Saints Dominate Friendly

SAINTS produced a tenacious and committed performance as they beat Wigan 28-12 in a pre-season friendly that at times was anything but.

Joe Greenwood bagged a brace whilst Travis Burns and Atelea Vea demonstrated why they were brought to the club with excellent contributions.

But it would be wrong to single them out as this was a real squad effort.

Keiron Cunningham drilled his team down to 21 players – Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Luke Walsh the duo to miss out through injury – whilst Shaun Wane opted for just 19.

And if there was to be any doubt as to the intensity level that was eradicated in the first hit up as Saints were awarded a penalty for a late shot from Dom Crosby.

Moments later, Mark Percival was held up as he went for the corner and at the other end of the field Burns and Joel Tomkins had a niggle during a large amount of Wigan pressure.

Alex Walmsley’s thunderous hit forced the ball loose in the 7th minute and then Wilkin’s clearing kick hit the post causing Gelling to knock on.

Saints then twisted the screw, Amor offloading to Roby who put Greenwood over just to the left of the sticks.

Makinson with the extras.

Saints’ forward line were beginning to dominate causing Wigan to give away penalties in key positions. Mose Masoe was held up over the line on one foray in the 17th minute and then Tommy Makinson just couldn’t find enough space to catch a chip through.

In fairness Saints should have been further ahead – and they were given a warning when Josh Charnley knocked on over the line.

But it was one they heeded as they stretched the lead in the 29th minute.

Ryan Hampshire knocked on; Turner snaffled up the ball and fed Swift who showed all his pace.

Tony Clubb let Burns know he was in a game on 27 minutes, hitting him late as he passed the ball.

The half back didn’t seem rattled though getting stuck in on Saints next defensive set and then being involved as Makinson had one chalked off in the corner for a knock on.

Saints weren’t going to let their visitors get off scot free once again and Vea scored after Swift’s break on their next attack before  Makinson finally got over in the corner thanks to superb work from Burns – who kicked a forty-twenty in the build-up – and Lomax.

Cunningham’s side began the second half on the front foot pinning Wigan in their own 20.

But a mistake on an innocuous high ball found John Bateman in acres of space.

The game was scrappy and punctuated by knock ons until Connor Farrell made it game on with a burrow over.

That left Saints with 20 minutes to stem the flow or face undoing their fantastic opening forty.

More penalties for the visitors followed, Connor Farrell was held up over the line and Wigan won repeat sets.

But Lance Hohaia forced the ball loose with a crushing tackle.

Into the final 13 minutes, Saints grabbed a repeat set to turn the tide and Greenwood caught Masoe’s offload for his second – and ultimately the game winner.

Hohaia almost put Swift in for the icing on the cake in the final three minutes but his great break and kick was just too strong.

It would have been no more than Saints deserved; yet a satisfying 80 none the same.

Match Summary:

Tries: Greenwood (2), Swift, Vea, Makinson,
Goals: Makinson (4 from 5)

Tries: Bateman, C.Farrell
Goals: Smith (2 from 2)

Saints: 8
Warriors: 11

HT: 22-0
FT: 28-12

REF: Robert Hicks

ATT: 6888


1. Jonny Lomax; 2. Tommy Makinson, 17. Mark Percival, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Travis Burns, 12. Jon Wilkin; 14. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 21. Joe Greenwood, 11. Atelea Vea, 18. Luke Thompson.
Subs: 4. Josh Jones, 8. Mose Masoe, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Lance Hohaia, 19. Greg Richards, 20. Paul Wellens, 22. Matty Dawson, 25. Andre Savelio.

20. Ryan Hampshire; 2. Josh Charnley, 3. Anthony Gelling, 11. Joel Tomkins, 5. Joe Burgess; 6. George Williams, 7. Matty Smith; 8. Dominic Crosby, 9. Michael McIlorum, 28. Ryan Sutton, 12. Liam Farrell, 14. John Bateman, 25. Larne Patrick.
Subs: 1. Matty Bowen, 17. Tony Clubb, 22. Dominic Manfredi, 26. Logan Tomkins, 29. James Greenwood, 31. Connor Farrell.

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