St Helens back on top after comfortable win over London

Saints' Lachlan Coote (right) celebrates his try against London Broncos
Saints' Lachlan Coote (right) celebrates his try against London Broncos

St Helens maintained their unbeaten start to the season as they eased to a comfortable 26-0 victory over London Broncos to return to the top of the Betfred Super League table.


Saints are now the only club left with a 100 per cent start to the 2019 campaign following Castleford's defeat by Warrington on Thursday night, with Justin Holbrook's side edging two points clear of the Tigers and Wolves after the opening five games.

London had claimed a shock victory over champions Wigan Warriors in their last outing but despite a magnificent defensive effort at times at the Totally Wicked Stadium never looked like producing another upset against a Saints side, without talisman James Roby, who were always in control of the game.

Saints claimed five tries through Dom Peyroux, Theo Fages, Regan Grace, Kevin Naiqama and Lachlan Coote, who also kicked three goals.

Saints rested Man of Steel leader Roby which meant a first start for the club for Aaron Smith at hooker, while Naiqama returned to the side after missing the previous week's win at Salford and Jack Ashworth was also drafted in on the bench as Matty Costello and Matty Lees dropped out.

London made a whole host of changes from the side that shocked Wigan as they gave a Super League debut to Jacob Ogden, Matt Davies went straight into the side after his loan move from Warrington and there were recalls for Matty Fleming, Eloi Pelissier, Mark Ioane and Sadiq Adebiyi.

London made the worst possible start when the opening kick failed to go 10 metres and Saints needed no second invitation to take full advantage as Fages sent Peyroux over for the first try in the opening minute of the game.

To their credit the Broncos recovered from that early setback and settled into the contest and almost drew level when Elliot Kear looked to go over in the corner but was pulled back for a forward pass.

Some excellent defensive work from Danny Ward's side managed to keep their line intact despite being under some intense pressure from their hosts.

But Saints finally broke through the London resistance on 23 minutes when Coote's long pass allowed Grace to race over in the corner.

And seven minutes before half time, Saints claimed their third try when a powerful burst and clever offload by Zeb Taia allowed Fages to touch down and, with Coote kicking two first-half conversions, the home side led 16-0 at half-time.

London's excellent defensive efforts continued at the start of the second half as they again kept their line intact until the hour mark when Saints finally found a way through thanks to a midfield break by Fages who sent Coote racing clear under the posts. He also converted to stretch the lead to 22-0.

And St Helens completed the win when Naiqama crossed three minutes from time.