Warrington 26-40 St Helens

Three late tries for injury hit St Helens secured them the two points.

Kyle Eastmond was the standout performer, scoring six goals, a try, and creating several more.
An inform Warrington fancied their chances against table toppers St Helens in a thrilling game. Both sides has been suffered from injuries, with Warrington missing the influential Lee Briers and Adrian Morley, and St Helens without the vastly experienced Sean Long, Kieran Cunningham, Matt Gidley and Nathan Cayless.

Warrington started the game the better team and deservedly opened the scoring. John Clarke finished a move which started in their own half. A clever run and short ball by Mickey Higham put Louis Anderson into a half gap, bumping a defender off in the process. An offload to Matt King down the left put him away, as he beat the cover before offloading out of a Paul Wellens’ tackle to the supporting Clarke.

St Helens fought their way back into the game. Fourteen points in quick succession put them into the lead. A short ball by Kyle Eastmond to Lee Gilmour at the line put him through a gaping hole as he rounded the full back to score.

A break by Gary Wheeler down the left side led to Saints being in a good attacking position. James Graham capitalised as he took a short ball off James Roby to crash over from short range. Eastmond added both conversions and a further penalty to put them 14-6 in the lead.

After the blitz of points from St Helens, Warrington slowly played their way back. Riley got close in the corner; only desperate cover defence by Ade Gardner prevented the try. Warrington did not have to wait long though, as Chris Bridge closed the gap to two as he cut through the line from ten metres out.

Saints extended the lead to six points on the half time hooter as Gardner scored in the corner. Roby had picked up a loose ball deep in his own half and raced away down the wing. Although chased down, Saints scored on the following tackle as they spread the ball to the opposite wing; Eastmond providing the decisive pass to the unmarked Gardner.

Warrington started the second half as they began the first. After Saints lost the ball in the own half, Paul Johnson levelled the scores by breaking up the middle from a straightforward drive, beating three players before scoring underneath the posts from 30 metres out.

Gareth Carvell scored one of the tries of the season to put Warrington ahead. A St Helens offload was fumbled, and Carvell was the first to react. The crowd watched in amazement as he raced over 60 metres to score, beating the whole Saints team to the line.

The lead did not last long, however. After a switch play by Roby, Eastmond ducked between two tacklers to break through. Wellens supported to score easily underneath the posts. Saints could have scored again if Eastmond had been able to ground the ball as he yet again broke through the Warrington defence.

St Helens amazingly stopped Johnson from scoring his second. Wheeler and Wellens combined to hold him up on the last tackle. Bridge settled with restoring Warrington’s lead with a penalty soon afterwards.

The lead lasted barely a few minutes. Graham put Wellens through a gaping hole with a cleverly disguised short ball, and Eastmond supported to score a well-deserved try to put Saints back into the lead.

Eastmond nearly scored again, but the video referee ruled he was short. St Helens did not have to wait long, as Graham crashed over from short range just a few tackles later. Francis Meli sealed the game after chasing a John Wilkin chip kick and scoring in the corner.

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