Long makes history but falls just short of victory

Sean Long wrote another chapter in the annals of St Helens on a bittersweet night for the Great Britain international on Friday. The goalkicking scrum-half climbed to second place in the club's all-time list of points-scorers with his 121st try, but was left kicking himself for missing the chance to clinch a famous victory as Saints were held to a 28-28 draw with London Broncos in a dramatic Super League clash at Knowsley Road.

Despite what was mainly a disappointingly low-key display, St Helens looked set to complete a trademark last-gasp win when their Kiwi centre Willie Talau went in for his third try two minutes from the end to tie the scores for the second time.

Long had kicked one conversion from the touchline to take his remarkable points tally to 2,009, but he was off- target for the fourth time in six attempts to produce only the second draw in Super League X, which extended both teams' unbeaten run to five matches.

London, who were without their influential skipper Mark McLinden, were clearly the more grateful of the two teams for the point. They had looked in danger of being overwhelmed when Saints raced in for two tries in the first eight minutes of the game, but they gradually clawed their way back into the match, thanks largely to their two-try scrum-half Thomas Leuluai.

The Broncos could manage just five tries, compared to six by their opponents, but Paul Sykes kicked his first four goals before crucially missing his last two attempts.

"I don't think you saw the real Broncos in terms of the style of football we like to play," said the London coach, Tony Rea. "But we defended with a lot of effort."

Elsewhere, the Australian winger Nathan Blacklock's second hat-trick of the season helped Hull regain third place in the table with a 30-16 victory over Leigh.

But they were made to fight tooth and nail by their bottom-of-the-table opponents in a dress rehearsal for next week's Powergen Challenge Cup quarter-final at the KC Stadium.

Blacklock, who once topped the Australian try-scoring charts three seasons in a row, took his tally in England to 14 with a blistering treble, with his fellow winger Richie Barnett grabbing his second successive pair.

Although Steve Maden's ninth-minute try and Steve McCurrie's late consolation were the only times Leigh came within reach of Hull's line, Darren Abram's men showed enough spirit and resolve to suggest they may show better when the sides meet again next Saturday.

"I am disappointed we did not get the two points but I am proud of the players," said the Centurions coach. "We are now very much looking forward to next week. We have come to a top-four club in Super League, in a magnificent stadium, and have come away with credit. We have taken on Hull twice now and pushed them twice. John Kear knows about shocks better than anyone, so we are relishing coming back here next week."

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
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

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine