Super League: St Helens stay top after big win against Widnes
Last Updated: 25/07/14 11:22pm
Tommy Makinson: Scored a hat-trick in St Helens' win over Widnes
St Helens held on to top spot in the First Utility Super League after cruising to a 44-22 victory over Widnes at Langtree Park.
Saints led 32-0 early on in the second half thanks to tries from Mark Flanagan and Jordan Turner, while Tommy Makinson and Mose Masoe ran in two scores each.
Widnes hit back with three tries in five minutes to make it a contest, before Makinson completed his hat-trick and Willie Manu got in on the scoring, with Rhys Hanbury getting a late consolation try for the visitors.
In the end it was a straightforward win for the Saints but the success may have come at a cost as scrum-half Luke Walsh was carried off on a stretcher with a nasty-looking lower leg injury.
Saints opened the scoring after seven minutes when Walsh sent Flanagan in, with Mark Percival adding the extras and the hosts were soon back on the scoresheet when Makinson gathered Flanagan's kick wide to touch down.
Further pressure told on 28 minutes when Masoe proved unstoppable from close range. He had further to run for the next try, leaving Vikings fullback Hanbury with no chance as he steamrollered his way over. Percival goaled again to make it 22-0.
Vikings then lost back-rower MacGraff Leuluai to the sin-bin after numerous indiscretions just before the interval, and after the break Masoe's offload allowed Turner to put Makinson in under the posts.
Makinson returned the compliment with another neatly taken try three minutes later, but the visitors enjoyed a blistering five-minute spell after Cameron Phelps opened their account.
The Vikings were in again shortly after with a long range move that was again finished off by Phelps. A long delay then followed after Walsh was carried off with his legs strapped together.
When the break ended Widnes went the length of the field with Stefan Marsh racing 80 metres, rounding Paul Wellens and going in under the sticks. Danny Tickle slotted the goal and the score was pegged back to 32-16.
After that Saints managed to stem the flow and ended any hopes of a dramatic comeback by moving the ball well for Makinson to go in at the corner for his third.
Four minutes later the Widnes backline was breached again, with Manu pouncing on an attempted clearance to go over the line.
Hanbury had the last word when his momentum took him over in the dying stages, with Tickle tagging on the goal.