Saints Impress At Rochdale

SAINTS impressed as they beat Rochdale 62-6 on the road this afternoon, writes Graham Henthorne.

The visitors’ line-up featured all but one player who had progressed through the Club’s Academy system.

The fact that many of the Saints side hail from the Rochdale/Oldham area and that the likes of Anthony Walker, Joe Greenwood, Jordan Hand Gary Wheeler, Tommy Makinson and especially Carl Forster spent varying degrees of time playing for the Hornets last year added some extra spice to the game.

With Wheeler running the show the Saints were first on the attack as Connor Dwyer, playing in the unaccustomed hooking role, was held short.

But it was left to Matty Fleming, continuing where he left off from his highly successful tour Down Under, to open the scores after 9 minutes. Dwyer’s burst down the middle, found Makinson in support and as he was tackled the full back flung the ball out right where the supporting Fleming picked up swivelling out of the tackle to score. Lewis Charnock kicked the first of his eight imperious goals from nine attempts and the Saints were on their way.

Ade Gardner showed that he’s lost none of his spring as he scored a trademark try leaping high to take the ball from Makinson’s cross kick. This after quick hands had put Lewis Galbraith (pictured) free down the left.

Ant Walker scored the Saints third as a lucky rebound on the last was re-gathered by Charnock and two tackles later Walker was side stepping his way over from close range.

The game was put beyond the hosts reach as Saints continued their relentless point a minute barrage with a try from Paul Clough under the posts.

The last scoring of the half was left to Charnock as he crowned a great personal display ghosting untouched through a hole down the right.

The half time interval couldn’t come quick enough for Ian Talbot and his Hornets giving them a chance to regroup but for the Saints they couldn’t wait for the second half to start.

Having said that, it was the home team who finally gave their supporters something to warm their hands on this chilly day as they scored through full back Wayne English who pounced on a delightful grubber to the sticks.

The response was immediate as the Saints drove downfield, moved the ball from left to right and scored as Makinson handed off a would be tackler before beating the cover to the corner.

Ade Gardner scored his second again out jumping his opposite number to Charnock’s cross kick.

Jordan Hand almost followed in his fellow prop’s footsteps only to be denied the try being held up over the line. But from the play the ball the ball was moved right for Lewis Galbraith to go over.

The tries kept coming as the Saints showed no mercy to their hosts.

Galbraith set up the first with another 40 metre run down the line. From the play the ball Olly Davies found Jack Ashworth and the centre stepped into the corner.

Then the winger scored the try of the day going 80 metres for a fabulous solo effort. He took the ball in his own 20, sat his opposite number on his backside with a great handoff before cutting inside standing the cover up with a little shimmy then showed a clean pair of heels to outpace the cover to score by the sticks.

The icing on the cake was delivered by the Jarrod McCracken lookalike Jordan Tisdale who went in and out beating 2 to score in the corner.

The watching Saints coaching staff will have been very encouraged by the performances of all 19 today. The way the half backs controlled the game. The way the ball was zipped out to the flanks. The way the forwards continually put their counterparts on the back foot epitomised by the class of Joe Greenwood and the 40 metre burst from Carl Forster against their old team mates.

Next for the Saints is the long trip to Whitehaven next Sunday for the final warm-up game before the season starts in earnest.

Match Summary:


Tries: Wayne English.

Goals: Paul Crook.

St Helens:

Tries: Tommy Makinson, Lewis Galbraith 2, Matty Fleming, Jack Ashworth, Ade Gardner 2, Lewis Charnock, Paul Clough, Anthony Walker, Jordan Tisdale.

Goals: Lewis Charnock 8, Tommy Makinson.

Half Time: 30-0

Full Time: 62-6



1. Wayne English; 2. Gareth Langley, 4. Danny Davies, 3. Dave Hull, 15. Benji Lloyd; 6. Paul Crook, 7. Ste Roper; 8. John Cookson, 23. James Dandy, 10. Warren Thompson, 11. Chris Baines, 24. Tony Suffolk, 26. Adam Bowman.

Subs: 12. Alex Trumper, 13. Jordan Case, 14. Sean Casey, 18. Matty Crow, 20. Joe Bate, 22. Mike Ratu, 25. Ste Marsh, 27. Andrew Ball, 28. Kyle Buckley-Mayall, 30. Danny Waddy.


1. Tommy Makinson; 5. Ade Gardner, 3. Matty Fleming, 4. Jack Ashworth, 2. Lewis Galbraith; 6. Gary Wheeler, 7. Lewis Charnock; 22. Carl Forster, 19. Connor Dwyer, 10. Paul Clough, 11. Alex Clare, 12. Joe Greenwood, 27. Anthony Walker.

Subs: 8. Jordan Hand, 15. Olly Davies, 17. Jordan Tisdale, 20. Dave Hewitt, 24. Ross McAuley, 32. James Tilley.

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