Saints Thrash Bulls

A HAT-trick from Jonny Lomax saw Saints to a comprehensive 36-10 win over Bradford at Odsal.

The youngster was inspirational as he guided his side to their best performance of the season.

Jon Wilkin and Gary Wheeler were imperious at half back too – with James Roby and a physical and mobile pack too much for the home side to handle.

That combination saw Saints dominate the first half and lead 26-0.

Lomax – at full back – stole the show with a brace as well as having a hand in Saints other scores.

In the second half, Bradford showed their hand first through Brett Kearney before Lomax clocked his hat-trick after great work from Roby and Francis Meli.

Ade Gardner tallied another but Elliot Kear had the last laugh with a consolation.

Saints made three changes from the side that drew with Hull FC last Friday. Lomax moved to full back in place of injured skipper Paul Wellens, Gary Wheeler made his first start of the season alongside Jon Wilkin in the halves and Mark Flanagan was named at loose forward.

Anthony Walker was also on the bench for his debut.

Bradford boss Francis Cummins brought James Donaldson in for his first start in a year and promoted former Salford prop Adam Sidlow to start.

From the Bulls’ kick off it was clear Saints were in no mood to be pushed over. A strong drive down the middle saw them win a penalty and then, following Jon Wilkin’s bomb, another set of six.

The ball was pushed right and when it came back inside Jonny Lomax scorched over for a great try.

Gary Wheeler missed the conversion but made up for it a minute later when he pulled off a crucial tackle to deny a Bulls’ attack.

Saints then increased the lead further. Willie Manu slipped off a tackle, fended another and then scooted round Brett Kearney like he wasn’t there.

Wheeler atoning for his earlier conversion miss to make it 10-0.

And on 14 minutes, number 14 increased the lead further. Great kicking from Wilkin saw Saints gain a repeat set and James Roby slipped Anthony Laffranchi in.

Sia Soliola was held up close to the line in 18 minutes but his huge drive, followed by Alex Walmsley’s effort, created the space for Lomax to jink and step his way to the line.

Lomax almost set up another after a fantastic run too – Bulls just about quelling the danger.

Bradford finally put some pressure on the Saints line on the back of a couple of penalties – but the home side bombed the chance of getting on the board.

Saints’ D was too good, but the wrong option was chosen by Matty Blythe with the line at the Bulls’ mercy.

And with four minutes to go, a superb half was rounded off. Saints battled to the Bulls line and with four players hanging off him, Tony Puletua twisted and turned and plunged over.

Wheeler making it 26-0.

Saints survived a late scare as the hooter went – Jamie Langley’s kick knocked on by Jarod Sammut.

Nathan Brown’s men began the first half on the front foot but couldn’t convert early pressure into points.

And a penalty to the home side gave the Bulls the perfect chance to reply – Brett Kearney collecting a fine offload to get his side underway.

Jamie Foster missing the two-pointer.

On 51 minutes a great kick and chase from Wilkin forced a drop out – but Saints couldn’t capitalise.

And on 56 minutes a forward pass denied Francis Meli another try and then both sides had real chances to get over once more.

With 15 to go the game was becoming scrappy and punctuated by far too many penalties.

But that period was ended with a try right out of the top drawer. Roby went on the blindside, fed Meli who turned it back inside for Jonny Lomax’s third.

Wheeler steaming it in off the touchline for his fourth conversion of the afternoon.

Ade Gardner notched his first of the campaign before Elliot Kear scored a late consolation for the homesters.

Match Summary:

Tries: Kearney, Kear
Goals: Foster (1 from 2)

Tries: Lomax (3), Manu, Laffranchi, Puletua, Gardner,
Goals: Wheeler (4 from 7)

Bulls: 7
Saints: 10

HT: 26-0
FT: 36-10

REF: Tim Roby

ATT: 8203



1. Brett Kearney; 5. Elliot Kear, 4. Matty Blythe, 3. Keith Lulia, 17. Jamie Foster; 19. Danny Addy, 6. Jarrod Sammut; 8. Nick Scruton, 14. Matt Diskin, 27. Adam Sidlow, 16. Tom Olbison, 12. Elliot Whitehead, 15. Chev Walker.
Subs: 9. Heath L’Estrange, 10. Manase Manuokafoa, 13. Jamie Langley, 21. James Donaldson.


7. Jonny Lomax; 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Jordan Turner, 19. Josh Jones, 5. Francis Meli; 17. Gary Wheeler, 12. Jon Wilkin; 11. Tony Puletua, 9. James Roby, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 13. Willie Manu, 4. Sia Soliola, 15. Mark Flanagan.
Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 24. Joe Greenwood, 25. Alex Walmsley, 27. Anthony Walker.

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