Saints backed up their derby day win over Wigan with a comfortable 42-12 win over hard working Leigh Centurions on Thursday evening at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Saints took an early fourth minute lead as we earned a penalty close to the Leigh line. From a tackle to the right of the sticks we threw the ball from right to left which ended with Lachlan Coote finding Regan Grace with acres of space on the left wing, and he scored in the corner. Coote added the extras to make it 6-0 early on.
The Leigh fans thought they had a try in the 10th minute, as Ben Hellewell grounded a loose ball, but the referee said that the ball went dead before he could ground it.
Our lead was extended in the 18th minute. Alex Walmsley made a huge break downfield, his offload found Coote who was then caught high. From the resulting penalty, Coote added the extras to make it 8-0.
Leigh did respond in the 24th minute though. A short pass close to the Saints line found former Saint Matty Gee and he powered his way over. Ryan Brierley added the extras to make it 8-6.
Saints responded well though. A move from right to left saw Sione Mata’utia find Jack Welsby, who slid his way over from close range. Coote missed the conversion, 12-6 Saints led at the break.
Saints had an early chance to increase their lead three minutes into the second half, as Aaron Smith pounced on a loose ball, but a few tackles later, Saints fumbled the ball as we tried to stretch out and ground the ball.
We didn’t have to wait long to extend our lead. A loose ball was collected by Man of the Match Welsby and he reached his way over from close range for his second try of the evening. Coote added the extras from the left of the sticks, 18-6.
Bad news followed though as Jonny Lomax was then helped off the field in the 50th minute, after making a tackle close to the Leigh try-line.
Adam Sidlow then powered over from close range for the visitors to reduce the gap. Brierley added the extras, 18-12 Saints led.
But Saints responded well again. A play close to the Leigh line saw Coote find Sione Mata’utia, and the versatile forward who was filling in at centre planted the ball down. Coote added the extras, 24-12.
Welsby was involved again for our fifth try of the evening. He received the ball close to the line and managed to offload it as he was tackled, the ball found Coote and he made no mistake grounding the ball from close range. Our number added the extras, 30-12.
Welsby had another assist six minutes later. This time he fed the ball to Joe Batchelor on the Leythers line and the man who signed his new Saints contract this week made no mistake. Coote added the extras, 36-12.
Saints’ seventh and final try of the game came in the 76th minute. Grace made a good break down the left wing, he was stopped before Lewis Dodd picked the ball up from dummy half to round a Leigh defender and score. Coote added the extras as Saints emerged 42-12 victors with Warrington up next on Monday.
Saints Team: Lachlan Coote, Kevin Naiqama, Josh Simm, Jack Welsby, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Lewis Dodd, Alex Walmsley, Aaron Smith, Matty Lees, Sione Mata’utia, Joe Batchelor, Morgan Knowles.
Interchanges: James Roby, Kyle Amor, Agnatius Paasi, Jake Wingfield.
Tries: Regan Grace (4), Jack Welsby (28, 46), Sione Mata’utia (58), Lachlan Coote (65), Joe Batchelor (71), Lewis Dodd (76)
Conversions: Lachlan Coote (6 from 7)
Penalties: Lachlan Coote (1 from 1)
Leigh Centurions Team: Keanan Brand, Brendan Elliot, Sam Stone, Junior, Sa’u, Matty Russell, Ryan Brierley, Joe Mellor, Adam Sidlow, Liam Hood, Alex Gerrard, Ben Hellewell, Matty Gee, James Bell.
Interchanges: Jordan Thompson, Craig Mullen, Rob Butler, Jack Ashworth.
Tries: Matty Gee (24), Adam Sidlow (54)
Conversions: Ryan Brierley (2 from 2)