Yates’ verdict: The defining moment of win over Leigh

Action between Saints and Leigh. Photo: Paul McCarthy
Action between Saints and Leigh. Photo: Paul McCarthy

Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook’s stunning do-or-die try-saving tackle literally seconds from the interval proved one of the defining moments in Saints’ comprehensive 28-6 home victory over neighbours Leigh Centurions on Friday night,

The substitute came to the rescue after a defensive blunder which left the hosts almost totally exposed at the back.

They led 12-6 at the time and had the Londoner’s timely intervention not succeeded in the grand manner, Leigh would almost certainly have gone in at the break with self-belief.

As events unfolded, however, Saints were able to build on their six-point advantage, grow in confidence by the minute, and also put to the back of their minds some rather bizarre and baffling refereeing decisions which went against them.

Skipper John Wilkin was named as the official man of the match but it must have been a closely run things as there were other prime contenders.

Personally, I thought stand off Theo Fages was outstanding in both attack and defence and his partnership with Matty Smith is improving the more they play together.

Prop Alex Walmsley, due to face Samoa this weekend, and his England colleague, centre Mark Percival, also stamped their authority on proceeding.

They both scored tries and the latter landed four goals from five attempts as the hosts battled to overcome a spirited Leigh side who more than held their own for much of the first half.

But they were forced to play second fiddle after the break as Saints hit them with a 16-point broadside and just as important kept the visitors score less during this period.

Togetherness was one of the keys to Saints’ fifth victory of the season and the point wasn’t lost on joint interim coach Derek Traynor.

Traynor said: “The lads really pulled together and they showed great team spirit with everyone working hard as a unit and we thoroughly deserved our win.

“Sean Long has been introducing a few new things, which won’t sink in at once, but there is a willingness to move the ball about and play a little football.”

Tickets for Saints’ Ladbrokes Challenge Cup sixth round tie at Castleford on Saturday, May 13, are now on sale.

Advance prices for members: Adults - £15, concessions (students, juniors, OAPs) - £8, junior members - free.

Advanced prices for non-members: Adults - £18, concessions (students, juniors, OAPs) - £10.

Junior members have to pick up their swaps before they trave while coach travel will be announced shortly.