A performance as hot as the weather in the second half saw the Saints put Trinity to the sword 66-18 at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday.
A three-try burst in as many sets at the resumption took whatever wind was left in the depleted sails of the visitors and put the game to bed as a contest, writes Graham Henthorne for saintsrlfc.com
The first half saw the Saints race into a 12-point lead in as many minutes with Josh Simm capitalising on two Wildcat knock-ons early in the tackle count.
On five minutes Jack Welsby jumped blind from the scrum feeding Simm who handed off his opposite number.
For his second he bumped off two defenders beating the full back to the line. This after drives from Alex Eckley and Chris Follin had set up the position.
But as the half wore on the Saints lost their way a little allowing the visitors onto the scoresheet with a barge over try.
Two tries in the final ten minutes gave the Saints a bit of breathing space.
Jack Welsby took the ball going down the left but put the brakes on and went back right stepping past three defenders before taking three over with him.
The fourth try came as Jorge Lewtas showed his speed breaking through the line and beating the fullback on a 30-metre run to the corner. Callum Hazard’s fourth conversion put the Saints comfortably in control, especially when the Wildcats kicked out on the full from the restart.
However, Saints being Saints, with the referee showing only one play to the interval Ryan Horne tried a grubber to the in-goal only for the ball to be picked up by the visitors who went 90 metres to score.
But any hint of a comeback was snuffed out when Trinity knocked-on on second tackle on their own 20 metre line. From the scrum Hazard and Welsby were stopped short before Sam Royle stepped his way over.
From the restart quick hands gave Lewtas space to break the line. He took it on 20 metres before being caught but a speedy play the ball allowed Welsby time to put a fabulous grubber into the corner which the speeding Matty Foster won the race to for the score.
Two tackles into the next set and the Saints scored the try of the game. Quick hands to the left put Foster away again. He shipped it onto Tom Nisbett then to Josh Simm who went 30 metres down the line. As he reached the fullback he passed it back inside to Foster who finally put Welsby in by the sticks.
The score had rocketed out to 40 -12 in the blink of an eye and despite gifting the visitors their third try of the evening straight from the restart they wilted in the heat and were done, the final quarter belonging totally to the Saints.
Another Lewtas half break put Captain Eckley away on a 30-metre burst. From the play the ball Welsby’s chip to the left corner was expertly plucked from the air by Kev Brown.
Minutes later and Brown supplied the break for what should have been the next try. He fed Joe Sharratt in support who took it to the fullback but instead of passing out to his support he dummied, but too well as he tripped himself up with the line begging.
Two tackles later and the unlucky Sharratt was held up over the line but on the resumption Brown sent a wonderful miss pass out to John Hutching’s for a stroll into the corner.
Three tries in the final ten minutes put the big cherry on top of the very nice cake.
Firstly Nisbet, on the left wing having swapped with Brown took a Wildcat pass going 30 metres into the corner.
Ryan Horne ghosted his way over on the right after Chris Follin had squandered an opportunity for a try of his own.
The twelfth and final try came with the last play of the game. Matty Foster, out on his feet for the last 10 minutes found the energy to make a 40-metre break before feeding Welsby to go the last 30 for his hat-trick.
A bit scratchy in the first half but the Saints showed their superior fitness, both mental and physical, by withstanding the 30C pitch side temperatures to come away with the points.
The back row of Foster, Royle and Follin coupled with prop Jorge Lewtas and play-anywhere utility man Sharratt provided the platform for Josh Simm, before injury curtailed his night, and then Jack Welsby to shine.
Tries: Josh Simm (5 & 12), Jack Welsby (31, 46 & 79), Jorge Lewtas (38), Sam Royle (41), Matty Foster (43), Kev Brown (57), John Hutchings (61), Tom Nisbet (69), Ryan Horne (75).
Goals: Callum Hazard 7 from 8, Jack Welsby 2 from 4.
Tries: Jacob Jones (23), Tom Ashen (40), Moris Kannaro (49).
Goals: Connor Bailey 3 from 3.
Half Time: 24-12
Full Time: 66-18
1. Tom Nisbet; 2. Kev Brown, 3. Sean Croston, 4. Josh Simm, 5. John Hutchings; 6. Jack Welsby, 7. Ryan Horne; 8. Alex Eckley (C), 9. Jake Wingfield, 10. Callum Hazard, 11. Matty Foster, 12. Sam Royle, 13. Chris Follin.
Subs: 14. Brandon O’Neill, 15. Joe Sharratt, 16. Ben Sims, 17. Jorge Lewtas.
1. Owen Hughes; 2. Harrison van der Wal, 3. Oliver Greensmith, 4. Archie Andrade, 5. Nico Devittoris; 6. Connor Bailey, 7. Tom Ashen; 8. Jacob Jones, 9. Tom Schofield, 17. Jocelyn Landu, 12. Ciaran Lewis, 13. Yusuf Aydin.
Subs: 10. Moris Kannaro, 14. Daniel Barcoe, 15. Jordan Schofield, 16. Harry Dodd.