Saturday 15th September 2012, 18:00 - Round:Play Offs
|Brett Hodgson,||T||Iosia Soliola, Tom Makinson 2, James Roby, Francis Meli,|
Tom Makinson 4,
Attendance: 10,190 Official: B Thaler Venue: Halliwell Jones Stadium
Tommy Makinson played a starring role as St Helens moved through to the Stobart Super League semi-finals.
Winger Makinson touched down for two tries, and the Saints pack also played a key role in demolishing Challenge Cup winners Warrington Wolves.
With an aggressive stint from Sia Soliola, back from injury, Saints mastered a Wolves six that sorely missed Ben Westwood and Ben Harrison.
The hosts were further weakened by the loss of Garreth Carvell and the St Helens forwards made the most of their opportunity.
Although the first quarter was packed with incident, both sides made too many handling errors to build any pressure.
Inevitably the opening try came from a mistake.
It arrived in the 22nd minute when St Helens prop Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook threw a forward pass and, in the next passage, Richie Myler sent Brett Hodgson dummying and stepping his way over the line.
Warrington should have extended their lead but hooker Michael Monaghan was stopped by a great tackle from Soliola.
Moments later, Monaghan charged down James Roby's clearance kick but knocked on with the line clear.
Saints levelled up in the 33rd minute when Jonny Lomax and Paul Wellens created the space for Soliola to push through a hole and touch down.
Soliola smashed his way through again four minutes before the interval when, following a Monaghan knock-on, he scooped up the ball before holding off England centre Ryan Atkins in his race downfield and slipping the ball for Makinson to do the rest.
Wolves tried to re-assert themselves after the break when Lee Briers targeted St Helens wing Francis Meli for some high-ball treatment.
However, despite forcing errors, the visiting defence held firm – a factor that was the game-clincher.
St Helens countered magnificently in the 51st minute, with a short ball from Jon Wilkin setting Lomax free; the young scrum-half kept his head to outfox full-back Hodgson and send Makinson in for his second try.
Man mountain Tony Puletua slipped a super offload for energetic hooker Roby to touch down by the posts and make sure in the 64th minute.
He was followed over the whitewash by Meli, who touched down in the corner from a Wellens pass three minutes later.
Makinson ended the night with four goals to add to his two-try tally after a magnificent showing from Saints.