Young stars leave Brown beaming

Saints coach Nathan Brown
Saints coach Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown was thrilled with the number of his players who are reaching top form as St Helens moved back to within a point of the Super League leaders Leeds by pummelling hapless Bradford 50-0 at the Odsal stadium.

Brown watched on as Saints ran in nine tries and kept their second from bottom of the table opponents pointless, with Luke Walsh contributing 18 points through a try and seven goals in blustery kicking conditions.

Jon Wilkin added a brace while there were also touchdowns for Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson - his 14th Super league try of the season - Adam Swift, Sia Soliola, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and James Roby.

For relegation threatened Bradford it was a disappointing end to a brief revival which had included recent battling victories over Catalans in the Challenge Cup and Warrington in the league.

Brown said: “We had some people who I thought had their best games for a while and on the back of their efforts it brought Robes (hooker James Roby) into the game.

“He was superior, I felt, to anyone else on the field and that comes off the back of people working with him.

“We had about six kids on the field who have played only ten, 15 or 20 Super League games so the guys should feel really happy.

“Sia (Soliola) was outstanding and he has a big effect on how our team performs - he had a great impact.

“Louie McCarthy has got better and better this last three weeks since coming back from a set-back and Mose Masoe’s contribution was better, plus all the youngsters had a real impact on how we attack and how we defend.

“We came here today after they had had two great wins against good teams and we had to work hard to get to where we did.

“They were disrupted a bit by losing Luke Gale but it still wasn’t handed to us.”

In addition to the late loss of playmaker Gale, the Bulls were also light in the forwards after Manase Manuokafoa’s comeback was put on hold for another week.

Bradford boss Francis Cummins pointed to the facts, saying: “We had two players pull out after our final training session.

“We started well but then gave them too much cheap ball and you cannot afford to do that against a side like St Helens.

“After that we went into free-fall a little.”

Bradford threatened in the opening few minutes and just one converted try separated the sides after almost half an hour but once goal-kicking scrum-half Walsh added a second score the floodgates began to open and the visitors added points at regular intervals.