whilst the new half back partnership of Lance Hohaia and Lomax released all its potential.Paul Wellens, Wheeler and Josh Perry were also on fire but it was the added impetus of James Roby that made all the difference.Paul Wellens bagged his 191th try in the Red Vee early in the second half whilst Zak Hardaker pulled one back for Leeds – but there did seem to be a hint of a forward pass.Ade Gardner then sped in to finish off a great attacking play to move Saints past 40 points for the first time this season.Saints made a strong start to the match gaining good territory and forcing Leeds on the back foot.And on their next set they scored – the returning James Roby showing what Saints had been missing. He took a bouncing ball and improvised on the last tackle with a boot to the corner on the run.Ade Gardner set off in chase and out-jumped Ryan Hall to get Saints on the board.Lomax converting.From the restart Saints got into Leeds’ 20 and forced a drop out. Five tackles later Robes found a jinking Lomax and he made it 10-0.Soon after it was 12-0 as Lomax tagged on the extras.Moments later it was 18-0. Roby broke down the centre, found Wilkin who had Gary Wheeler on his shoulder.Lomax three from three.Saints couldn’t have asked for a better start and the Langtree Park faithful were basking in the sun and the entertainment on display.And on twenty minutes they scored again. Anthony Laffranchi produced an unbelievable offload in the middle of the park, Puletua found a gap, fed Wellens who had Lomax in support.Lomax taking his tally to 16 points with his fourth conversion.Saints continued to dominate and were unlucky not to stretch their lead when Roby was held up just short on the last.And a chip to the corner with five minutes to go was well fielded under pressure by Ryan Hall.That pressure continued in the second half with Leeds fourth drop out of the match; and Saints’ fifth try.Once again they keep the ball alive and as it came left Paul Wellens ignored his support, cut back inside and danced over.Lomax five from five.Ben Jones-Bishop had a try disallowed for a knock on but Zak Hardaker did sneak through in the 53nd minute.But Lance Hohaia bagged his first for the club 13 minutes later to deny any chance of a comeback and then Gardner grabbed his second after a superb Jon Wilkin break.Gary Wheeler added his second off a fine team move as the clock ticked down to polish off a great night’s work.This was a great confidence booster for a team that lacked the confidence to play like they should in recent weeks – and Saints now can look to the Derbies against Warrington and Wigan with renewed vigour.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Gardner (2), Lomax (2), Wheeler (2), Wellens, HohaiaGoals: Lomax (7 from 8)Rhinos:Tries: HardakerGoals: Sinfield (1 from 1)Penalties:Saints: 2Leeds: 1HT: 24-0FT: 46-6REF: Phil BenthamATT: 15199Teams:Saints:1. Paul Wellens; 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Michael Shenton, , 5. Francis Meli, 17. Gary Wheeler; 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Jonny Lomax; 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 9. James Roby, 8. Josh Perry, 13. Chris Flannery, 12. Jon Wilkin, 11. Tony Puletua.Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Paul Clough, 18. Shaun Magennis.Leeds:14. Lee Smith; 2. Ben Jones-Bishop, 3. Kallum Watkins, 4. Zak Hardaker, 5. Ryan Hall; 13. Kevin Sinfield, 7. Rob Burrow; 8. Kylie Leuluai, 9. Paul McShane, 10. Jamie Peacock, 18. Chris Clarkson, 15. Brett Delaney, 12. Carl Ablett.Subs: 17. Ian Kirke, 20. Darrell Griffin, 21. Richard Moore, 25. Stevie Ward.
WHEN Luke Thompson took to the field recently he became the seventh debutant from Saints Academy system this season.The 18-year-old, who made his bow on his birthday against London, joined Anthony Walker, Lewis Charnock, Jordan Hand, James Tilley, Dom Speakman and Mark Percival in donning the Red V this season.Add to that extended game time for Nathan Ashe, Adam Swift, Joe Greenwood and the continuing progress of Tom Makinson and Josh Jones – as well as Jonny Lomax – then the future is bright.Saints Head Coach Nathan Brown said: “The youngsters have been playing well and the experience they are gaining will be vital at towards the end of the season and the future too.“The best forward on the field last week was Luke Thompson; he was super and Mark Percival is playing well too. These things that are happening for the club are brilliant and that means the big picture will end up good.”You can back these young stars by taking advantage of our 5 Star package for the rest of the season.The club has launched a five-star ticket which means you can guarantee your spot at the matches against Bradford, Hull KR and London as well as the blockbusting derbies with Wigan and Warrington.And the ticket means you get five games for the price of four!We will also celebrate our armed forces on June 28 and the heritage of Rugby League on August 9.The fixtures included in this ticket are: Bradford (June 9), Hull KR (June 28), Wigan (July 22), London (August 9) and Warrington (August 30).You can buy this great ticket at the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or alternatively by logging on here.
The 21-year-old played 13 times in 2017, scoring twice and knocking over two drop goals.“Pre-season is good so far,” he said. “Of course it’s tough but we’re all working hard. We’ve had a lot of the ball this pre-season compared to others so I’ve got a good feeling we’re really going to hit the ground running.“Before that though, the focus is on a good pre-season and then playing well in the friendlies.“We’re still quite far away from those games but we want to start the season well and kick on from there.”Danny joined the club from Halton Hornets and like a number of his teammates, came through the Academy system at the Saints.He was part of the unbeaten Academy Championship side in 2016 and that form translated into a positive campaign last time out.“I’m looking forward to it,” he added. “I hope all the fans have a good Christmas and we all can’t wait to see them in the New Year.”Memberships for the 2018 season are now on sale. To find out more and join thousands of other like-minded fans who are Saints and Proud, click here.
The game with the Warriors will take place a 2pm at Robin Park.It’s second v third, a local derby, and the winner will face Leeds or Castleford in next Saturday’s Grand Final.Head Coach Mark Brennan said: “We are really looking forward to this one. We set a goal at the start of the season to finish in the top four and we have achieved that which is credit to the players and coaches who have worked hard over the last 10 months or so.“We have given ourselves an opportunity to play in the Grand Final next Saturday which is where we wanted to be. I am proud of this group and they deserve to be in the semi-finals.“We know the challenge Wigan will bring and we need to go out there and meet the challenge. Wigan will go into this game confident as they have played well this season and are a good, well coached side.“Amanda has done a great job this year with the Warriors and got them playing well. They are a tough and physical team and we have to make sure are ready.“It would be great if the fans could get over to Wigan to cheer us on.“Finally, congrats to the six players who have been called up into the England squad. It is just reward for their dedication all season and we’re all looking forward to seeing them in the test with France.”Saints 20-Woman Squad:Bex Wilson, Chantelle Crowl, Chloe Richardson, Claire Mullaney, Emily Rudge, Faye Gaskin, Isabelle Rudge, Jade Ward, Jodie Cunningham, Katie-May Williams, Leah Burke, Lizzie Gladman, Naomi Williams, Pip Birchall, Rebecca Rotheram, Roxy Mura, Sarah Lovejoy, Tara Jones, Vicky Whitfield, Zoe Harris.