- Match Centre
SAINTS notched up a comfortable home win as they beat Bradford Bulls 30-18
Nathan Brown's men scored five tries - and could have had a lot more - as they recorded the ‘double' over their Yorkshire rivals and got into the Play Off places.
The home side led 18-6 at half time as four-pointers from Willie Manu, Tommy Makinson and Sia Soliola gave them a good lead.
But their blistering handling and speed around the ruck should have yielded more points.
Bradford though, to their credit, stuck at their task and kept a rampant home back line at bay.
In the second half, Josh Jones increased the advantage with a 60 yard dart before Matty Blythe pulled one back.
Elliot Kear gave the Bulls a real chance with 10 to go but less than a minute later Jon Wilkin notched his second of the season - and made the win safe.
Saints looked more balanced from the off with Jonny Lomax in for his first game since mid-March.
And his introduction, alongside the likes of James Roby, Paul Wellens, Gareth O'Brien and Jon Wilkin, made all the difference.
Saints almost unlocked the Bulls on their first set when Roby made a break and fed Wilkin. But Wilko's pass to the supporting Paul Wellens went to ground.
Jonny Lomax was then twice involved in a move that almost put Saints ahead.
Michael Platt pulled off a wonder tackle on Tommy Makinson on seven minutes that denied a certain score - but moments later Willie Manu burrowed over from close range.
And it was nothing less than Saints deserved after a sprightly opening 10 minutes - Gareth O'Brien making it 6-0 with the conversion.
Saints were looking to offload on almost every play and it was paying off - Bradford forced on to the back foot.
On 20 minutes Saints were further ahead. Lomax combined with Jordan Turner to send Tommy Makinson crashing over in the corner.
O'Brien off the touchline for 12-0.
Saints were attacking from all areas of the pitch; showing the fans they were more than capable of scintillating passing at speed.
But the scoreline wasn't increased and a fantastic offload from Adam Sidlow after the Bulls had three sets on Saints line saw Brett Kearney cut the lead to six.
Josh Jones was unlucky not to cross three minutes later after Saints kept the ball alive on the last.
Saints weren't left to rue the chance though as hot handling found the space for Sia Soliola to show all his strength - O'Brien adding his third goal of the afternoon.
Saints went in 18-6 to the good at half time, but began the second a little scratchy.
Bradford had a nice couple of sets on the home line, but a loose pass saw Josh Jones race 60 metres for his third of the season.
O'Brien perfect with the boot once more.
Willie Manu and Jordan Turner almost fashioned a chance for James Roby on 55 minutes and seconds later Lomax was inches short.
Bradford piled on the pressure once more though and Matty Blythe crossed.
And with less than ten to go Elliot Kear leapt like a salmon to get the Bulls right in it. It was a controversial one though - with a hint of a knock on.
But it made no difference as Jon Wilkin powered over a minute later.
Bradford rallied at the end as Saints didn't respect the ball enough - yet anything less than a home win in great conditions would have been a travesty.
Tries: Manu, Makinson, Soliola, Jones, Wilkin
Goals: O'Brien (5 from 5)
Tries: Kearney, Blythe, Kear
Goals: Gale (3 from 3)
REF: Thierry Alibert
1. Paul Wellens; 21. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 19. Josh Jones, 5. Francis Meli; 7. Jonny Lomax, 37. Gareth O'Brien; 11. Tony Puletua, 9. James Roby, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 4. Sia Soliola, 13. Willie Manu, 12. Jon Wilkin.
Subs: 16. Paul Clough, 25. Alex Walmsley, 28. Jordan Hand, 36. Stuart Howarth.
1. Brett Kearney; 5. Elliot Kear, 4. Matty Blythe, 3. Keith Lulia, 18. Michael Platt; 19. Danny Addy, 7. Luke Gale; 8. Nick Scruton, 9. Heath L'Estrange, 13. Jamie Langley, 11. John Bateman, 16. Tom Olbison, 21. James Donaldson.
Subs: 14. Matt Diskin, 23. Ben Evans, 24. Oliver Roberts, 27. Adam Sidlow.