Jonny leaps to Saints defence

Jonny Lomax in action against Widnes earlier this season
Jonny Lomax in action against Widnes earlier this season

ST Helens acting boss Mike Rush saluted his side’s defensive effort after their 76-0 demolition of Championship One part-timers Oldham in the Carnegie Challenge Cup.

The 14-try victory followed a 62-0 Super League win over Widnes last week.

Jonny Lomax scored 28 points, with two tries and 10 goals, while Francis Meli bagged a hat-trick.

But Rush preferred to focus on the other side of a satisfying scoreline, and said: “It went according to plan and after the Widnes win we spoke about keeping a clean sheet.

“Defence is an attitude thing and I don’t know how long it is since Saints nilled a side two weeks running.

“We expected Oldham to have a dig at the start of each half and they did but we got a little bit tetchy at times.

“We missed two or three chances and made a few cheap errors.

“The spine of our team - Paul Wellens, Lance Hohaia, Jonny Lomax and James Roby - played a big part when they got their hands on the ball.”

Saints have now lost only one of seven matches since Rush stepped in after Royce Simmons’ departure.

Rush added: “Confidence is a big thing and we have turned in some really good performances. We just have to try and keep it going.”

Oldham coach Tony Benson, whose side trailed 38-0 at half-time, said: “I’m very proud of the performance.

“We fought hard from the first minute to the last and didn’t give up.

“There was even a period where we dominated five or six sets and that’s not easy against a team like Saints.

“Our defence held for long periods but a lot of their tries came from penalties we conceded.

“Jamie Dallimore’s sin-binning made life extra difficult and then we picked up a couple of injuries, but we have got a lot out of this game.”