|12th May 2006|| Super League||HOME||13250||HT:4-26|
|Age in brackets is at time of match - Total average age for this team is 24. - ** non-playing sub|
MATCH REPORT : Saints maintained their unbeaten record at home against Warrington Wolves in the Super League era, but had to withstand a strong fightback from the visitors who recorded the highest score against Saints in 2006.
18 of their points came in 22 second-half minutes that reduced the deficit to just four, as Saints teetered on the brink of their second successive defeat.
Right winger Henry Fa’afili touched down following great work from ex-Saint Martin Gleeson, then left winger Richie Barnett squeezed down the touchline to score. Barnett was then denied a second when Leon Pryce tackled him as he dived for the ball over the line, but the video referee intervened, awarding a penalty try.
Lee Briers’s third conversion brought the score to 26-22 with fourteen minutes remaining, and it looked like the Wolves had the momentum to go on to win the game. However Saints’ defensive resolve is remarkably strong, and they prevented the visitors from scoring again, despite being put under relentless pressure.
With less than two minutes remaining, Ade Gardner was able to break up Warrington’s final attack with an interception before racing downfield to seal the victory.
It relieved the tension for most of the 13,250 crowd, who had expected a much easier second half after Saints had built up a large interval lead.
Lee Gilmour’s try from Sean Long’s crossfield kick had equalised Michael Sullivan’s early score, as both teams played conservatively in a nervy opening.
The introduction of Matty Smith for Jon Wilkin, with Pryce switching to full-back, gave the Saints team a better balance, and the improvement was immediate.
Gilmour scored his second after James Roby’s break, before the Yorkshireman eschewed the chance of a hat-trick when he unselfishly set up Gardner.
With Warrington hanging on for half-time, Saints scored their third in eight minutes when Pryce and Long combined in midfield to send Vinnie Anderson clear.
At 26-4 it appeared that Saints were not missing their injured sextet of Paul Wellens, Willie Talau, Francis Meli, Paul Anderson, Mike Bennett and Maurie Fa’asavalu, all missing through injury, but the second half provided enough anxious moments for Saints to hope that at least some of these return for next week’s Powergen Challenge Cup tie against Bradford Bulls.
Saints: Leon Pryce, Ian Hardman, Vinnie Anderson, Jamie Lyon, Ade Gardner, Jason Hooper, Sean Long, Jason Cayless, Keiron Cunningham, Nick Fozzard, Lee Gilmour, Jon Wilkin, Paul Sculthorpe.
Subs: James Graham, James Roby, Paul Clough, Matty Smith.
T: Gilmour (2), Gardner (2), V Anderson.
G: Lyon (7/7)
Wolves: Stuart Reardon, Henry Fa’afili, Martin Gleeson, Brent Grose, Richie Barnett, Lee Briers, Michael Sullivan, Paul Rauhihi, Mark Gleeson, Chris Leikvoll, Mike Wainwright, Logan Swann, Ben Westwood.
Subs: Paul Noone, Paul Wood, Andy Bracek, Mark Hilton.
T: Sullivan, Fa’afili, Barnett, Penalty.
G: Briers (3/4)
Referee: R Silverwood.
Copyright © Saints Heritage Society 1999-2022