Saints 48 London 18

London Bronco's Denny Solomona and St Helens Sia Soliola during the First Utility Super League match at Langtree Park, St Helens.
London Bronco's Denny Solomona and St Helens Sia Soliola during the First Utility Super League match at Langtree Park, St Helens.

Aussie maestro Luke Walsh showed his class as Saints ended a run of three successive defeats to return to the top of the First Utility Super League.

Walsh scored one of his side’s nine tries and kicked six goals in a 48-18 victory over London that leaves the Broncos still looking for their first win of 2014.

Saints’ much-needed victory was cheered by chairman Eamon McManus, who had described his club’s losses to Wigan and Leeds as “upsetting as anything” he has experienced in his 14 years at the helm.

Saints, who left out skipper Paul Wellens, were also indebted to England hooker James Roby as they dominated the game from start to finish.

It took the home side only five minutes to score their first try, centre Matty Dawson pouncing after Jon Wilkin’s grubber kick on the last tackle eluded London winger Iliess Macani.

Walsh dummied his way past some soft defence four minutes later and, after Dawson and co-centre Josh Jones were brought down inches short of the line, kept his side on the attack with a 40-20 kick.

Prop Luke Thompson offloaded from a two-man tackle just short of the line to send over Lomax, who then took an audacious reverse pass from Walsh to break clear and get winger Tom Makinson over for his 13th Super League try of the season.

Camped deep inside their own half, it was 30 minutes before London handled the ball in their opponents’ half and they pulled a try back almost straight away, with winger Denny Solomona taking Ben Farrar’s cut-out pass to cross at the corner.

Josh Drinkwater kicked the touchline conversion and Solomona was in the action again six minutes later but with horrific consequences as he went head first into a metal hoarding behind the posts after chasing a kick from Drinkwater.

It was close to the spot where Australian second rower Luke Lewis sustained a dislocated shoulder in the Kangaroos’s group win over Fiji in November that ruled him out of the rest of the World Cup.

Solomona was able to get to his feet after receiving treatment but he played no further part in the match and the pain went on for his team-mates.

The Londoners had shown signs making a game of it in the final 10 minutes of the first half but they were blown away inside five minutes of the restart.

They fell for another of Walsh’s outrageous dummies to let his half-back partner Lance Hohaia over for a try and two minutes later Dawson broke from his own half to get his winger Adam Swift over.

The Broncos’ biggest threat came from the boot of Drinkwater and centre Thomas Minns got on the end of one of his high kicks to sprint 30 metres for his side’s second try and Drinkwater kicked his second conversion.

However, Saints continued to boss the game and a break by England hooker Roby set up the position for Hohaia to put forward Joe Greenwood over while Walsh was involved in the move that saw centre Jones go in for their eighth try on the hour.

A superb offload from forward Atelea Vea created a third try for the Londoners through Mike Bishay but Saints had the final say when substitute Mark Flanagan forced his way over two minutes from the end.