|9th Sep 2006|| Super League||HOME||10024||HT:30-0|
|MATCH NOTES : Saints last home Super League game of the season. The victory saw the team presented with the League Leaders' Shield at the conclusion of the match. |
|Age in brackets is at time of match - Total average age for this team is 25. - ** non-playing sub|
MATCH REPORT : In his last regular Super League match at Knowsley Road, the departing Jamie Lyon put in a performance to remember with a twenty-minute hat-trick that blew away Leeds Rhinos.
The Rhinos had faint hopes of snatching second place from Hull at kick-off but they had no response to a red-hot Saints attack that scored five tries in the first half to clinch the League Leaders’ Shield.
Lyon opened the scoring from Cunningham’s pass then Sean Long profited after Jon Wilkin had stripped the ball from the grasp of Rhinos full-back Jordan Tansey.
It was not just when in their opponents twenty metres that Saints are dangerous as they proved once again following an innocuous kick downfield. Wellens collected and released Francis Meli who brushed off the challenge of Scott Donald to race eighty metres to score a fantastic try.
Lyon rounded off a six-man passing move to score his second, before completing his hat-trick after just twenty-six minutes.
Jon Wilkin broke through but was quickly surrounded by defenders so dabbed through a grubber into Lyon’s path for the Australian centre to touch down.
Ade Gardner scored his 21st try of Super League XI to end any hopes that there could be a second half revival.
Although the Rhinos did come out strongly Saints’ defence was able to withstand the Leeds’ threat. It took an astute grubber from Rob Burrow behind Saints left-side defence for Scott Donald to score after a period of sustained pressure, but it was not long before normal service was resumed.
Maurie Fa’asavalu showed his raw power and bounced off several Leeds defenders to set the platform that resulted in Meli’s second try.
Paul Wellens then scored twice in three minutes, first from Long’s short kick and then he was in support following Jon Wilkin’s midfield break.
Gardner also scored his second after Lyon put him in at the corner, and the Manly-bound player was once again unselfish when he handed the conversion attempt to retiring prop forward Paul Anderson.
From the touchline, Anderson lofted the kick between the posts to raise the roof. It was the kind of night where everything went right for Saints, and two late tries, from Donald and Clinton Toopi did nothing to take the gloss of a magnificent performance.
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