Saints Felled By Vikings

A YOUTHFUL Saints put in a brave show but ultimately went down 40-26 at Widnes on Easter Monday.

Missing several first team regulars and handing a debut to Matty Fozard, Nathan Brown’s side refused to roll over and almost set up a barnstorming finish to a real topsy turvy clash.

Late tries from Tommy Makinson – his 12th in eight games – and Lance Hohaia kept the game alive right until the last few minutes but Macgraff Leuluai sealed it late on.

The problem for Saints was once again a poor start.

The hosts raced to a 18-4 lead but tries from Mose Masoe and Paul Wellens made it game on at half time.

Rhys Hanbury notched his brace four minutes into the second and then Paddy Flynn gave Saints a mountain to climb.

Tommy Makinson replied but Chris Dean’s try 15 from time was the killer blow.

Lance Hohaia finished off Gary Wheeler’s break to give the home side some nervous moments but Leuluai ensured Saints would have a winless Easter.

With one eye on Saturday’s Challenge Cup tie – and with a number of bodies battered and bruised –  Saints made a number of changes from the side that lost to Wigan on Friday.

Hohaia moved to full back with Paul Wellens and Jon Wilkin partnering in the halves. Academy product Matty Fozard made his debut at hooker – becoming yet another youngster from Saints wonderful talent line to make the step up.

Brown had called for Saints to start their games better after the loss to Wigan and his charges did the exact opposite once again.

A strong defensive set from the visitors was wiped out when Lance Hohaia failed to deal with a high ball and was trapped in-goal.

From there, a big run from Kevin Brown saw him poke his way through the line and off-load to Rhys Hanbury who had a simple gallop to the line.

Tickle make it 6-0 and then two penalties put them in prime territory again.

But Saints defended three sets to keep their line intact.

Wilkin’s chip to the corner on 17 minutes had Widnes on the back foot and then the Vikings almost went the full length with some great passing play to increase their lead.

Saints were slowly working their way back into the match and putting some pressure on the home side’s line.

But Willie Isa crossed after Wellens was caught offside from a high bomb to make it 12-0.

Saints hit back on 27 minutes. 

Andre Savelio rampaged down the middle to get within inches of the sticks. The ball was then fed left and Sia Soliola got on outside of the sliding cover to make no mistake.

Makinson hitting the post with the conversion from the touchline.

Saints had their tails up but a mistake right in their own 20 handed back the impetus. 

Kevin Brown, who had led Saints a merry dance throughout the half, found a simple pass for Alex Gerrard to crash over.

Tickle three from three with the boot.

Saints hit back once again after Phelps should have taken the game out of sight.

Josh Jones opened up the defence and had Makinson in support. The winger flew down the field, won a penalty, and then big Mose Masoe barged over.

Makinson making it an eight-point game with the boot.

Saints backed up within 60 seconds. Wilkin had knocked on from the restart but Widnes failed to deal with the drop out.

From the resultant set, Hohaia worked a great move with Wilkin and Wellens flew under the posts.

Makinson making it a two-point game as the half time hooter went.

Saints began the second half with a good set which had Widnes right back on their own line. 

But within couple of minutes Hanbury had ghosted through for his second and wiped out all the visitors’ good work ay the end of the first 40.

Flynn underlined that with a try on 52 minutes – even though it did have a hint of obstruction.

Saints forced a drop out on 57 minutes – but lost the ball – and then were handed another slice of luck when Widnes bombed a big chance.

Makinson replied with another one of his classic efforts in the 60th minute, before poor defence on the edge shanded the Vikings the killer try.

Chris Dean crossing against his former employers.

Lance Hohaia finished off a wonderful break from Gary Wheeler and then, with five minutes to go, Kevin Brown intercepted Soliola as he tried to put Wheels in.

Saints then had further chances but Macgraff Leuluai plunged over at the death to seal the victory.

It was harsh on a youthful Saints who gave their all and probably deserved a lot more.

Saints lost Matty Dawson to a fractured cheekbone in the match and he will be assessed this week.

Match Summary:


Tries: Hanbury (2), Isa, Gerrard, Flynn, Dean, Leuluai

Goals: Tickle (5 from 6), Owens (1 from 1)


Tries: Soliola, Masoe, Wellens, Makinson, Hohaia, 

Goals: Makinson (3 from 5)


Widnes: 5

Saints: 6

HT: 16-18

FT: 26-40

REF: James Child

ATT: 7706



1. Rhys Hanbury; 20. Paddy Flynn, 14. Chris Dean, 3. Cameron Phelps, 2. Jack Owens; 6. Kevin Brown, 28. Grant Gore; 10. Ben Kavanagh, 15. Lloyd White, 18. Paul Johnson, 17. Danny Galea, 12. Danny Tickle, 24. Macgraff Leuluai.

Subs: 13. Hep Cahill, 16. Willie Isa, 19. Adam Lawton, 25. Alex Gerrard.


6. Lance Hohaia; 2. Tommy Makinson, 4. Josh Jones, 24. Gary Wheeler, 26. Matty Dawson; 17. Paul Wellens, 12. Jon Wilkin; 8. Mose Masoe, 36. Matty Fozard, 25. Anthony Walker, 11. Sia Soliola, 23. Joe Greenwood, 28. Luke Thompson.

Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 29. Jordan Hand, 31. James Tilley, 33. Andre Savelio.

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