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Match Report

Saints v Vikings

SAINTS fell to their fifth defeat in row as Widnes ran in six tries to win 35-28 at Langtree Park.

The damage was done in the first half when the Vikings hit back from 12-6 down with 22 unanswered points.

It started well for the home side as they led 6-0 and 12-6 before poor defence saw them 28-12 down at half time.

Jack Owens had a field day on the right hand side and popped up for two tries whilst Jon Clarke directed them around the park.

Luke Thompson scored on his debut and Anthony Laffranchi latched on to a great Nathan Ashe kick but that was about as good as it got.

In the second half, Ade Gardner got Saints rolling once more but Joe Mellor replied to stem the fightback.

Tony Puletua pulled Saints to within 12 as they hit the final ten minutes but Danny Craven landed a drop goal to end the contest. Alex Walmsley adding a try at the death.

Saints welcomed back Ade Gardner, Josh Perry and Willie Manu into the 17 but Sia Soliola missed out with a dead leg.

Josh Jones was named at stand-off but moved into the centres with Joe Greenwood on the other side.

Saints got off to the best possible start when Tony Puletua ran it on the last, offloaded to Luke Thompson who looked covered but broke free for a try on his home debut.

Tommy Makinson converting.

But in the tenth minute a penalty was given away, the defence hesitated and Ste Pickersgill replied.

Jack Owens levelling it up with the boot.

Saints brushed off the disappointment though and within five minutes they were back ahead.

Stuart Howarth took on the line, flung the ball out to Ashe who put in a brilliant kick for the chasing Anthony Laffranchi to put down.

Makinson 100 per cent with the boot.

Joe Greenwood had one chalked off for obstruction on 20 minutes and then Widnes forced a drop out.

And from there they profited; Jack Owens avoiding the would be tacklers to get the Vikings back in it and then converting his own try for 12-12.

Greenwood then had a great chance to get Saints back in front but he opted to offload the ball inside of passing inside.

And that chance was punished when after four sets on Saints line; Jon Clarke sped onto the ball to put the Vikings ahead.

It got worse moments later too as Stefan Marsh profited from Joe Mellor's break to make it 22-12 to the visitors.

Owens getting his second with around 10 seconds to go in the half to give Widnes a 28-12 half time lead.

Nathan Ashe tried a high bomb in the first few moments of the second half but the away defence just about did enough.

Ade Gardner finished off a simple move on 47 minutes - goaled by Makinson off the touchline - and it should have been another score when Paul Wellens made a wonderful break in midfield from Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook's drive.

But Joe Mellor restored the advantage when he latched on to the easiest of kick-throughs from Brown.

Saints pushed for another try and were unlucky when they moved the ball right and Jones' pass went into touch - clearly off a Widnes hand.

But Alex Walmsley's wonder run and pass set up Tony Puletua for his third of the season.

It was too little too late though and Danny Craven tagged on a drop goal with less than five minutes to go to seal the win.

Walmsley with a late consolation.

Match Summary:

Saints:
Tries: Thompson, Laffranchi, Gardner, Puletua, Walmsley
Goals: Makinson (4 from 5)

Vikings:
Tries: Pickersgill, Owens (2), Clarke, Marsh, Mellor
Goals: Owens (4 from 5), Craven (1 from 1)

Drop: Craven

Penalties:
Saints: 5
Vikings: 6

HT: 12-28
FT: 22-35

REF: Robert Hicks

ATT: 11438

Teams:

Saints:

21. Tom Makinson; 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Jordan Turner, 24. Joe Greenwood, 30. Mark Percival; 19. Josh Jones, 23. Nathan Ashe; 8. Josh Perry, 36. Stuart Howarth, 11. Tony Puletua, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 33. Luke Thompson, 1. Paul Wellens.
Subs: 6. Lance Hohaia, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 13.Willie Manu, 25. Alex Walmsley.

Vikings:

26. Jack Owens; 20. Paddy Flynn, 4. Stefan Marsh, 3. Cameron Phelps, 15. Chris Dean; 6. Kevin Brown, 14. Joe Mellor; 10. Steve Pickersgill, 9. Jon Clarke, 16. Eamon O'Carroll, 22. Gareth Hock, 11. Frank Winterstein, 12. Dave Allen.
Subs: 17. Ben Kavanagh, 18. Lloyd White, 21. Danny Craven, 23. Phil Joseph.