Wellens paces Saints to comfortable win

Last updated at 22:58 18 May 2007


Great Britain full-back Paul Wellens grabbed a brace of tries to stretch his season's tally to 20 as Saints saw off a plucky performance from the Wildcats.

Saints got off to an uncomfortable start after changing their line-up before

the game when winger Francis Meli was withdrawn before kick-off with a pulled

muscle.

He was replaced by youngster Dean McGilvray who had already played 80 minutes

in the pre-match academy curtain raiser.

Saints got off to the worst possible start when Kiwi centre Willie Talau

fluffed a Sam Obst kick to allow Sean Gleeson to nip in and grab a touchdown

after only four minutes.

Saints' response was immediate with fine play by Paul Sculthorpe and Ade

Gardner fashioning the opportunity for Matt Gidley to cancel that out.

Sculthorpe added the extras and then Saints took the lead that they would not

relinquish on 16 minutes when some patient handling worked the space for Leon

Pryce to dart over from 10 metres out for a converted try.

A Jamie Rooney penalty cut the deficit to four points as the conditions

deteriorated due to the driving rain.

But after hitting a sticky patch Saints nudged further ahead when Matty Smith

and Gidley combined to send Gardner streaking in at the corner to make it 16-8

at the break.

It took Saints 11 minutes to open their second-half account with the champions

finding it difficult to break down the stubborn Trinity defence.

A speedy burst from Gidley pierced the line to open up a 12-point lead and kill

off their resistance.

Wellens then polished off some fine work from Pryce, Gidley and Smith for his

first touchdown.

He then added his second to keep up his prolific scoring run.

The latter came after Trinity were temporarily down to 12 men when David March

was sin-binned for a late tackle.

The visitors had the last word when an up and under was fumbled to allow Oliver

Elima to touch down.

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