Saints kick off 2024 with victory over London

St Helens have began the 2024 Betfred Super League season with a 40-4 victory over London Broncos at the Totally Wicked Stadium!

The Teams

Line-up Notes

  • Waqa Blake (Wing), Daryl Clark (Hooker) and Matt Whitley (Second Row) all make their official Saints debuts.
  • Matty Lees returns from suspension during pre-season to start.
  • Mark Percival starts after signing a new contract at Saints until 2026 during the week.

Saints forced a dropout four minutes in. A penalty pushed Saints into London territory, Daryl Clark’s low kick on the last saw the visitors trapped in-goal.

The repeat set saw Saints grab their first points of the season. James Bell collected a short pass from Alex Walmsley and broke though the Broncos line, he found Lewis Dodd supporting on his outside and he strolled over under the sticks. Mark Percival converted, 6-0.

Two minutes later, Saints had another. From the kick off, Saints marched downfield and towards the end of the set, Bell threw a short pass left, which Matt Whitley tipped on to Jack Welsby, and with no defenders ahead of him he raced away to increase our lead. Percival missed the conversion attempt, 10-0.

London tried to hit back. A 40/20 gave them great field position, that was followed by a goal-line dropout, as Welsby was forced to clear the ball into touch after a low kick. Saints got the ball back from the restart though, as the visitors dropped the ball.

Saints had try number three 24 minutes in. Daryl Clark went for a run from dummy half, breaking numerous tackles, before finding Walmsley supporting on his inside. to dive over from close range. Percival added the extras, 16-0.

James Bell celebrates with try-scorer Alex Walmsley. Image captured by Bernard Platt (@PlattyPhoto)

With four minutes of the first 40 to go, Saints had their fourth try. The Red V shifted it from left to right in London territory, Jonny Lomax throwing the cut-out pass to Tommy Makinson, who strolled over in the corner. Percival missed the kick, 20-0.

London looked to have gone over three minutes into the second half. Jack Campangolo’s low kick was kicked on again by Lee Kershaw, Robbie Storey won the race to the loose ball and scored in the corner. The on-field decision of try confirmed after a video referee review. Campagnolo missed the kick, 20-4.

The video referee was called into action again five minutes later. Saints applied the pressure and Clark had another run from dummy half, this time spinning over under the sticks. The video referee confirming the on-field decision of try soon after. Percival converted, 26-4.

Daryl Clark celebrates his first try in the Red V. Image captured by Bernard Platt (@PlattyPhoto)

London attempted to threaten another try. Iliess Marcani broke away down their left wing and tried to kick inside for some of his supporting players, however Welsby cleared the kick up and broke the other way. Another chance soon followed, but a kick near the Saints line on the last went dead in-goal, gifting the hosts a seven-tackle set.

With 67 minutes on the clock, Saints had try number six. Dodd was stopped close to the Broncos line, the following play it went left Clark found Welsby, who found debutant Whitley who breezed through a gap and dove over to score. Makinson converted, 32-4.

From the kick off, Saints had another. A few tackles in the ball ended up on the right edge, Konrad Hurrell broke through a tiring London line and found Lomax supporting on his inside to stroll over. Makinson’s kick hit the post and bounced out, 36-4.

Jonny Lomax dives over for Saints’ seventh try of the evening. Image captured by Bernard Platt (@PlattyPhoto)

With less than five minutes to go, Saints had their eighth try. Welsby teased the London defence before finding Whitley again, who broke a tackle and dove over the line from close range. Makinson missed the kick, 40-4.

Match Summary

Saints Team:ย Jack Welsby, Tommy Makinson, Konrad Hurrell, Mark Percival, Waqa Blake, Jonny Lomax, Lewis Dodd, Alex Walmsley, Daryl Clark, Matty Lees, Matt Whitley, Curtis Sironen, James Bell.

Interchanges:ย Sione Mata’utia, Jake Wingfield, George Delaney, Ben Davies.

18th Man:ย Jon Bennison.

Tries:ย Lewis Dodd (6), Jack Welsby (8), Alex Walmsley (24), Tommy Makinson (36), Daryl Clark (48), Matt Whitley (67, 76), Jonny Lomax (69)

Conversions:ย Mark Percival (3 from 5), Tommy Makinson (1 from 3)

London Broncos Team:ย Oli Leyland, Lee Kershaw, Robbie Storey, Hakim Miloudi, Iliess Marcani, Jack Campagnolo, James Meadows, Rob Butler, Sam Davis, Rhys Kennedy, Will Lovell, Sadiq Adebiyi, Dean Parata.

Interchanges: Marcus Stock, Jordan Williams, Emmanuel Waine, Matt Davies.

18th Man:ย Dan Hoyes.

Tries:ย Robbie Storey (43)

Conversions:ย Jack Campagnolo (0 from 1)

HT:ย 20-0

FT:ย 40-4

Attendance:ย 14,058

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