Super League: St Helens see off London Broncos at Langtree Park
By Rob Lancaster. Last Updated: 01/05/14 11:11pm
St Helens moved back to the top of the Super League table with a comfortable 48-18 victory over London Broncos at Langtree Park.
Luke Walsh was at his creative best as Saints bounced back from a hat-trick of defeats that had started with a Good Friday hiding at the hands of Wigan and ended with a Tetley's Challenge Cup exit to Leeds at Headingley.
The Thursday night victory was their 11th in a row over the Broncos, who have now lost the same number of games this season and remain without a point to their name in 2014.
They did manage three tires, but their hopes of pulling off an upset and heaping more misery on their opponents disappeared in a one-sided first 30 minutes.
Matty Dawson opened the scoring in the sixth minute when two Broncos somehow missed Jon Wilkin's grubber, allowing the former to pick it up and flop over the line.
Walsh added the extras and was also successful with the conversion after touching down himself. He capitalised on some hesitant Broncos that were waiting for a kick, the Australian showing a neat turn of pace to ghost through a gap and then round full-back Ben Farrar without being touched.
A gloriously-disguised pass back inside by the half-back led to Tommy Makinson scoring an easy run in from a pass from Jonny Lomax, who by that stage had already crossed himself as St Helens motored into a 20-0 lead.
With such a commanding advantage they rather took their foot off the gas up until half time, and a breakdown in their sliding defence allowed Denny Solomona to go in at the left corner and get the visitors off the mark.
The winger's delight at getting the Broncos off the mark was short-lived, though, as his match came to an early end when he collided with the metal fencing when trying to get on the end of a Josh Drinkwater kick.
The London half-back's boot did set up a try in the 51st minute, Thomas Minns claiming the high ball under no pressure before rushing away from a rather flat-footed defence. However, by then Saints had already scored two more themselves, starting the second half just as they had the first.
Walsh dummied not once but twice to set up half-back partner Lance Hohaia, while Adam Swift finished off a fine break from deep down the left wing.
After Minns' effort, the hosts added further tries through Joe Greenwood, who was up against his brother, James, a Wigan Warrior on loan at the Broncos, Josh Jones and Mark Flanagan. Walsh finished up with six conversions.
The Broncos did manage another themselves in the closing stages, Atelea Vea combining power and precision to cleverly offload out of a barnstorming run to set up the opening for Mike Bishay to mark his first start since March with a try.