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
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
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.
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- St Helens v Bulls: Teams
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- Hull KR v Giants: Teams
- Rhinos v Tigers: Teams
- Vikings v Warriors: Teams
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