Saints beat Leigh to maintain 100% start

Saints have defeated Leigh Leopards 12-4 this evening at a very cold Totally Wicked Stadium!

Konrad Hurrell warms up as he makes his return to the 17 this evening. Image captured by Bernard Platt (@PlattyPhoto)
Konrad Hurrell warms up as he makes his return to the 17 this evening. Image captured by Bernard Platt (@PlattyPhoto)

Less than a minute in, John Asiata was sent to the sin bin for another low hit. Saints were unable to take full advantage of the extra man, as the Leopards defence held film until Asiata returned to the field. His return didn’t last long though, as he left the field with an injury 15 minutes in.

Leigh’s first big chance came 21 minutes in. A 40/20 from Lachlan Lam gave them field position inside Saints’ 15 metre mark. A massive hit from Konrad Hurrell on Ricky Leutele knocked the ball loose, as the Leigh centre looked to score in the corner.

Saints hit the front on the half-hour mark. The ball was shifted left, Matt Whitley broke through after being found by James Bell, he offloaded to Jack Welsby who slid over from close range. Mark Percival supposedly missed the kick, 4-0 Saints led.

Another chance followed. Lewis Dodd’s high kick on the last was allowed to bounce by Gareth O’Brien, Welsby chased but Tom Briscoe was just able to win the race, as Saints forced a dropout.

From it, the video referee was soon called upon. Saints moved it from left to right and Hurrell slid towards the right corner. The referee ruled no try on field, the video referee agreeing. Saints had another tackle but a poor kick followed by a flop gave Leigh a penalty.

The final chance of the half could have gone Leigh’s way. O’Brien threatened and peeked his head through a gap, but his attempted offload to Josh Charnley on the wing went into touch.

Six minutes into the second half, another trip to the video referee. O’Brien broke down the middle but was well tackled by Welsby, the following play Leigh went right and Zak Hardaker found himself with space ahead of him and and crashed over the line. After multiple looks, the try was awarded. He was unable to convert his own try, 4-4 it was tied.

Saints then produced a try of the month contender. Dodd found himself on the left edge, he took the line on broke through and found Tommy Makinson on his inside supporting and he raced 40 metres before scoring to the left of the sticks. Percival converted, 10-4.

It soon became a two-score game. Percival converted a penalty after Lomax was hit late, 12-4 Saints led. Saints had another penalty in good field position. On the last, Dodd tried to set Percival free down the short-side, but he was well tackled by a covering Leythers defence.

Video referee decision number three come with 15 minutes to go. Moses Mbye’s low kick was chased by Saints, but they looked to be impeded as Leigh tried to get the loose ball. The video referee ruled no wrongdoing, Leigh had to dropout. Saints almost pulled off another audacious try from it. Alex Walmsley powered through the middle and tried to find Morgan Knowles, who would’ve gone over for his second try of the season, the ball just about escaping his grasp though.

Leigh had the chance to close the gap as a penalty pushed them deep into Saints territory. Rob Mulhern fumbled the ball on tackle three though, relieving the pressure on Saints. From the restart, Knowles broke down the middle of the Leigh defence and found Dodd in support, he tried to get up quickly but Brad Dwyer wouldn’t allow it and therefore sent to the sin bin.

Makinson then dove over in the corner on the last tackle of the following set, however the touch judge ruled the Saints winger had gone into touch before he grounded the ball.

Match Summary

Saints Team: Jack Welsby, Tommy Makinson, Konrad Hurrell, Mark Percival, Jon Bennison, Jonny Lomax, Lewis Dodd, Alex Walmsley, Daryl Clark, Sione Mata’utia, Matt Whitley, Curtis Sironen, Morgan Knowles.

Interchanges: Moses Mbye, James Bell, Jake Wingfield, George Delaney.

18th Man: Ben Davies.

Tries: Jack Welsby (30), Tommy Makinson (51)

Conversions: Mark Percival (1 from 2)

Penalties: Mark Percival (1 from 1)

Leigh Leopards Team: Gareth O’Brien, Tom Briscoe, Zak Hardaker, Ricky Leutele, Josh Charnley, Matt Moylan, Lachlan Lam, Jack Hughes, Brad Dwyer, Rob Mulhern, Kai O’Donnell, Frankie Halton, John Asiata.

Interchanges: Dan Norman, Matt Davis, Ben Nakubuwai, Owen Trout.

18th Man: Ed Chamberlain.

Tries: Zak Hardaker (46)

Conversions: Zak Hardaker (0 from 1)

Sin Bin: John Asiata (1), Brad Dwyer (75)

HT: 4-0

FT: 12-4

Attendance: 13,028

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