A superior St Helens side jumped to fourth in the table after storming to a superb 54-0 win over a woeful Bradford Bulls side earlier this evening.
A combination of marvellous St Helens attack and weary Bradford defence meant that St Helens led from the very off and a win for them was never in doubt. Saints scored their entire first half tries on the left flank showing how bad Bradford’s right wing is defensively.
A Josh Jones hatrick combined with two tries each from Paul Wellens and Jonny Lomax contributed to a ten try demolition.
St Helens were able to welcome back Exiles duo, Francis Meli and Anthony Laffranchi who missed last week’s draw at Hull through injury.
Bradford suffered no further injuries in Monday’s win over Castleford but were still without numerous players with Adrian Purtell, Matt Diskin, Elliot Kear, Craig Kopczak, Brett Kearney and Chev Walker already on the injury list.
Saints captain, Paul Wellens opened the scoring for the home side; the Bradford defence was unable to keep out his scamper from short range. Tommy Makinson’s unsuccessful conversion meant that the Saints held a four point with little over five minutes played.
Almost fifteen minutes later, local youngster Josh Jones scored on the left-hand side after a well-orchestrated passing move. From a similar position to last time, Tommy Makinson converted the try to make the score 10-0.
Just one minute later, Jonny Lomax broke the line and found Sia Soliola who made a few metres before handing the ball back to Lomax who scored under the posts. Makinson took advantage of the easy conversion position to make the score 16-0.
Josh Jones managed to score his second through a messy grubber kick which Bradford players were unable to tidy up. A successful kick resulted in a 22-0 scoreline after half an hour.
St Helens almost scored from another untidy kick on the next play; Shaun Ainscough looked frightened to field the high bomb and the ball almost fell to Saints attackers after bouncing but tower-house, Karl Pryce was able to save the day by hitting the ball out for a drop out.
Saints continued to dominate with their fifth try coming from Exile winger, Francis Meli; Jonny Lomax’s weaving footwork allowed him to break the line before finding Josh Jones who sent Meli in by the corner flag. Tommy Makinson kicked a touchline conversion resulting in a 28-0 half time score.
Paul Wellens was able to touch down for his second of the game after a short Jonny Lomax grubber into the ingoal gave him a clear opportunity to touch the ball down. Another successful conversion gave the home outfit a massive 34 point lead.
Wellens was directly involved in the next try and threw a long, cut-out ball to the wing to allow Tommy Makinson to score. He was unable to covert his own try so the score was left at 38-0.
Next up to add his name to the score list was Lance Hohia, he stepped in and out of poor Bradford defenders to score Saints’ eighth try of the evening. Makinson made it 44-0 with a successful goal.
Tommy Makinson appeared yet again minutes later; he broke the line before passing inside to Jonny Lomax who had the legs to race in under the posts for a try. Makinson’s seventh successful goal of the evening gave St Helens half a century of points.
Despite a long period of quality field position, Bradford were unable to breach St Helens’ military quality defence; Karl Pryce came close to driving his way over the line but heroic tackling from Jonny Lomax meant that the only line he could cross was the touchline.
With just seconds remaining, Josh Jones picked up a spilled ball from one of his team mates and raced under the sticks to score. Tommy Makinson sliced an easy kick at goal; his miss made the final score 54-0.
Saints sit in fourth position until at least Sunday but could be leapfrogged by either Huddersfield or Hull if they win their games against Hull KR or Wakefield respectively.
St Helens: Wellens, Makinson, Shenton, Jones, Meli, Hohaia, Lomax, Perry, Roby, Laffranchi, Puletua, Soliola, Wilkin.
Replacements: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Flannery, Flanagan, Clough
T: Wellens 2, Jones 3, Lomax 2, Meli,Makinson, Hohia,
G: Makinson 7
Bradford: Platt, Ainscough, Whitehead, Lulia, Pryce, Jeffries, Gale, Langley, L’Estrange, Hargreaves, Olbison, Bateman, Elima
Replacements: Manuokafoa, Sibbit, Burgess, Addy
Referee: Tim Roby
RLFANS Man of the Match: Jonny Lomax (St Helens)