Saints savour taste of success after barren run

Halifax 18 St Helens 26

May was the cruellest month for St Helens, but they started June with a victory that was as uplifting as it was unexpected.

A team largely composed of reserves, with an 18-year-old debutant in Jason Johnson at stand-off, performed magnificently to build up a 26-point lead against all the odds at Thrum Hall. They then showed limitless reserves of enthusiasm to hold off the inevitable Halifax backlash and record the club's first win since Wembley.

The vibrant spirit that Saints displayed will do much to wipe out the unhappy memories of what has happened since, but they also needed a little good fortune to start them on their way. Their first try, scored by Anthony Sullivan after six minutes, seemed to include a forward pass, but any further luck that Saints enjoyed they thoroughly earned.

On 14 minutes, Bobbie Goulding, marshalling the young players around him with great authority, spotted a gap behind Halifax's rearguard and the race to his kick was won by Danny Arnold.

Halifax were not helping themselves, Martin Pearson's wild pass being scooped up by Vila Matautia, who found Sullivan supporting him on his shoulder to claim his second try. Then, right on the stroke of half-time, Alan Hunte, one potent attacker returning to Saints' ranks last night, cashed in on some brilliant running by Chris Morley and Arnold to go over for their fourth try.

They carried on the second half, Goulding dribbling the ball past the Halifax defence before side-footing it into the corner for Arnold to emulate Sullivan by grabbing his second.

Halifax tend to play to their potential for only part of the game and this was where they started in earnest. Chris Chester's dummy began the fightback and David Bouveng took an inside pass from Pearson for a second try.

When Martin Moana got through to make it three in 10 minutes, it seemed Saints' lead would not be sufficient to save them, but, with loose forward Dean Busby outstanding, theyhung on.

Halifax: Umaga; Amone, Moana, Bouveng, Tuilagi; Pearson, Dean; Harrison, Rowley, Slicker, Highton, Gillespie, Chester. Substitutes used: Powell, Munro, Jackson. Substitute not used: Bastian.

St Helens: Haigh; Arnold, Hunte, Matautia, Ivan; Johnson, Goulding; Leatham, Anderson, O'Neill, Booth, Morley, Busby. Substitutes used: Barrow, Shiel, Cross, O'Loughlin.

Referee: D Campbell (Widnes).

Bradford, the Super League leaders, go into the World Club Championship on the back of a 40-24 win at Salford. Graeme Bradley was superb, including two tries in a fine performance.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
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

Front-Office Developer (C#, .NET, Java,Artificial Intelligence)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Front-Of...

C++ Quant Developer

£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...

Java/Calypso Developer

£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, J2EE, J...

SQL Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer SQL, C#, Stored Procedures, MDX...

Day In a Page

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York