|28th Apr 2006|| Super League||HOME||10091||HT:8-10|
|Age in brackets is at time of match - Total average age for this team is 26. - ** non-playing sub|
MATCH REPORT : Saints overcame an indifferent first half performance to record their 12th consecutive win in Super League, equalling the club record set in 1996.
Despite missing Super League’s leading scorer Jamie Lyon with an eye infection, there appeared to be little trouble ahead when Paul Sculthorpe scored after just two minutes, and there seemed little to worry about when Sean Long spurned a clear opportunity when he chose not to pass to the supporting Paul Wellens minutes later.
Saints’ profligacy continued, as Leon Pryce and Long lost the ball less than 10 metres from the try line, then Wellens was only stopped by a desperate tap tackle by Michael Korkidas.
Relieved to find themselves just six points behind after 15 minutes of almost constant pressure, Wakefield got themselves back in contention when a slick passing move ended with winger Semi Tadulala scoring in the corner.
Benefiting from five consecutive penalties, and a disallowed try from Pryce, the Wildcats were enjoying a sustained period of possession. When Saints surrendered the ball on the last tackle inside their own half, Wakefield took full advantage, Tadulala pounced on Obst’s grubber kick to put the visitors into a shock, but deserved, lead.
An insipid first half display had left Saints facing an interval deficit for the first time in 2006, but were rescued when Pryce twisted out of a weak tackle to score with less than 60 seconds remaining.
Still lacking the fluency that the home fans have come to expect, Saints extended their lead through Pryce’s second try early in the second half.
A further score four minutes later opened up a 14-point cushion, virtually sealing the game. Saints two outstanding performers, Ade Gardner and James Roby, created forward momentum and, with the Wakefield defence back-pedalling, Pryce weaved his way through before releasing Long to score.
Two late tries from James Graham put a gloss on the scoreboard but it was still a comfortable victory for the Saints, who scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to stay four points clear at the top of engage Super League XI.
While a better performance will be required to extend the winning run next week against Huddersfield, their defence continues to be incredibly difficult to breach, conceding just 124 points in 12 matches, a record that is justifiably the envy of Super League.
Saints: Paul Wellens, Ade Gardner, Vinnie Anderson, Willie Talau, Francis Meli, Leon Pryce, Sean Long, Nick Fozzard, Keiron Cunningham, Jason Cayless, Lee Gilmour, Paul Sculthorpe, Jason Hooper.
Subs: James Roby, James Graham, Paul Anderson, Jon Wilkin.
T: Pryce (2), Graham (2), Sculthorpe, Long.
G: Hooper (4/5), Long (1/1).
Wakefield: Tom Saxton, Colum Halpenny, Jason Demetriou, Ryan Atkins, Semi Tadulala, Jamie Rooney, Ben Jeffries, Duncan MacGillivray, Sam Obst, Michael Korkidas, David Solomona, David Wrench, Monty Betham.
Subs: Ned Catic, Darrell Griffin, Paul White, Jon Whittle.
T: Tadulala (2).
G: Rooney (0/2).
Referee: R Laughton
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