Wire progress after tight affair with Saints

Warrington Wolves and St Helens clashed in the Quarter-Finals of the Coral Challenge Cup, with both sides, in good form coming into the fixture.

It took just six minutes for someone to score as Mark Percival’s break put Saints on the front foot.

On the next tackle, following a quick play the ball from Jonny Lomax, the ball was offloaded out of three different tackles and found Lomax again, who skipped past Matty Ashton and scored under the posts.

The Wolves shifted into gear after going down early, as Blake Austin kicked a lovely 40/20.

Stefan Ratchford kicked through on the fifth tackle for Toby King, but Lachlan Coote did enough to stop the centre from claiming the ball and scoring.

Following some ill-discipline from the Saints, Warrington shifted the ball out wide to Jake Mamo, who managed to dive over in the corner.

Unfortunately, Ratchford’s pass to Mamo was called forward and the try was disallowed.

Warrington were then penalised for offside in the 19th minute, just inside their own half.

This allowed Coote to convert and make it 0-8.

Just after this, Mark Percival left the field for the visitors after picking up a knock, this forced James Bentley into the centres.

On the half-hour mark, A precision kick from Austin was claimed perfectly by Anthony Gelling above Bentley and the Cook Island international pulled back a score.

Just a few minutes later, Gelling showed a little bit of class as he made a half-break on the right-edge beating three defenders before offloading out the back door to Josh Charnley.

Charnley stepped inside to get past the overrunning Lachlan Coote and scored under the posts.

Ratchford converted to make it 10-8.

In the final minute of the half, Warrington extended their lead.

Jake Mamo made a break on the left edge after a little switch play, and the winger released the full-back Ashton to race away and score untouched.

HALF-TIME: Warrington Wolves 16-8 St Helens

The Wire came out of the sheds the stronger of the two sides and had the perfect opportunity to extend their lead just five minutes in.

Jake Mamo escaped down the left wing, and forced a pass inside to Ratchford, but his pass was forwards out the hands.

In the 52nd minute, Regan Grace looked to have scored in the left hand corner but Blake Austin covered over and tackled the winger to force a knock-on.

Just shy of the hour mark, Grace was given another opportunity to cross as he received the ball with not much space to work with.

Gelling tried his best to push the Welshman into touch, but the winger managed to ground the ball while keeping his legs in the air.

With 15 minutes left in the game, a crucial decision was made as both the referee and video referee confirmed that Ben Currie’s pass bounced off the head of Gelling into the hands of Josh Charnley, who scored in the corner.

With Warrington only leading by six, the Saints knew a converted try would take the game to golden point.

Chris Hill was penalised for taking Theo Fages out off the ball and late, and instead of taking the two points, the visitors searched for the try.

Lomax and Fages combined once again to give Coote time to push the ball to Kevin Naiqama who touched down in the right hand corner.

Coote failed to convert, which meant the score was 20-18 with eight minutes left.

With just one minute remaining, Mike Cooper lost the ball just two metres from the Saints line to give them one last attacking chance.

In the final seconds, Coote attempted a small kick over the top for Grace but the bounce was not kind to the Saints and Warrington came out on top.

FULL-TIME: Warrington Wolves 20-18 St Helens


Squads


Warrington Wolves

Ashton, Mamo, King, Gelling, Charnley, Austin, Ratchford, Hill, D. Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, J. Clark

Interchanges: Murdoch-Masila, Philbin, Davis, Walker

Tries: Gelling, Charnley (2), Ashton

Goals: Ratchford (2/4)


St Helens

Coote, Welsby, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Graham, Taia, Bentley, Knowles

Interchanges: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Lees, Amor, Smith

Tries: Lomax, Grace, Naiqama

Goals: Coote (3/4)


Referee: C. Kendall

Touch Judges: J. Smith, C. Sharrad

Video Referee: L. Moore


Image Source: @TheChallengeCup (twitter)

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