Official Match Report
Ben Barba bagged two tries as St Helens laid down a marker for their Betfred Super League semi-final against Warrington Wolves with a comfortable 34-14 victory at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Scrum-half Danny Richardson registered a try and five goals with Saints’ other tries scored by Luke Douglas, Regan Grace and Jonny Lomax, with Warrington’s points coming from tries by Kevin Brown, Bryson Goodwin and Toby King and one conversion from Dec Patton.
The opening 40 minutes was a tasty appetiser for the much bigger showdown to come when the two teams go head-to-head again on Thursday week at the Totally Wicked Stadium when a Grand Final spot at Old Trafford on October 13 will be the huge prize on offer for the winners.
Despite nothing to play for with the top four positions all sorted, there was no love lost between the two sides with three players – Matty Lees and Mark Percival from St Helens and Warrington’s Ryan Atkins – all spending time in the sin-bin after a first half all-in brawl.
St Helens head coach Justin Holbrook said: “It was just important we played well but I don’t think it matters who won or lost today for two weeks’ time.
“We play that many games and before the Super 8s started we were already going to have a home semi-final so motivation levels can’t stay that high every single week.
“It’s an exciting time of year and we are not there yet but it’s coming and it’s just a one semi-final system.”
Warrington boss Steve Price said: “Today’s result is not going to mean too much in two weeks’ time and we will get a few players back and go again.
“It was hard work when we lost our halves Tyrone Roberts and Kevin Brown – it would be difficult for any team when you lose your two key playmakers – and both back-rowers were struggling with injuries, so we have a bit of work to do.
“St Helens are a good football team and league leaders for a reason and lapses in any part of the field they punish you as they showed today.”
|5||goal||Goal scored for St Helens by Danny Richardson||0-2|
|23||try||Try scored for Warrington by Kevin Brown||4-2|
|23||goal||Goal scored for Warrington by Declan Patton||6-2|
|32||try||Try scored for St Helens by Luke Douglas||6-6|
|32||goal||Goal scored for St Helens by Danny Richardson||6-8|
|39||try||Try scored for St Helens by Regan Grace||6-12|
|51||try||Try scored for St Helens by Jonny Lomax||6-16|
|52||goal||Goal scored for St Helens by Danny Richardson||6-18|
|53||try||Try scored for St Helens by Danny Richardson||6-22|
|54||goal||Goal scored for St Helens by Danny Richardson||6-24|
|58||try||Try scored for St Helens by Ben Barba||6-28|
|65||try||Try scored for Warrington by Toby King||10-28|
|76||try||Try scored for St Helens by Ben Barba||10-32|
|77||goal||Goal scored for St Helens by Danny Richardson||10-34|
|78||try||Try scored for Warrington by Bryson Goodwin||14-34|