Saints striving for perfection

Saints Luke Walsh
Saints Luke Walsh

Saints are still striving for a high level of consistency despite making a flying start to the new First Utility Super League season.

A blistering second-half performance, in which they scored five tries, finally quelled the stubborn resistance of a spirited Rovers’ outfit and ensured their 100 per cent record remained in tact.

It was a far cry from a rather erratic and error-strewn opening 40 minutes when the table-toppers surrendered an early 12 point advantage and were rather fortuitous still be on level terms at the break.

But there was no half-time ranting and raving on Friday night, unlike the previous home game against Rovers’ neighbours Hull FC when a stern lecture from coach Nathan Brown was instrumental in turning a 10-6 deficit into a comprehensive victory.

“It was a rather peaceful on this occasion,” reflected Brown, but his players didn’t need reminding where they had gone wrong and responded in a positive and assured manner.

Saints were also able to give an eagerly-awaited debut from the bench to giant Samoa prop Mose Masoe and obviously his reputation had preceded him - being welcomed to Super League by one early four-man tackle.

Neither did it come as a surprise that he was utilised sparingly by Brown after recovering from ankle surgery but looks set to be a formidable force once he get a a few more games under his belt.

Ironically, his initial introduction co-incided with Rovers’ first-half fightback after they had conceded two Luke Walsh converted tries in the opening 13 minutes, Adam Swift pouncing on a loose pass to score and then sending Jonny Lomax over after the full back had sold his opposite number, Greg Eden, an outrageous dummy.

Second rower Kevin Larroyer sparked the revival with a try on the half hour mark, which Travis Burns converted, and then the latter added his

second goal just before the interval to add to Eden’s touchdown after Jordan Turner left an alarming gap in the line for the full back to exploit and bring the scores level.

But any hopes the Humbersiders had of repeating last season’s 24-12 league win at Langtree Park were quickly erased as Saints conjured up a magical and spell-binding passage of play to score five unanswered tries.

Prop Alex Walmsley was rewarded for a powerhouse display, battering his way over the whitewash from hooker James Roby’s pass eight minutes after the restart with Walsh tagging on his third successive goal.

Swift collected his second try after good work Lomax and further tries from Sia Soliola and Tommy Makinson added to Saints’ lead.

Brown’s boys still had time to complete a seven-try demolition in spectacular fashion when Swift, who was named man of the match, leapt high to collect yet another tantalising Walsh kick, then feeding a pass basketball style to the supporting Wilkin who stormed over.

Substitute Paul Wellens - just one point short of the 1,000 mark in domestic and international competition during his time career - had the milestone chalked off when his effort was ruled out.