Super League: St Helens win despite Bradford Bulls fightback
Last Updated: 09/06/13 5:54pm
Willie Manu is congratulated by St Helens team-mates after scoring his try
St Helens held off a second-half fightback to secure a 30-18 victory over Bradford at Langtree Park and climb back into Super League's play-off places.
Tries from Willie Manu, Tommy Makinson, Sia Soliola, Josh Jones and Jon Wilkin gave Saints only their second win in eight league matches.
Trailing 24-6 shortly after the interval, the Bulls struck twice in 10 minutes to set up a tense finish, but Wilkin scored the clincher 10 minutes from the end.
Saints were boosted by the return of Jonny Lomax from a three-month injury lay-off, but it was hooker James Roby who was the standout performer on his first start for three months.
Saints started well and only a last-ditch tackle from winger Michael Platt after seven minutes prevented 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, landed both conversions, the second from the touchline to make it 12-0.
Bradford eventually got a toehold 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 tagging on the goal.
And Soliola added a third try after taking Wilkin's pass on the last tackle, with Jones scoring St Helens' fourth five minutes into the second half after sprinting 60 metres to the line.
O'Brien maintained his perfect 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.
First Utility Super League
Sun 12th Apr
Salford Red Devils18 - 28Leeds Rhinos
Huddersfield Giants8 - 11St Helens
Wigan Warriors34 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Apr
Wigan Warriors30 - 20Warrington Wolves
Fri 17th Apr
St Helens16 - 41Leeds Rhinos
Sun 19th Apr
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Apr
Wakefield WildcatsvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Apr
Hull FC0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Leeds RhinosvsWarrington Wolves
St Helens0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 25th Apr
Catalans DragonsvsHull K R
Sun 26th Apr
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield GiantsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC0 - 0Salford Red Devils
St Helens0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Hull FC0 - 0Hull K R
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans Dragons0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
St Helens0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Thu 4th Jun
Widnes VikingsvsHull FC
Fri 5th Jun
St Helens0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sun 7th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Hull K R0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 11th Jun
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 12th Jun
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 13th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsHull FC
Sun 14th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Hull K R0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Super League 2013, round 18
Wakefield snapped their four-game losing streak with a 46-10 win at Salford City Reds to keep their play-off hope alive.
St Helens coach Nathan Brown praised his team's positivity in the 30-18 win over Bradford at Langtree Park.
Wakefield will have the experienced trio of Tim Smith, Paul Sykes and Ali Lauitiiti back in their ranks on Monday.
- Hull coach offers no excuses
- Ratchford earns the plaudits
- Broncos hit by 15-try Wolves
- Betts upbeat despite loss
- Rovers coach 'satisfied'
- McDermott 'unimpressed'
- Rhinos back to winning ways
- Rovers stun high-flying Giants
- Warriors hold off Vikings
- St Helens v Bulls: Teams
- Dragons v Hull FC: Teams
- Broncos v Wolves: Teams
- Hull KR v Giants: Teams
- Rhinos v Tigers: Teams
- Vikings v Warriors: Teams
- Tautai facing two months out
- Tierney poised for Wigan bow