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Saturday 23rd February 2013
Schizophrenic St.Helens are back to winning ways


"You can't afford to play against the main teams without the ball."

Schizophrenic St.Helens are back to winning ways, trampling Bradford Bulls 36-10 at Odsal. The Saints return to the scene of the 12-8 defeat which cost Royce Simmonds his job last March and run all over their beleagured opponents.

Many fans have been calling for Jonny Lomax to be switched to full-back for some time, and as he does so in the enforced absence of Paul Wellens he helps himself to a hat-trick of tries. Willie Manu gets his first try in Saints colours while Anthony Laffranchi, Tony Puletua and the returning Ade Gardner also get across for Nathan Brown's men. Gary Wheeler is also back in first team action and slots over four goals in the win. Bradford, who find themselves 26-0 down by half-time, respond a little better in the second half to cross through Brett Kearney and Elliot Kear, while former Saint Jamie Foster adds one conversion;

"Lomax certainly played well." starts Brown;

"The best modern-day full-backs are half-backs. He's athletic, he can pass and kick and see the game well. I don't think it was a genius move." he continues, which might not necessarily be what Wellens would want to hear;

"I was pleased with the fightback and in the second half we were able to trade sets but we need more quality than that to beat St Helens." admits Bulls coach Francis Cummins, adding;

"You can't afford to play against the main teams without the ball."

The Saturday evening fare is Warrington's trip to Humberside to take on Hull FC at the KC Stadium. Fresh from their draw at Saints a week previously the black and whites are competetive for a while, even leading 6-4 at half-time through Joe Westerman's converted try answered only by an unconverted effort from Chris Riley, but as the second half wears on the Wolves bite. Another for Riley, Joel Monaghan's third try-double in successive matches, and a further effort from Mickey Higham put the game to bed. By then, Ben Crooks' effort is mere consolation for Peter Gentle's side;

"We seemed to be stringing a 15 minute period together of absolute horrible football and we do it every game." blasts Gentle;

"We've got to get it out if we've got aspirations to go anywhere."

Warrington boss Tony Smith seems to be blaming the transport arrangements for his side's slow start, but is pleased at how they responded;

"Sometimes when you sit on the bus for a couple of hours you don't have the same energy and we had the first-half blues." he explains;

"I thought there were some real stand-out performers today, Michael Monaghan was back to some of his best play." he states.

By Stephen Orford

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