Saints Into Semi Finals

KYLE Amor chose the perfect time to break his duck after his try helped send Saints to the Semi Finals of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.

The big prop bagged his first of the year to put the cup favourites in charge with less than 20 minutes to go.

Until then Widnes had answered everything thrown at them and were good value for their 20-18 lead.

Cunningham’s men were 18-12 up at the break thanks to long range efforts from Adam Swift and Mark Percival – who was outstanding throughout and grabbed 20 points – and a free flowing move that saw Matty Dawson break his season duck.

Widnes hit back but Amor’s marker and a real show of strength from Jordan Turner sealed Saints’ passage.

The dilemma facing the coaching staff was who to pitch into the full back spot following Shannon McDonnell’s injury.

Percival was the one anointed, with Josh Jones moving into the centres to cover the loss, and he didn’t disappoint.

The youngster was targeted from the off, taking a high ball under a heap of pressure in the first minute.

And two minutes later Kevin Brown was under the posts – and the Vikings’ fans celebrating – but Jon Wilkin hauled him down with about three inches to spare.

But on six minutes Percival collected another high ball and created one of the best tries you will see at Langtree Park this season.

Percy drew the man and sent Swift on a mazy run which saw him go in and out of wouldbe tacklers – and the full length of the field.

The full back adding the conversion.

Chris Clarkson was held up over the line on 11 minutes but Widnes’ pressure paid off as Joe Mellor slipped out of two tackles.

Danny Craven levelling the game up before Percival took it out 8-6 half way through the first half.

Widnes continued to threaten and Saints had James Roby to thank after he felled Rhys Hanbury – again just inches from the line.

In all fairness it was the Vikings doing all the pressing but they failed to take their chances.

And Saints picked them off with another try right out of the top drawer. 

Mose Masoe offloaded in Saints half; it was taken up by Roby, Burns and Walsh before Wilkin sent it to Turner.

He drew his man, found Swift who thus turned it back inside for Percival.

Superb… and the best part of 80 metres too.

Widnes boomed the restart out on the full and Saints duly turned the screw.

Fantastic handling from Roby kept the ball alive before it was sent right and into the hands of Matty Dawson.

Danny Craven replied for Widnes as the half entered last knockings – to set up a pulsating second half.

And Widnes got the best possible start to the half when Gil Dudson’s run set up a great Patrick Ah Van try.

He created the space for Brown to fire out a great line ball for Ah Van to stroll over with no one anywhere near him.

It looked a tad forward but there was no doubting how much it split the defence.

Saints looked rattled and weren’t helped by a series of handling errors that gave the Vikings territorial advantage.

And such a passage of play saw ex-Saint Chris Dean cross to give Widnes the lead after 53 minutes.

Like the last try it was a little fortuitous – the home side on the harsh end of a couple of calls in the build up – but there was no excusing the visitor’s ruthlessness.

Saints toiled against a rough and tough Widnes pack but once Alex Walmsley and Kyle Amor got on the field, they finally started to force their way.

Walsh and Wilkin were beginning to get on top with their kicking game too – and it led to Saints going back in front.

A simple drop off ball to Amor and he was in under the sticks.

Jordan Turner then took advantage of a knock on to seal the win – showing great strength to go through Paddy Flynn  and Stefan Marsh.

Mark Percival adding a penalty and a superb try late on.

Match Summary:


Tries: Swift, Percival (2), Dawson, Amor, Turner

Goals: Percival (6 from 8)


Tries: Mellor, Craven, Ah Van, Dean

Goals: Craven (1 from 2), Ah Van (1 from 1)


Saints: 7

Vikings: 3

HT: 18-12

FT: 36-20

REF: Rob Hicks

ATT: 8806



17. Mark Percival; 22. Matty Dawson, 4. Josh Jones, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Travis Burns, 7. Luke Walsh; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 14. Alex Walmsley, 12. Jon Wilkin, 21. Joe Greenwood, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.

Subs: 8. Mose Masoe,  15. Mark Flanagan,  19. Greg Richards, 25. Andre Savelio.


1. Rhys Hanbury; 2. Paddy Flynn, 4. Stefan Marsh, 14. Chris Dean, 5. Patrick Ah Van; 6. Kevin Brown, 7. Joe Mellor; 10. Manase Manuokafoa, 33. Aaron Heremaia, 25. Alex Gerrard, 17. Chris Clarkson, 28. Matt Whitley,  24. Macgraff Leuluai.

Subs: 13. Hep Cahill, 16. Willie Isa,  21. Danny Craven,  35. Gil Dudson.

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