Rugby League: More pain for Saints

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The Independent Online
Sheffield Eagles 14 St Helens 12

St Helens' season, so miserable since Wembley, touched its lowest point yet as Sheffield again showed their talent for late heroics. Just as they did against Perth in the World Club Championship, the Eagles did all they could to make their task appear hopeless but then stuck to it doggedly and came out on top.

Saints looked to be progressing smoothly in the first half, when they scored two tries in five minutes. The first was thanks to some fancy footwork from Alan Hunte, while Anthony Sullivan claimed their second when he raced through from halfway.

But Sheffield gradually came into the game, opening their scoring with a Mark Aston penalty and making and missing a couple of try-scoring opportunities before half-time.

Early in the second half, they drew level, Martin Wood getting away a clever one-handed pass to the Fijian full-back, Waisale Sovatabua, who went in from 20 yards out, leaving Aston a relatively simple kick to equalise.

Saints regained the lead when Paul Newlove scored a try out of nothing. But 10 minutes from time, Aston's grubber was fumbled by Karle Hammond and Whetu Taewa dived on the loose ball to equalise again. Aston's conversion put the Eagles in the lead and they held on through the last few minutes to spark another Don Valley celebration.

Sheffield Eagles: Sovatabua; Pinkney, Senior, Taewa, Okiwe; Mycoe, Aston; Broadbent, Lawless, Edmed, Doyle, Carr, Wood. Substitutes used: Vassilakopoulos, Wright, Crowther, Turner.

St Helens: Haigh; Arnold, Hunte, Newlove, Sullivan; Hammond, Long; Leatham, Cunningham, O'Neill, McVey, Matautia, Joynt. Substitutes used: Pickavance, Hayes, Morley, Anderson.

Referee: R Connolly (Wigan).

Wigan's chairman, Jack Robinson, and their vice chairman, Tom Rathbone, face a new fight to remain on the Central Park board. Robinson has agreed to hold an extraordinary general meeting, likely to be in September, where it is expected shareholders will again vote upon his and Rathbone's future. The move comes after Wigan Shareholders Action Group sent a file to the police alleging irregularities in the previous votes of no confidence faced by Robinson and Rathbone, held in May.

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