Rugby League: Iro's quality shines through

St Helens 34 Gateshead 22

IN PERFORMANCE that explored the wild extremes of their good and bad habits, it was the sheer quality of their centres, Kevin Iro and Paul Newlove, that saw Saints home against the Super League newcomers.

Gateshead threatened a massive upset on more than one occasion, but it was the strike power of Newlove and Iro that kept Shaun McRae's old side just ahead of the game against his new one. Saints and Iro in particular began as though intent on blowing Gateshead away. The powerful Kiwi had already loomed menacingly on a couple occasions before Sean Long and Paul Sculthorpe opened the way for him to charge over for his first try after nine minutes.

Long added the goal and the Thunder were rocking, but came back to level terms thanks to their talented half-backs. As Saints hesitated in the belief Kerrod Walters had knocked on, Willie Peters made a lovely little break to send Will Robinson over, leaving Ian Herron with a comfortable equalising conversion.

Saints still looked tremendously dangerous with the ball in their hands and moving arguably the most devastating centres in the game to the same side of the field on the sixth tackle should have been enough warning that they were intent on running the ball. They did so, through Long and Tommy Martyn, and Newlove's pass sent Iro across the line once more.

There was a big question mark over Gateshead's ability to cope with this sort of thing, but the worst of St Helens was on display as well as the best.

The Thunder's reply, after the ball had been moved rapidly across the field from a tap penalty was a close-range try from their substitute, Deon Bird, and Herron's kick put them ahead.

Saints then became horridly ragged and it was no surprise when they went further behind before half time, Herron landing the penalty after Vila Matautia had gone high on Craig Wilson.

It was ironic that it should be the least experienced St Helens player on the field, Tony Stewart, who tilted the game back their way. His run forced a penalty for holding down, which he took quickly to gain more ground, setting up the position from which Keiron Cunningham ploughed over the line.

Two goals from Long gave them a precarious lead before Newlove produced the moment of the match, intercepting a pass from Peters near his own line and going 90 yards for the crucial try.

With Saints, though, it was a case of anything we can do, we can help you to do as well, Martyn throwing a ball that was intercepted by Bird for his second try. Two goals from Herron narrowed the margin to two before an expensive knock-on from Walters gave Saints possession and Apollo Perelini to charge over.

Newlove then scattered Gateshead again with another gallop down the left and Long's try ensured that Saints would escape with the points. There was nothing here to suggest, however, that they are going to be any more predictable or reliable than they have ever been, or that Gateshead are not going to develop into a very capable side.

St Helens: Atcheson; Stewart, Iro, Newlove, Tuilagi; Martyn, Long; O'Neill, Cunningham, Davidson, Nickle, Perelini, Sculthorpe. Substitutes used: Edmundson, Matautia, Barrow, Wellens.

Gateshead: Sammut; Daylight, Simon, Grogan, Herron; Robinson, Peters; Lee, Walters, Green, Wilson, Felzch, Grimaldi. Substitutes used: Bird, R Allwood, Maher.

Referee: S Cummings (Widnes).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - Investment Management

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...

Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pillar 1, 2 & 3) Insurance

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...

Manager - SAS - Data Warehouse - Banking

£350 - £365 per day: Orgtel: Manager, SAS, Data Warehouse, Banking, Bristol - ...

Web Analyst – Permanent – West Sussex – Up to £43k

£35000 - £43000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment