St Helens went two points clear at the top of the Super League table with a professional display against a stubborn London Broncos.
London wanted to chance their arm and had the tactic to try and starve Saints of the ball. This backfired as their kick off failed to go ten metres. On the back of this as Theo Fages set up Dominique Pexroux with a short ball who used his nifty footwork to beat a couple of London players to open the scoring. Lachlan Coote added the conversion to make it 6-0.
London almost immediately hit back with Elliot Kear going over in the corner only for it to be called back for a forward pass.
St Helens had the majority of the possession in the next twenty minutes and spent most of it camped in the Broncos half. Credit to London as they held firm despite Saints having many chances.
Saints finally got their second through Regan Grace after he scored in the corner from a 20 metre floating pass from Coote.
Theo Fages went from provider to scorer as Zeb Taia broke through the line with a jinking run and then offloaded to Fages as Saints began to run away with the game, going 16-0 at half time.
After the break it was London time to put some pressure on the Saints line but they could just not get past the white and red wall in front of them.
London were really stubborn in defence and once again it took St Helens twenty minutes to break through. It was that man again, Fages who broke through the line with Coote supporting to cross from 15 metres out.
Kevin Naqaima rounded off the win with a try late on to make the final score 26-0.
A real chance for survival
Despite getting beat and not scoring a point, the Broncos were impressive. Away to St Helens is a game where you could expect the scoreline to be 50+ and Saints had the possession and territory to do so but for great goal line defence. The two wins so far haven’t been due to luck and if they carry on with these performances they could defy the odds and avoid relegation.
The little French man
At the moment there isn’t a way back in for Danny Richardson. Fages looks much more comfortable playing at scrum half – first receiver than his usual position of stand off where the likes of Lomax and Coote can play off him. He had a hand in all of the tries and is dogged in defence.
The next hooker
Saints have been absolutely blessed in the hooking position for the last 25 years with Keiron Cunningham and James Roby. Justin Holbrook decided to give Roby a rest due to a niggle and he was replaced by Aaron Smith. Smith’s distribution is impressive and he was solid. With more game time who knows what could happen.
A three horse race already?
The win against the Broncos put them two points clear at the top of the table. In the same night, rivals Wigan and Leeds both lost once again meaning they are already eight points behind the leaders. Could this season just be a three horse race between Saints, Warrington and Castleford?
St Helens 26
Tries: Peyroux, Grace, Fages, Coote, Naqaima
Goals: Coote (3)
Drop Goals: n/a
London Broncos 0
Drop Goals: n/a
St Helens: Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Smith, Thompson, Taia, Peyroux, Knowles.
Interchanges: Paulo, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Amor, Ashworth.
London Broncos: Walker, Kear, Fleming, Ogden, Williams, Abdull, Smith, Battye, Pelissier, Butler, Yates, Lovell, Davies.
Interchanges: Ioane, Fozard, Gee, Adebiyi