Goulding inspires St Helens to record

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The Independent Online
Rugby League

DAVE HADFIELD

St Helens 80 Warrington 0

Saints swept into the final of the Regal Trophy as their captain, Bobbie Goulding, inspired them to a record score for the semi-final stage. Wigan or Leeds will provide them with a far sterner test than Warrington did in collapsing to their worst-ever defeat.

St Helens coach, Eric Hughes, said: "That was quite exceptional. I would have settled for 1-0 before the game. To keep them at nil when we had scored so many points was a really remarkable effort."

The game was in its first two minutes when Danny Arnold got Saints going. The ball was moved swiftly along the line in traditional St Helens fashion for the 19-year-old winger from the edge of Warrington to take Dean Busby's pass and show his pace and poise by racing in from 50 yards out.

Goulding landed the conversion and a second try was not long delayed, Goulding serving the ball up for Apollo Perelini to touch down. Goulding's second kick brought up 1,000 points in his career. Warrington had no chance to recover before Karle Hammond sent Andy Northey through a huge gap to make it three converted tries in the first nine minutes.

The next try was typically well crafted by Goulding, his pass releasing the substitute, Simon Booth, to go in. Just on half-time he repeated the trick with Ian Pickavance the beneficiary.

Goulding's sixth goal made it 36-0 at half-time. On the restart, Hammond cut through for the seventh Saints try and Goulding finally missed. Northey scored his second, soon followed by No 2 for Arnold, thanks to Goulding.

Brute power by Scott Gibbs brought him a penalty try when the ball was torn from his hands as he crossed the line. Even Perelini, obviously injured, stayed on long enough to charge over for a try. Booth added his second try, Steve Prescott sprinted in and Northey completed his hat-trick.

The Warrington coach, Brian Johnson, said: "I would never have believed that in my worst nightmares. They were brilliant, but we were absolutely woeful."

It was some consolation to Warrington that the game's postponement from Saturday saved them from television exposure.

St Helens : Prescott; Hayes, Northey, Gibbs, Arnold; Hammond, Goulding; Fogerty (Booth, 11), Cunningham, Perelini (Matautia, 65), Pickavance, Matautia (Veivers, 51), Busby.

Warrington: Penny; Forster, Rudd (Finau, 9), Currier, Thompson; Harris, Ford; Jones (Chambers, 27), Hough, Hilton (Jones, 67), Cullen, Bennett, Knott.

Referee: R Smith (Castleford).

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