Saints Tether Broncos

SAINTS cruised to a 30-0 win over London Broncos at Langtree Park to all but cement their place in the top four.

Paul Wellens and Mark Flanagan both grabbed braces as Mike Rush’s men ended the regular season home campaign on a high.

Saints led 10-0 after a dour first half thanks to tries from Tony Puletua and Flanagan.

But they upped the ante in the second with Flanagan netting his second after Jonny Lomax chipped through before  Wellens added another to his impressive total.

The full back then clocked his 23rd of the year before Anthony Laffranchi scored right on the hooter.

Continuity was the name of the game as Saints made only two changes from the team that beat Castleford – Jon Wilkin and Josh Jones both returning from injury whilst Chris Flannery and Michael Shenton missed out.

Ade Gardner making his comeback in the under 20s competition.

Saints got off to the greatest possible start when Tony Puletua took a ball at pace to crash under the posts.

Lomax goaled then London almost snatched one back when Luke Dorn put one up to the air – Wellens excellently quelling the danger.

On 17 minutes Kieran Dixon put the Broncos is a great position as he took a tap on his 20 after a Saints error and scooted 60 metres.

From there, the visitors were awarded a penalty but they failed to play the ball correctly.

James Roby sent Jonny Lomax away on 25 minutes but he was hauled in before Lance Hohaia – who really put himself about in defence and attack – sent a ball over to Francis Meli that he just couldn’t take in.

But there were too many penalties from either side for the game to build up any momentum before Saints finally profited from one.

This time Lomax flew at the line and drew defenders all around him before slipping out a nice pass to Mark Flanagan.

In the second half, a great break from Francis Meli had him ankle tapped as he just looked to put distance between himself and the defence.

But Saints were soon on the board when Lomax’ innocuous kick had Flanagan in for his second.

Paul Wellens then grabbed his 22nd of the season as he showed the strength of a prop forward to burrow over from close range.

Lomax missing both conversion attempts.

Paul Wellens notched his second on the hour mark after Puletua’s great inside ball, goaled by Wheeler.

The game was effectively over as a contest by then and although both sides had pressure it was only Saints that realistically looked like scoring.

And they did just that on the hooter; Lomax feeding Anthony Laffranchi under the posts.

A massive point’s swing now on the final weekend of regular fixtures is the only way Saints would be denied a top four finish.

And that would be a superb position after being shackled out of the playoff places earlier in the season.

Match Summary:

Tries: Puletua, Flanagan (2), Wellens (2), Laffranchi
Goals: Lomax (1 from 4), Wheeler (2 from 2)


Saints: 11
Broncos: 12

HT: 10-0
FT: 30-0

REF: Richard Silverwood

ATT: 13262


1. Paul Wellens; 21. Tommy Makinson, 17. Gary Wheeler, 26. Josh Jones, 5. Francis Meli; 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Jonny Lomax; 8. Josh Perry, 9. James Roby, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 4. Sia Soliola, 11. Tony Puletua, 12. Jon Wilkin.
Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Paul Clough, 19. Andy Dixon.

5. Michael Robertson; 21. Kieran Dixon, 3. Jamie O’Callaghan, 4. David Howell, 23. Omari Caro; 1. Luke Dorn, 7. Craig Gower; 8. Antonio Kaufusi, 9. Chad Randall, 30. Scott Wheeldon, 31. Will Lovell, 13. Tony Clubb, 22. Ben Bolger.
Subs: 10. Mark Bryant, 14. Julien Rinaldi, 18. Olsi Krasniqi, 32. Mike McMeeken.

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