Walsh Inspires Saints

SAINTS got their season off to the best possible start with a strong and ultimately comfortable 38-8 win at Warrington.

Led superbly around the pitch by Luke Walsh, who was simply a class apart on his debut, they took the Wolves apart and underlined their title credentials.

Nathan Brown wouldn’t have such talk after the game of course, but anyone watching couldn’t fail to be impressed by this new look Saints.

The damage was done in the first half when his side led 20-4 at the break.

After Joel Monaghan had punished an early error, the visitors clicked up a gear and were ruthless.

Tommy Makinson took Jordan Turner’s wonder pass before Gary Wheeler’s quick feet found space for James Roby.

And debutant Kyle Amor got the benefit of the doubt when he put down with players around him.

Anthony Laffranchi profited from a mistake within the first minute of the second half and that was that until the Wolves got on the board with ten minutes to go.

There was time for more tries though; Adam Swift finishing off a quick move on the left and a lovely intercept from Luke Walsh.

With the number 7 already beginning his route to cult status at the club after just one match, his partner Gary Wheeler was also accomplished at 6.

But from the first minute you would have never expected such a swing to occur at full time.

Saints got off to the worst possible start when Willie Manu knocked on and Joel Monaghan flew over in the corner.

Stefan Ratchford missing the conversion.

Walsh and Jon Wilkin’s kicks then got Saints back into it in terms of field position and then they almost profited when the former had Tommy Makinson within inches.

The winger made no mistake the second time round though taking a wonderful Jordan Turner pass to plunge over in the corner on 13 minutes.

Four minutes later it got better. The Wolves were penalised on the halfway line, Jonny Lomax went close and then superb feet from Gary Wheeler on the last found James Roby in space.

Walsh two from from with the boot.

And that man’s boot lined up Saints again – a 70 metre kick giving his side a 40:20.

From that set, Kyle Amor burrowed over for an opportunistic try; given the benefit of the doubt by the video referee.

Jordan Turner was having a ball down the right hand side and almost ripped the Wolves to shreds again when he caught them napping on the angle.

Percival found himself within a foot with around 10 minutes to go but less than two minutes later it was all Warrington.

A Sia Soliola high tackle and offside landed more sets for the home side but they found the Saints defence too mean.

Another high tackle – this time from Jon Wilkin – had Saints on the back foot again but Walsh was on hand to quell Michael Monaghan’s chip.

And that’s how the half ended; Saints defence too good.

There was even time for Walsh to underline the visitor’s first half dominance with a penalty on 38 minutes to send his side in 20-4 up at the break.

In the second half, Wilkin charged down a kick in the first minute and Adam Swift went within inches.

Another drive saw Walmsley almost get on the board and then it was left for Anthony Laffranchi to crash over.

It was a class start to the second half and just what Saints needed as Warrington clearly came out charged up.

Both sides then exchanged penalties and the odd chance but little in the way of quality play.

In fact, Saints looked content with holding the Wolves off in their own half whilst the home side were struggling to break them down.

And when they did – Higham getting through in the 63rd minute, both Lomax and Turner were on hand to deny a certain score.

Warrington did grab a try when Gareth O’Brien’s kick hit the post, bounced back and he fed it to Joel Monaghan for his second.

But it was always Saints night and Adam Swift bagged another as the clock ticked down and Luke Walsh capped a excellent night with an interception from Benny Westwood.

Match Summary:


Tries: Monaghan. J (2)

Goals: Ratchford (0 from1), O’Brien (0 from 1)

Tries: Makinson, Roby, Amor, Laffranchi, Swift, Walsh

Goals: Walsh (7 from 7)

Wolves: 9

Saints: 7

HT: 20-4

FT: 38-8

REF: Phil Bentham

ATT: 13,157



6. Stefan Ratchford; 2. Chris Riley, 3. Chris Bridge, 4. Ryan Atkins, 5. Joel Monaghan; 14. Michael Monaghan, 7. Richie Myler; 8. Chris Hill, 9. Micky Higham, 10. Roy Asotasi, 11. Trent Waterhouse, 12. Ben Westwood, 17. Ben Currie.

Subs: 20. Gareth O’Brien, 21. Glenn Riley, 23. James Laithwaite, 25. Ben Evans.


1. Jonny Lomax; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift, 22. Mark Percival; 24. Gary Wheeler, 7. Luke Walsh; 16. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 18. Alex Walmsley, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Willie Manu, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.

Subs: 4. Josh Jones, 11. Sia Soliola, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 17. Paul Wellens.

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