Foster helps Saints keep Wolves at bay

Warrington 24 St Helens 26: Wing collects two tries and three goals to ensure that Warrington's long wait for a win over St Helens goes on

Warrington's man of the match, Ben Westwood, suffered the agonies of going so close to ending the most one-sided local rivalry in Super League. The Wolves have not beaten St Helens since 2001 but they would have had at least a share of this one if Westwood's attempt to convert his own second try had gone over, five minutes from time, instead of drifting inches wide.

Tony Smith, the Warrington coach, refused to blame Westwood for his one miss of the match. "Benny has been kicking very very well for us," he said. "I feel for him. He had a superb game. I thought he was the best player on the field."

Saints had their own hero in the novice goal-kicking wing Jamie Foster, as they moved level with Warrington on points and, inadvertently, made as good as certain that Wigan will take the League Leaders' Shield.

It was a pulsating, fluctuating match in which neither side held anything back for next weekend's Challenge Cup semi-finals, but it was one from which the Wolves should have taken something. Mind you, there had been plenty of occasions in the past nine years when the same could have been said. The challenge, as the Wolves have found out, is turning potential into results against top teams.

Warrington began as though this was their night, playing with a breathless tempo, drawing penalties and forcing mistakes. It was typical of recent exchanges between these two clubs, however, that Saints should score on their first attack. James Graham changed the angle and Chris Flannery's pass allowed Matty Ashurst to muscle over. Foster kicked the goal and was close to a second try when Graham opened up the defence again. After 17 minutes, Foster was over, taking Leon Pryce's long pass after James Roby had created another hole.

The Wolves needed something different to get them back into the game and they got it from two substitutes, David Solomona somehow flipping the ball out of a tackle on the line and Paul Wood plunging over, although there looked to be a doubt about the grounding. Three minutes later there was a reprise, Wood this time getting the ball late out of the tackle and another replacement, Jon Clarke, scoring the try. Westwood's conversion put Warrington ahead.

Francis Meli, playing at centre, scored from a scrum move to put Saints in front again, but the half ended with the Wolves within two points, after Flannery pulled back Chris Riley and Westwood kicked a long-range penalty.

Warrington started the second half by conceding a flurry of penalties and they were almost punished by Paul Clough wrestling his way over. Ten minutes after the break, however, they recaptured the lead when Westwood scored at the foot of the post and kicked the easy conversion. Almost immediately, Roby equalised after brilliant work by Jon Wilkin and Paul Wellens and Foster reclaimed the lead for Saints.

He was also on the spot when Michael Monaghan's wild pass found Wilkin in what was ruled by the video referee, Steve Ganson, to be an on-side position. The tireless Westwood came up with his second from Lee Briers' kick, but could not add the goal. Monaghan, Matt King and Briers all threatened after that but yet again the Wolves fell just short.

Warrington Mathers; Hicks, King, Atkins, Riley; Briers, Myler; Morley, Monaghan, Carvell, L. Anderson, Westwood, Harrison. Substitutes used: Clarke, Wood, Solomona, V Anderson.

St Helens Wellens; Foster, Flannery, Meli, Gardner; Pryce, Moore; Graham, Roby, Hargreaves, Wilkin, Ashurst, Magennis. Substitutes used: Cunningham, Puletua, Clough, Emmitt.

Referee T Alibert (Toulouse).

Competition

WIN! Tickets to the Challenge Cup semi-finals

The Independent on Sunday has joined forces with The Co-operative, sponsor of The Co-operative Championships and Conference, and official partner of the RFL, to give you the chance to win a pair of tickets to the game of your choice in the semi-finals of rugby league's longest-running competition. St Helens play Leeds Rhinos at the Galpharm Stadium in Huddersfield next Saturday and Catalans Dragons take on Warrington Wolves at the Stobart Stadium in Widnes on Sunday 8 August. Eight winners will each receive a pair of tickets to the semi-final of their choice. To stand a chance of winning, answer this question:



Who won last year's Challenge Cup final?



Email your answer – and state which match you would like to attend – along with your contact details (including full postal address and daytime telephone number) to m.padgett@independent.co.uk

Deadline for entries is 11am on Tuesday.

News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
News
Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
science
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003