Saints trip impress yet again

PICTURE BY VAUGHN RIDLEY/SWPIX.COM...Rugby League - Gillette 4 Nations 2011 - England v Wales - Leigh Sports Village, Leigh, England - 29/10/11&England's Jon Wilkin.
PICTURE BY VAUGHN RIDLEY/SWPIX.COM...Rugby League - Gillette 4 Nations 2011 - England v Wales - Leigh Sports Village, Leigh, England - 29/10/11&England's Jon Wilkin.

SAINTS trio James Roby, James Graham and Jon Wilkin put in professional shift to help brush aside the Welsh challenge.

Roby in particular was effective at dummy-half controlling much of England’s attacking play.

It was Wigan star Sam Tomkins (below right) – now the subject of much union interest – who shone brightest, scoring a tournament record-equalling four tries.

The Wigan full-back sparkled on a gloomy afternoon to light up an otherwise drab display, which will do little to inspire hopes of a victory over Australia at Wembley in England’s next match.

The game began disastrously for Wales, with experienced forward Jordan James knocked out cold in the first tackle of the match by England second-rower Ben Westwood.

It robbed coach Iestyn Harris of a key man and severely reduced his interchange options, which proved decisive as the Welsh naturally faded towards the end.

England got possession from that opening tackle and duly opened the scoring when Tomkins took Chase’s pass to cross for his first try.

When Tomkins scored again it look routine for McNamara’s team.

But, inspired by captain Lee Briers, the Welsh played with spirit to keep England in check and test their defence.

England extended their lead to 14-0 by half-time when centre Kirk Yeaman crossed over.

Tomkins then completed his hat-trick on 49 minutes, which secured him the man-of-the-match award.

Reed posted his second try in as many matches and Tomkins another to produce a scoreline which flattered England.

Wales never gave up and gained some consolation on 66 minutes when winger Elliott Kear made full use of an overlap to score at the corner.