Saints Fall Short

A STIRRING and brave second half comeback wasn’t enough as Saints went down 29-16 at Langtree Park.

In front of packed stadium, they overturned scored 16 unanswered points but agonisingly couldn’t drag it level.

The damage was done in the first half as Warrington raced to a 22-0 lead within 26 minutes.

Lee Briers was at his imperious best as he dragged his side around the park and had a hand in their first two tries.

His kick to Joel Monaghan was class and further scores from Rhys Evans, Mickey Higham and Trent Waterhouse underlined their dominance.

But Saints clawed their way back into it and tries from Jordan Turner and Adam Swift gave them a big say in the destination of the two points.

Jonny Lomax dragged Saints right back into it on 57 minutes as Saints pummelled the Wolves’ line.

But a Briers’ drop goal took the visitors’ lead to seven points and that took the sting out of the home side’s recovery.

Saints – with only one change from the side that beat Warrington – got off to a slow start and found themselves under pressure on both their opening sets.

And it was Briers who capitalised, chipping early in their second set to Joel Monaghan who plucked the ball out of the air and touched down

It was hardly the best start for Saints who looked ponderous under the Wolves ‘in your face’ defence.

And it got worse – Rhys Evans scoring on Warrington’s next set as the visitor’s broke down the middle.

Saints forced a dropout on ten minutes after Stuart Howarth improvised on the last but the Wolves quelled the danger.

And five minutes later Mickey Higham was adjudged to have put the ball down after a high ball and a number of ricochets – but it seemed pretty harsh on Saints.

Ratchford adding the second of his conversions.

Saints were struggling to make any headway but did force a drop out when Jordan Turner jarred the ball loose with a massive hit.

But the ball went to ground seconds later and on 23 minutes Rhys Evans was within inches of getting his second.

Saints didn’t heed the warning and within a minute Simon Grix set up Trent Waterhouse with the easiest of grubbers.

The home side needed something big and they got it on 29 minutes. They forced a knock on and Jordan Turner produced a powerful run to get Saints on the board.

Jonny Lomax converting.

Saints continued to pile on the pressure but were guilty of overplaying at times whilst Warrington’s pack tackling rocked them on their heels.

But as the half time hooter got ready to sound, fast hands saw the ball go left through Sia Soliola, Lomax and Francis Meli for Adam Swift to cross.

In the second half Saints won the ball back from the kick off and Hohaia was inches away.

Jonny Lomax looked to be hit high by Mike Cooper and then another high shot on Alex Walmsley was ignored.

But Warrington got a penalty of their own and Saints had to be very sharp to quell a Briers’ chip.

Three penalties though landed Saints right on Warrington’s line and they sandwiched a repeat set too.

Hohaia was held up over the line but Lomax made no mistake as he took a wonderful Manu pass to underline Saints’ dominance of the second half.

Lomax converting from the touchline to make it a six point game.

Saints chanced their arm a couple of times to get on level terms but couldn’t find a way through – and Briers extended the lead by a point on 66 minutes.

That took the pace out of the game and try as they might, the home side just couldn’t find a way back.

Garreth Carvell crossing late on.

Match Summary:

Tries: Turner, Swift, Lomax
Goals: Lomax (2 from 3)

Tries: Monaghan. J, Evans, Higham, Waterhouse, Carvell
Goals: Ratchford (4 from 5)
Drop: Briers

Saints: 8
Wolves: 6

HT: 10-22
FT: 16-29

REF: Richard Silverwood

ATT: 14759



7. Jonny Lomax; 21. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Francis Meli, 26. Adam Swift; 12. Jon Wilkin, 6. Lance Hohaia; 11. Tony Puletua, 36. Stuart Howarth, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 19. Josh Jones, 27. Anthony Walker, 13. Willie Manu.
Subs: 1. Paul Wellens, 4. Sia Soliola, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 25. Alex Walmsley.


19. Stefan Ratchford; 2. Chris Riley, 3. Chris Bridge, 20. Rhys Evans, 5. Joel Monaghan; 6. Lee Briers, 15. Simon Grix; 18. Chris Hill, 14. Micky Higham, 16. Paul Wood, 11. Trent Waterhouse, 12. Ben Westwood, 13. Ben Harrison.
Subs: 8. Adrian Morley, 9. Michael Monaghan, 10. Garreth Carvell, 17. Mike Cooper.

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