Saints Back To Winning Ways

SAINTS dug deep to beat local rivals Widnes Vikings 20-12 at the Select Security Stadium.

Luke Walsh kicked two penalties in the second half to seal the win alongside some outstanding and resolute defence.

He epitomised the side’s never say die attitude with two key try-saving tackles – and was backed by a team who didn’t want to let their first half dominance go to waste.

Joe Greenwood, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Tommy Makinson all scored vital points whilst the pack was led by the superb Luke Thompson.

Whilst Keiron Cunningham’s side started well against Wigan on Good Friday, they were punished for not taking their chances.

His charges began on the front foot in this one too, but this time found a way to get over the line and thus set the platform.

In the opening few minutes, the home side knocked on in their own half and then Patrick Ah Van couldn’t take Walsh’s chip to the corner.

From there, following the returning Andre Savelio’s strong run, the ball went left though Theo Fages and into the hands of Joe Greenwood for his fourth of the season.

On Saints’ next attack, Alex Walmsley went close on the back of good work from Savelio and Shannon McDonnell – but Widnes levelled the contest on the very next set.

Ill-discipline handed the Vikings a penalty in their own 20 … and the Saints couldn’t stop them marching up the field and profiting through Rhys Hanbury.

The visitors didn’t hang around though at restoring their lead – and it came off the back off a lovely move.

Speedy passing from Captain Jon Wilkin, who was celebrating his 400th career game, and Walsh caught McCarthy-Scarsbrook on a fantastic line to charge over.

And moments later, another flowing move saw Makinson produce one of his specials in the corner – McDonnell’s pass bamboozling the defence.

Saints then repelled a strong looking Widnes attack before almost extending their lead further.

LMS went close on another fantastic run and then Wilkin lost the ball within inches of the try line.

Big tackles from Matty Dawson and Walsh stoppod certain scores as the game hit the half hour mark before Saints twisted the screw even further with some choking defence to see out the half.

They began the second like the first, with a strong set and then won another crack at Widnes’ line when Walsh’s massive high ball was knocked on by Hanbury.

Back to back penalties followed and then Walsh calmly knocked over a two-pointer to make it a 12 point game with half an hour remaining.

Saints were completely on top and ten further minutes of pressure followed – yet they couldn’t take advantage of several repeat sets.

But when LMS was felled with a high shot it made sense to get something on the board and Walsh tagged on a another penalty.

Widnes became more desperate and were almost handed a lifeline when Fages threw an intercept as the game entered the final 15.

Widnes scampered down the right hand side but Walsh pulled off an absolute world class tackle to keep the scoreline intact.

But Hanbury did made it game on 10 minutes from time as he went over from close range.

Chris Dean was held up over the line as the hooter warmed up before Jack Owens and Walsh combined to bundle Ah Van into touch.

The home side were also denied a try at the death by the video referee – but it would have been harsh on Saints.

Match Summary:


Tries: Hanbury (2)

Goals: Hanbury (2 from 2)


Tries: Greenwood, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Makinson

Goals: Walsh (4 from 5)


Vikings: 13

Saints: 11

HT: 16-6

FT: 20-12

REF: Richard Silverwood

ATT: 9,076



1. Rhys Hanbury; 2. Corey Thompson, 14. Chris Dean, 25. Ed Chamberlain, 5. Patrick Ah Van; 7. Joe Mellor, 21. Tom Gilmore; 8. Eamon O’Carroll, 33. Aaron Heremaia, 18. Gil Dudson, 15. Setaimata Sa, 11. Chris Houston, 13. Hep Cahill.

Subs: 10. Manase Manuokafoa, 19. Macgraff Leuluai, 20. Alex Gerrard, 22. Matt Whitley.


23. Shannon McDonnell; 2. Tommy Makinson, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 21. Matty Dawson, 22. Jack Owens; 19. Theo Fages, 7. Luke Walsh; 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 16. Andre Savelio, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 20. Joe Greenwood, 12. Jon Wilkin.

Subs: 3. Jordan Turner, 6. Travis Burns, 10. Kyle Amor, 17. Luke Thompson.

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