Saints recorded a 64-6 win over Sheffield at Ruskin Sports Village on Saturday in their first run out of the new season.
James Bentley grabbed a hat-trick whilst Dom Peyroux, Regan Grace, Jake Spending, Adam Swift, Jake Spedding, John Hutchings, Josh Eaves, Chris Follin and Kyle Amor all crossed in a pleasing performance.
Up 24-0 at half time, a youthful Saints took to the field in the second half and, backed by some experienced players in the latter stages, ran up 40 more points.
Matty Fozard crossed against his former employers early in the half too, but the Eagles round Saints in a ruthless mindset.
Saints almost opened the scoring within the first three minutes when Regan Grace broke down the field to set Adam Swift away.
But two minutes later, Dominique Peyroux got on the end of Theo Fages’ chip to give his side the lead.
Danny Richardson added the extras and was unlucky not to put Grace over in the corner with a floated kick moments later.
Sheffield were holding their own but Saints undid their defensive work on 13 minutes when Grace crossed thanks to the work of the lively Matty Costello.
Kyle Amor’s offload then saw Jake Spedding race off for a fine solo try before James Bentley bagged the first of his three.
And what an effort it was too – Peyroux and Ryan Morgan combining to create space for Matty Smith to set Costello free in the centre of the pitch. The fullback then turned it over to Spedding who offloaded into the welcoming arms of the new signing from Bradford.
Justin Holbrook made a number of changes for the second half with Kevin Brown, Alex Eckley, Aaron Smith, Jorge Lewtas and Liam Cooper all featuring.
It took only four minutes for the new look side to click too as Swift crusied over in the corner.
Richardson locked in his fifth kick of the afternoon before former Saint Matty Fozard scored a good try to put the visitors on the board.
Bentley nabbed his second as he ran the perfect angle – and then completed his hat-trick as he backed up a break to the left of the posts.
Sheffield were giving it their all in the freezing conditions but their task wasn’t made any easier against the red-hot Saints when Daniel Igbinedion was sent off for a spear tackle on Amor.
And he mustn’t have been off the pitch more than a minute before John Hutchings scored with his first touch of the ball – much to the delight of his watching family and friends!
Josh Eaves polished off another fine move for Saints’ eighth – then Chris Follin and Amor completed the strong showing.
Justin Holbrook was pleased, and said “I was very happy with the performance and impressed with everyone who played,” he said. “For our first friendly of the year it went well and was a really good hit out.
“There were some really good signs out there. A few times we fell at the last pass but the boys showed some crisp hands on a lot of the plays which was good to see. We obviously defended well too.”
Bentley caught the eye with his hat-trick whilst the younger players didn’t look out of place either.
“I thought James went well and looked dangerous,” Justin continued. “He has been training hard so it was good for him and his teammates to get a good hit out.
“The junior players went well too and I was particularly impressed with Kev Brown at full back.
“We’ll bring the senior boys back next week for our last hit out before round one. There’s around 12 or so that will feature in that game and we are looking forward to it.”
Tries: Peyroux, Grace, Spedding, Bentley (3), Swift, Hutchings, Eaves, Follin, Amor
Goals: Richardson (6 from 7), Fairclough (4 from 4)
Goals: Thomas (1 from 1)
REF: J McMullen
30. Mathew Costello; 19. Regan Grace, 22. Jake Spedding, 3. Ryan Morgan, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Theo Fages, 18. Danny Richardson; 20. Matty Lees, 7. Matty Smith, 10. Kyle Amor, 24. James Bentley, 17. Dominique Peyroux, 21. Jack Ashworth.
Subs: 1. Kevin Brown, 2. Cameron Brown, 4. Chris Follin, 8. John Hutchings, 12. Jorge Lewtas, 13. Callum Hazzard, 14. Tom Nisbet, 16. Alex Eckley, 25. Aaron Smith, 26. Liam Cooper, 27. Ben Morris, 28. Josh Eaves, 29. Rob Fairclough.
1. Ryan Millar; 2. Iliess Macani, 3. Daniel Igbinedion, 4. Josh Toole, 5. Ben Blackmore; 19. Oscar Thomas, 7Matty Fozard; 8. Jon Magrin, 9. Greg Burns, 10. Mark Offerdahl, 11. Oliver Davies, 12. Shaun Pick, 13. Matt James.
Subs: 14. Kieran Moran, 16. Jordan Tansey, 17. Max Garcia, 18. Blake Broadbent.
Saints take on Leigh on Friday January 26 (8pm) with their first Betfred Super League game of the 2018 season coming a week later at home to Castleford on Friday February 2 (7:45pm).
Tickets are now on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 0174 455 052 or by logging on here.