Super League  Sunday 9th June 2013  Langtree Park  Att: 11,385

Squad

Wellens, Turner, Soliola, Meli, Hohaia, Lomax, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Puletua, Wilkin, Manu, Jones, Makinson, Walmsley, Hand, Percival, Thompson, Howarth, O'Brien.

Squad

Donaldson, Kearney, Olbison, Sidlow, Gale, Kear, Scruton, Bateman, L'Estrange, Platt, Lulia, Roberts, O'Brien, Fairbank, Addy, Langley, Diskin, Blythe, Evans.

Scorers

TRY SCORERS:

Jon Wilkin

Josh Jones

Iosia Soliola

Tom Makinson

Willie Manu

GOAL SCORERS:

Gareth O'Brien

Gareth O'Brien

Gareth O'Brien

Gareth O'Brien

Gareth O'Brien

Scorers

TRY SCORERS:

Elliot Kear

Matty Blythe

Brett Kearney

GOAL SCORERS:

Luke Gale

Luke Gale

Luke Gale

Full Report

Match Official: T Alibert

St Helens held off a second-half fightback from Bradford Bulls to secure a second win in eight matches and climb back into the Super League play-off places.

Trailing 24-6 after 45 minutes, the Bulls struck twice in 10 minutes to set up a tense finish, but impressive England forward Jon Wilkin scored the clincher 10 minutes from the end to enable Saints to complete the double and leapfrog their opponents into eighth place in the table.

Saints were boosted by the return of Jonny Lomax from a three-month injury nightmare, but it was hooker James Roby who made most of the difference on his first start for three months, while the home side were also indebted to try-scoring second rowers Willie Manu and Sia Soliola.

Bradford, who drop out of the top eight for the first time after a sixth defeat in seven matches, battled to the end despite the absence of second rower Elliott Whitehead, who was left out after submitting a transfer request, and dangerous half-back Jarrod Sammut, who missed out with a "dead leg".

Saints looked in a different league from the start and only a last-ditch tackle from winger Michael Platt on seven minutes prevented winger Tom Makinson from opening the scoring.

But there was no stopping the elusive Manu three minutes later when he powered his way to the line, while Lomax made his first significant contribution when combining with centre Jordan Turner to get Makinson over at the corner.

Gareth O'Brien, making his home debut as part of his loan spell from Warrington Wolves, landed both conversions, the second from the touchline to make it 12-0 and they would have been further ahead had Lomax been able to take Josh Jones' pass with the Bradford defensive line breached.

Bradford eventually got a foothold in the game and pulled a try back on 29 minutes when full-back Brett Kearney took prop Adam Sidlow's one-handed offload near the line to touch down, with Luke Gale adding the goal.

Yet Saints were simply irresistible and, after Jones had a try disallowed for putting a foot in touch, Soliola added a third try having taken Wilkin's pass on the last tackle.

There looked to be no way back for the visitors when Jones scored St Helens' fourth try five minutes into the second half, pouncing on a careless offload by Sidlow and holding off the Bradford defence on a 60-metre sprint to the line.

O'Brien maintained his 100 per cent record by kicking his fourth goal to stretch his side's lead to 24-6, but the Bulls, who gave a debut to 18-year-old back rower Oliver Roberts, never lost hope and scored two more tries to set up an exciting finish.

Centre Matty Blythe took Kearney's pass to cross on 57 minutes before right winger Elliot Kear collected Gale's high kick to touch down at the corner.

Gale converted both to cut the gap to just six points but Roby, brought off on 59 minutes for a well-earned rest, returned in time to get Wilkin over for the decisive try and O'Brien kicked his fifth goal.

Match Action

  • 71m
    try

    Jon Wilkin

    St Helens

  • 71m
    goal

    Gareth O'Brien

    St Helens

  • 68m
    goal

    Luke Gale

    Bradford

  • 68m
    try

    Elliot Kear

    Bradford

  • 61m
    interchange_on

    Stuart Howarth

    St Helens

  • 61m
    interchange_off

    James Roby

    St Helens

  • 60m
    try

    Matty Blythe

    Bradford

  • 60m
    goal

    Luke Gale

    Bradford

  • 46m
    try

    Josh Jones

    St Helens

  • 46m
    goal

    Gareth O'Brien

    St Helens

  • 37m
    goal

    Gareth O'Brien

    St Helens

  • 37m
    try

    Iosia Soliola

    St Helens

  • 32m
    interchange_on

    Paul Clough

    St Helens

  • 32m
    interchange_off

    Jordan Hand

    St Helens

  • 31m
    goal

    Luke Gale

    Bradford

  • 31m
    try

    Brett Kearney

    Bradford

  • 29m
    interchange_on

    Adam Sidlow

    Bradford

  • 29m
    interchange_off

    John Bateman

    Bradford

  • 24m
    interchange_on

    Alex Walmsley

    St Helens

  • 24m
    interchange_off

    Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook

    St Helens

  • 19m
    interchange_off

    Jamie Langley

    Bradford

  • 19m
    interchange_on

    Adam Sidlow

    Bradford

  • 19m
    interchange_on

    Matt Diskin

    Bradford

  • 19m
    interchange_off

    Nick Scruton

    Bradford

  • 18m
    goal

    Gareth O'Brien

    St Helens

  • 18m
    try

    Tom Makinson

    St Helens

  • 17m
    interchange_on

    Jordan Hand

    St Helens

  • 17m
    interchange_off

    Tony Puletua

    St Helens

  • 10m
    try

    Willie Manu

    St Helens

  • 10m
    goal

    Gareth O'Brien

    St Helens