Mark Percival and Danny Richardson led St Helens to a comfortable victory against local rivals Warrington Wolves.
Steve Price made three changes to his Warrington side that lost at Hull FC last week. Toby King, Kevin Brown and Harvey Livett came in for Bryson Goodwin, Declan Patton and Sitaleki Akauola.
Justin Holbrook was forced to make one change as young forward Matty Lees replaced the concussed Jon Wilkin.
St Helens started very well at the Halliwell Jones Stadium and caused Warrington problems from the off. Tyrone Roberts rushed out of Warrington’s defensive line and left a big gap. St Helens came on the inside through Mark Percival who scampered through to score. Danny Richardson converted to put his side 6-0 up.
Warrington drew level midway through the first half. A Warrington kick bounced into the hands of Toby King who scored out wide. Stefan Ratchford added the extras, 6-6.
Richardson edged Saints into a narrow lead on the half hour mark. Warrington were caught having a second effort in the tackle and St Helens opted to take the two. Richardson added the penalty goal to put the visitors 8-6 ahead.
St Helens had a couple of more chances to score in the first half but Warrington produced good defence to keep them out. Saints led by two points at half time.
It couldn’t have been a better start to the second half for Saints while it couldn’t have been a worse start from the Wolves. Warrington dropped the ball straight from kick off and Saints scored in the following set. James Roby scooted from dummy-half to reach over the line from close. The conversion was good and Saints were 14-6 ahead.
Harvey Livett soon replied for the Wolves. Roberts put a kick into the corner and Toby King collected it before getting a fine offload away to Livett who finished well in the corner. Ratchford added the conversion but Warrington were still behind.
Holbrook’s side extended their lead on the hour. A bit of magic from Ben Barba saw Percival go over for his second. The conversion was missed but Saints were 18-12 in front.
Saints scored what could just be the try of the weekend. Richardson made a sublime break and put a chip across field to Percival who completed his hat-trick. Richardson converted, Warrington 12-24 St Helens.
Richardson put the cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake with just a couple of minutes remaining. Percival put a kick through for the energetic Richardson who darted over. Richardson’s boot sealed a fine 30-12 victory for the Saints who sit top of the table.
Warrington: 1 Ratchford; 2 Lineham, 18 T King, 4 Atkins, 21 M Brown; 6 K Brown, 7 Roberts; 8 Hill, 9 Clark, 10 Cooper, 13 Murdoch-Masila, 12 Hughes, 34 Westwood. Subs: 17 Philbin, 14 Crosby, 19 G King, 20 Livett.
St Helens: 23 Barba; 5 Swift, 2 Makinson, 4 Percival, 19 Grace; 1 Lomax, 18 Richardson; 10 Amor, 9 Roby, 16 Thompson, 11 Taia, 17 Peyroux, 13 McCarthy-Scarsbrook. Subs: 6 Fages, 8 Walmsley, 14 Douglas, 20 Lees.
Starman: Mark Percival – he seemed to be in the right place at the right time throughout the game. His hat-trick just edged him getting the accolade over Danny Richardson who was also superb.