Super League  Sunday 10th February 2013  Select Security Stadium Halton  Att: 8,322

Squad

Allen, Briscoe, Cahill, Clarke, Cross, Flynn, Gerrard, Hanbury, Hock, Isa, Joseph, Leuluai, Marsh, Mellor, O'Carroll, Phelps, Pickersgill, White, Winterstein.

Squad

Wellens, Gardner, Turner, Soliola, Meli, Hohaia, Lomax, Perry, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Puletua, Wilkin, Manu, Laffranchi, Flanagan, Jones, Gaskell, Makinson, Greenwood.

Scorers

TRY SCORERS:

Stefan Marsh

GOAL SCORERS:

Scorers

TRY SCORERS:

Francis Meli

Lee Gaskell

Francis Meli

GOAL SCORERS:

Lee Gaskell

Lee Gaskell

Full Report

Match Official: J Child

St Helens maintained their 100 per cent Super League record against Widnes to give coach Nathan Brown his first win but it took the 60th-minute dismissal of Vikings prop Ben Cross to swing the match their way.

The game was finely balanced with the scores locked at 4-4 when a mass brawl erupted on the hour following a high tackle on St Helens captain Paul Wellens.

Referee James Child’s response was to hand Cross a red card and send Widnes captain Jon Clarke to the sin bin and Saints took full advantage to seal victory with the aid of tries by Lee Gaskell and Francis Meli.

Widnes gave a debut to England forward Gareth Hock, who has joined them on loan from Wigan Warriors, while Saints were forced to cope without injured England hooker James Roby.

St Helens, who were looking to bounce back from a humiliating 40-4 home defeat by Huddersfield Giants, also lost prop Josh Perry after only five minutes, following a crunching tackle by Hep Cahill, leaving Brown with the use of just three substitutes for the rest of the match.

It looked costly for an hour as Widnes matched their visitors blow for blow as they went in search of their first derby victory since securing a 20-17 triumph in the old Stones Bitter Championship in April 1994.

The Vikings made the best possible start, taking the lead after only five minutes when winger Paddy Flynn palmed back Joe Mellor’s precision kick to the corner for centre Stefan Marsh to touch down.

Saints had no shortage of possession but they struggled to break down a hard-working Vikings defence and their only try came from winger Meli, who took Wellens’ long pass to cross on 17 minutes.

Widnes introduced Hock midway through the first half but defences remained on top up to half-time.

Saints spurned the chance to take the lead just before the interval, running a penalty from in front of the posts, while Widnes goalkicker Rhys Hanbury was wide with an ambitious penalty from the halfway line.

Both teams suffered further disruption early in the second half, with Widnes centre Cameron Phelps carried off on a stretcher with a leg injury and Saints losing a dazed Jonny Lomax, both within 10 minutes of the restart.

The Vikings switched the versatile Hanbury to centre and he helped produce their best chance of the second half, releasing winger Willie Isa on a 40-metre touchline dash, but the Saints defence managed to scramble in time.

With the game finely balanced, Widnes were suddenly reduced to 11 men on the hour when Cross was sent off and Clarke sin-binned following a brawl involving all 26 players.

Saints were also boosted by the return of Lomax and went on to dominate the final quarter.

Wellens was thrown back from the line but the Vikings were clearly short of numbers when stand-off Lee Gaskell went through a gap for Saints’ second try on 67 minutes.

Gaskell converted his own try and Saints made sure of the win nine minutes from the end when Lomax seized on a loose ball 20 metres out from the Widnes line and sent Meli over for his second try, with Gaskell kicking a second goal.

Match Action

  • 70m
    try

    Francis Meli

    St Helens

  • 70m
    goal

    Lee Gaskell

    St Helens

  • 68m
    try

    Lee Gaskell

    St Helens

  • 68m
    goal

    Lee Gaskell

    St Helens

  • 46m
    interchange_off

    Iosia Soliola

    St Helens

  • 46m
    interchange_on

    Mark Flanagan

    St Helens

  • 34m
    interchange_off

    Jon Clarke

    Widnes

  • 34m
    interchange_on

    Lloyd White

    Widnes

  • 34m
    interchange_on

    Joe Greenwood

    St Helens

  • 34m
    interchange_off

    Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook

    St Helens

  • 18m
    interchange_off

    Eamon O'Carroll

    Widnes

  • 18m
    interchange_on

    Jon Clarke

    Widnes

  • 18m
    interchange_off

    Anthony Laffranchi

    St Helens

  • 18m
    interchange_on

    Alex Gerrard

    Widnes

  • 18m
    interchange_off

    MacGraff Leuluai

    Widnes

  • 18m
    interchange_on

    Phil Joseph

    Widnes

  • 18m
    interchange_off

    Ben Cross

    Widnes

  • 18m
    interchange_on

    Tony Puletua

    St Helens

  • 17m
    try

    Francis Meli

    St Helens

  • 9m
    try

    Stefan Marsh

    Widnes

  • 4m
    interchange_on

    Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook

    St Helens

  • 4m
    interchange_off

    Josh Perry

    St Helens