Jonny leaps to Saints defence

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