Sculthorpe makes amends for Saints' slump

St Helens 56 Warrington 6

Dave Hadfield
Thursday 09 January 2014 05:38
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Warrington were the perfect sacrificial victims for the Saints after the champions' run of four successive defeats, caving in for their usual heavy beating on their neighbour's ground. Jason Hooper and Martin Gleeson led the way with two tries apiece as the Saints wrapped up what has become their statutory half-century in home matches against the Wolves.

Tommy Martyn was back after a broken arm to try to get the Saints back on track, but Sean Long was only fit enough to start on the bench.

It might have spelt opportunity to Warrington, but their record at Knowsley Road is atrocious, with no wins there in the Super League era. To make matters worse, they were without their mainspring, Lee Briers, and it showed.

Paul Sculthorpe had more to prove than most after the Saints' defeat at Wigan on Good Friday and he set about repairing any minor damage to his reputation.

After three minutes, when Nick Fozzard had been penalised, it was Sculthorpe who supplied the pass for Hooper to find a clear passage to the try line. Four minutes later, Paul Wellens provided the pass for Sculthorpe himself to stroll through unmolested and, after 15 minutes, Sculthorpe's pass after a scrum-based move found Gleeson and his footwork did the rest.

With two goals from Sculthorpe, the Saints were 16 points up, and they were only briefly restrained when Michael Wainwright got his pass away to Lee Penny for a Warrington try.

But in the 10 minutes before half-time Saints scored three more tries, Mick Higham nipping in from dummy half, Hooper getting his second from John Stankevitch's break and Long coming off the bench to send Paul Newlove over, with Sculthorpe's three goals adding to the mayhem.

The Saints also began the second half ominously with Long slipping a superb pass out of the tackle for Darren Smith to score.

Warrington then dug in butLong and Sculthorpe combined to put Gleeson through a gap for his second and, in the last five minutes, Ade Gardner scored from Sculthorpe's high kick and Martyn marked his successful comeback by touching down from Long's clever grubber.

Saints' coach, Ian Millward, called Martyn "the most talented in the UK. He gave us new enthusiasm and new options." For his opposite number, Paul Cullen, it was the familiar feeling of failure at Knowsley Road. "My major disappointment is that we stood back and let Saints play and they showed absolutely no mercy."

St Helens: Wellens; Hooper, Gleeson, Newlove, Gardner, Sculthorpe, Martyn, Britt, Jonkers, Edmondson, Stankevitch, Smith, Joynt. Substitutes used: Higham, Jones, Long, Ward.

Warrington: Penny; Smyth, Grose, Crouthers, Appo, Hulse, N Wood, Fozzard, Clarke, Hilton, Guisset, Wainwright, Burns. Substitutes used: Noone, P Wood, Sturm, Stevens.

Referee: I Smith (Oldham).

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