posted on 4 May 2012

A Chris Flannery hat-trick led St. Helens to a comfortable victory over the Wildcats at Langtree Park.

Saints were too good for the Wildcats at Langtree Park.

The back-rower crossed for three times in a game for the very first time in his Saints career and with other scores for Sia Soliola (2), Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson and James Roby with the Wildcats responses coming from Dean Collis and Peter Fox.

With Oliver Wilkes out injured, Richard Agar promoted Kyle Amor to the starting line-up, recalled Andy Ellis to his team at hooker and dropped Paul Aiton to the bench with Matty Wildie replacing Isaac John at stand-off.

Saints fired some early warning shots with a couple of half breaks in their early sets of the game but it was a basic but brilliantly executed piece of play that carved the Wildcats up for the first score.

Roby at dummy-half popped the ball up to Hohaia who sent Wellens clear with the short ball and the full-back has Flannery on his shoulder to go in under the sticks.

It was a short lived lead though as the Wildcats made good ground in the eigth minute and Wildie’s high kick to the right corner was made a mess of by Francis Meli under pressure from Peter Fox and Collis was on hand to drop on the loose ball.

Trinity threatened shortly after following Ben Cockayne’s break but penalties were becoming an increasing issue for Agar’s side and Saints didn’t require a second invitation to punish their visitors.

Soliola went crashing over the line from closer range and despite the Wildcats players protestations to referee Thierry Alibert, the try stood.

He was the man doing the damage again minutes later when Roby darted from dummy-half, got his hands free in the tackle and Soliola showed great speed to round Mathers for a second score of the game.

Wakefield could have done with going in at half-time having conceded no further points but St. Helens had other ideas.  At times in the first half their play was just too quick but Lomax’s try was sheer strength and determination as he went straight at the heart of the Wildcats defence and had the upper body strength to get the ball down.

Lomax was at the heart of things again at the beginning of the second half, dropping the ball onto his toe and stabbing a perfectly weighted grubber through for Flannery to dot down.

The back-row completed his hat-trick soon after, beating Kirmond with on the outside and planting the ball down in the left hand corner.

It was looking ominous for the remaining quarter of the game with Saints in the mood to inflict further punishment.  A fine free flowing move down the right hand side summed up the game as a whole – Saints just too good and too quick for the Wildcats as Makinson finished in the corner.

Wakefield visited the Saints half sporadically and on one such occasion Collis offloaded as he was being pushed into touch only to see his pass plucked out of the air by Roby who raced 80 metres up the left hand touchline to score.

Fox had the final word on the night as he took a good pass from Richard Mathers to go over in the right hand corner to give the visitors and their supporters a consolation score to take with them on the journey home.


Saints: Wellens, Makinson, Shenton, Jones, Meli, Hohaia, Lomax, Laffranchi, Roby, Clough, Flannery, Soliola, Flanagan. Replacements: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Dixon, Forster, Greenwood.

Wildcats: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Sykes, Cockayne, Wildie, Smith, Raleigh, Ellis, Amor, Mariano, Kirmond, Washbrook. Replacements: Mellars, Wood, Aiton, James.

Referee: Thierry Alibert

Attendance: 13, 177

This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.

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