Barba back to best as St Helens ease past Warrington

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Ben Barba produced a man of the match display to help St Helens win comfortably at Warrington.

Steve Price made five changes to his Warrington side that lost at Wigan Warriors last week. Kevin Brown, Tyrone Roberts, Mike Cooper, Chris Hill and Ben Murdoch-Masila replaced Tom Lineham, Daryl Clark, Ben Pomeroy, Luis Johnson and Jack Hughes.

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook made four changes to his outfit that beat Hull FC to clinch the League Leaders’ Shield last time out. Dom Peyroux, Zeb Taia, Theo Fages and Ryan Morgan came in for Kyle Amor, Jake Spedding, Jack Welsby and Matty Costello.

Saints took the lead in the early minutes at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Ben Westwood was penalised for a late shot on Danny Richardson. They opted to take a shot at goal and Richardson added the penalty. He has now scored points in 32 consecutive games.

Young front-rower Matty Lees was sent to the sin bin in the 13thminute for the use of knees in a tackle on Roberts. A brawl broke out following the incident which resulted in Ryan Atkins and Mark Percival being shown yellow cards for fighting.

Roberts left the field following the challenge with Leeds and didn’t return after failing a concussion assessment.

Warrington went in front while they had a man extra. Kevin Brown sold Saints a cheeky dummy to glide over the line. Declan Patton converted to put his side in a 6-2 lead.

Scotland front-rower Luke Douglas made a big impact for St Helens when he came on the field. He went on a barnstorming run to crash over. Richardson’s conversion edged Saints into an 8-6 advantage.

The away side extended their lead just before the break. Jack Ashworth went on a magnificent break and the ball was spread down the line to Wales winger Regan Grace who touched down. They led 12-6 at half-time.

Saints were hitting top form in the second half and Percival got a lovely inside ball away to Jonny Lomax who scored. Lomax surpassed the 500-point milestone for Super League points.

Holbrook’s men got their second in as many minutes as Morgan made a 60-metre break and assisted the supporting Richardson who darted over. He converted his own try.

The visitors got their third try in the space of six minutes thanks to a brilliant solo effort from Ben Barba.

In the 65thminute, Warrington pulled one back as Toby King intercepted a wayward pass to score out wide.

Barba scored his second of the game with four minutes to go as he danced past a couple of the Wolves’ defenders to touch down. Richardson added the extras.

Bryson Goodwin produced an incredible finish in the corner for Warrington with just over a minute remaining but it was only a consolation as St Helens finished 34-14 winners.

Warrington: Ratchford; Goodwin, T King, Atkins, Charnley; K Brown, Roberts; Hill, Patton, Cooper, Murdoch-Masila, Thompson, Westwood. Subs: Philbin, G King, Livett, Smith.

St Helens: Barba; Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Grace; Lomax, Richardson; Thompson, Knowles, Lees, Taia, Bentley, Wilkin. Subs: Fages, Douglas, Peyroux, Ashworth.

Starman: Ben Barba put in his best performance in a while and his form comes at exactly the right time.

Attendance: 10,747

About Drew Darbyshire 8311 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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