Saints Remain Top

DOMINANT Saints remain top of the Super League table following a crushing 40-16 win over Wakefield Wildcats.

Braces for Shannon McDonnell on debut, Tommy Makinson and Josh Jones underlined the victory but it was the performance of Jordan Turner that was the real highlight.

He led the line masterly in the loose-forward position whilst Mark Flanagan produced a competent display in the second row, at hooker and, when needed, at half back.

Saints led 12-6 at half time and probably should have been further ahead.

Tommy Makinson and Josh Jones put them into a commanding position, but Wakefield crossed right at the stroke of half time.

That sent the Wildcats in to the sheds buoyant but Saints tempered that with a try from Shannon McDonnell one minute into the second half.

Richard Owen replied for the visitors but tries from Sia Soliola and McDonnell underlined Saints’ overall advantage.

Josh Jones powered over with 15 to go but the lead was cut when Lee Gilmour ploughed over following a great pass from Paul McShane.
Makinson rounding off a fine evening for all at Langtree Park.

During the week, Nathan Brown spoke of his injury-depleted Saints needing a new attacking structure and that saw a number of changes to the line-up.

Paul Wellens and Gary Wheeler partnered in the halves whilst Jordan Turner moved to 13.

But it was Shannon McDonnell, making his debut for the club at fullback, that had an instant impact in that new look side.

And it came after just three minutes.

He kicked through on the last, forced a knock on from 17-year-old Max Jowitt, and Mark Percival did the rest.

The young centre chipped to the corner on the ‘free play’ and Tommy Makinson won the footrace for his 25th of the season.

And it was another one of his specials.

Wakefield threatened ten minutes later with a kick to the corner, defended by Saints, and then Chris Riley broke through the line – denied by Matty Dawson.

James Roby left the field at the quarter hour mark, replaced by Mark Flanagan, and then Josh Jones and Wheeler won successive drop outs.

Nothing came from them and then Saints passed up repeat sets right on Trinity’s line.

They needed to make those chances pay and almost scored when Mark Flanagan broke through.

He ghosted through the defence, had Wheeler on his left, but delayed his pass just too long and it was knocked down by the rearguard.

Saints always had the upper hand though and with 14 minutes left in the half Josh Jones found a big gap after Paul Wellens’ pass and increased the lead.

Mark Percival adding his second conversion.

But with a minute to go Danny Washbrook barged over to leave just a six point deficit for the visitors at half time.

Roby returned for the second half and Saints scored; it wasn’t mutual however!

Saints snaffled up an error down the right hand side, Percival broke through, then hacked it forward and McDonnell won the race to put down under pressure.

Percival with the extras once more.

Saints needed calm heads but a kick to the corner in the 50th minute saw Richard Owen out-jump Matty Dawson.

Four minutes later though, Anthony Laffranchi combined with Mose Masoe to put Sia Soliola in for his ninth of the season.

Percival clinical in front of the posts.

Brown’s men had exerted their influence on the match and another try was duly forthcoming.

The excellent Jordan Turner broke though, offloaded, and it came back inside for McDonnell’s second of the night.

Saints twisted the screw and Turner’s huge bomb – spilled by the full back – gained the advantage and possession for Josh Jones to power over for his second.

Lee Gilmour cut the lead with 10 to go – and got a great round of applause from the home fans for his efforts in the Red Vee.

But Saints had the last laugh when a superb Paul Wellens chip was collected for Tommy Makinson.

Match Summary:

Tries: Makinson (2), Jones (2), McDonnell (2), Soliola
Goals: Percival (6 from 7)

Tries: Washbrook, Owen, Gilmour
Goals: Sammut (2 from 3)

Saints: 5
Wakefield: 3

HT: 12-6

FT:  40-16

REF: Phil Bentham

ATT: 10708


38. Shannon McDonnell; 2. Tommy Makinson, 4. Josh Jones, 22. Mark Percival, 26. Matty Dawson; 24. Gary Wheeler 17. Paul Wellens; 16. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 18. Alex Walmsley, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 3. Jordan Turner.
Subs: 8. Mose Masoe, 11. Sia Soliola, 13. Willie Manu, 15. Mark Flanagan.

25. Max Jowitt; 33. Richard Owen, 3. Dean Collis, 5. Reece Lynne, 31. Chris Riley; 20. Jarrod Sammut, 35. Tim Smith; 8. Scott Anderson, 9. Paul McShane, 10. Andy Raleigh, 11. Ali Lauitiiti, 12. Danny Kirmond, 13. Danny Washbrook.
Subs: 14. Matt Wildie, 17. Taulima Tautai, 26. Jon Molloy, 34. Lee Gilmour.

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