Challenge Cup St Helens V Rochdale Hornets

Holders St Helens breezed into the Quarter Finals of the Carnegie Challenge Cup with a thumping 70–10 win over the Rochdale Hornets at Knowsley Road.

An upset was never on the cards as the home side asserted their dominance to take in a 32-0 half time lead against National League One’s bottom side.  

Despite starting well enough, Rochdale had no answer to the quick hands of Pryce and Talou who combined to send Meli over in the corner for the first try of the match. Wilkin also crossed for the Saints soon afterwards.

The visitors restricted St Helens to just two tries in the opening 25 minutes before a short ball from Roby allowed James Graham to crash over.  The floodgates then opened as reigning Man of Steel Paul Wellens grabbed a first half brace of tries and Ade Gardner marked his return from an eye injury with four points to help his team establish a 32-0 half time lead.

Saints picked up where they left off in the first half, with both Gardener and Wilkin scoring a second try each. A neat kick from Wellens then allowed Meli to claim a second before Balu Fagbourn ensured his side would not be nilled, scoring for the Hornets.

The Rochdale fans did not have long to celebrate however before Sculthorpe went over in the left hand corner to restore Saint’s comfortable advantage.

Eric Andrews and Maurie Fa’asavalu then exchanged tries before John Wilkin rounded off the scoring to claim his hat-trick and delight the home fans who had braved the weather.

The win means Saints progress to the Quarter Finals of the competition and they will have their sights firmly set on making an appearance at the new Wembley Stadium.

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