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Match Report

Saints v Wolves

A BRAVE second half fightback wasn't enough as Saints went down 48-22 to Warrington at the Magic Weekend.

Down 30-10 at the break they pulled to within eight points and had the Wolves on the rack before Trent Waterhouse poached late on.

Saints created enough chances after a first half they'd want to forget but left themselves with far too much to do.

Lee Briers was impervious at half back as was Stefan Ratchford at 1 and they both inspired the Wolves.

But Saints got a foothold in the match when Ade Gardner and Jordan Turner got it back to 12-10.

Yet, they let that momentum shift slip and the Wolves became too dominant.

The second half was a different story as Turner and Lance Hohaia sparked a revival but ultimately it fell short.

With Paul Wellens missing through injury, Lance Hohaia moved to full back, Tony Puletua moved up to prop to replace Josh Perry whilst Josh Jones came in at loose forward.

Warrington welcomed back Adrian Morley on the bench whilst fit again Lee Briers was fit to face his former employers.

One of Saints' problems this season has been starting well and that was once again evident as Warrington scored with their first chance of the match.

Jon Wilkin's grubber within his own 20 - in the second minute - was collected by Simon Grix and Chris Riley touched down in the corner.

Moments later a chip to the corner by Stefan Ratchford was pounced upon by Ryan Atkins.

Ratchford converting once more.

Bennie Westwood had a chance to increase the lead further on eight minutes and then Tommy Makinson did well to collect in goal and stop another opportunity.

A great kick from Jordan Turner had the Wolves on their heels on 14 minutes and then a good clearing boot from Saints forced a drop out.

And from there, they kept the ball alive and some phenomenal offloads from Willie Manu and Sia Soliola saw Ade Gardner get over in the corner.

Tommy Makinson slotting the conversion over from the touchline.

It had taken 25 minutes but Saints were finally on the front foot and the second try duly followed - a great ball from Nathan Ashe catching Jordan Turner on a magnificent line.

Makinson hitting the post as he attempted to level.

Warrington hit back when Chris Riley profited from a superb Simon Grix break to make it 16-10.

And Ratchford bagged his third conversion to stretch the Wolves' advantage to eight points.

Saints weathered another couple of strong sets but Lee Briers got the benefit of the doubt when the defence looked clearly impeded to increase the advantage.

And on the stroke of half time Trent Waterhouse finished off an excellent move.

It went without saying that Saints needed a strong start to the second half and they had an early opportunity when they pinned Warrington back on their own line.

Mark Percival's chip forced an error from the impressive Ratchford - and Wilkin chipped to Turner for Saints' third score.

And with 20 minutes to go Saints had cut the lead to just eight points.

Ade Gardner pinned his ears back after a great Jordan Turner offload, the ball went inside to Josh Jones who duly put Lance Hohaia under the posts.

The game was there for the taking if Saints could have made their last tackle options count.

But they couldn't and Waterhouse latched on to Briers' pass with less than eight minutes to go to kill off the comeback.

Simon Grix and Adrian Morley capping the win with late tries.

Match Summary:

Saints:
Tries: Gardner, Turner (2), Hohaia
Goals: Makinson (3 from 4)

Wolves:
Tries: Riley (2), Atkins, Briers, Waterhouse (2), Grix, Morley
Goals: Ratchford (8 from 8)

Penalties:
Saints: 1
Wolves: 3

HT: 10-30
FT: 22-48

REF: Phil Bentham

ATT: 30973

Teams:

Saints:

6. Lance Hohaia; 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Jordan Turner, 30. Mark Percival, 21. Tom Makinson; 23. Nathan Ashe, 12. Jon Wilkin; 11. Tony Puletua, 36. Stuart Howarth, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 4. Sia Soliola, 13. Willie Manu, 19. Josh Jones.
Subs: 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 16. Paul Clough, 25. Alex Walmsley, 33. Luke Thompson.

Wolves:

19. Stefan Ratchford; 2. Chris Riley, 15. Simon Grix, 4. Ryan Atkins, 5. Joel Monaghan; 6. Lee Briers, 7. Richie Myler; 16. Paul Wood, 14. Micky Higham, 18. Chris Hill, 11. Trent Waterhouse, 12. Ben Westwood, 17. Mike Cooper.
Subs: 8. Adrian Morley, 9. Michael Monaghan, 10. Garreth Carvell, 24. Ben Currie.