St Helens extend their perfect start - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

St Helens extend their perfect start

By Nick Clowes 23/02/2009 07:12:09 AM Comments (0)

St Helens continued their perfect start to the Super League season with a convincing 23-6 away victory over Huddersfield.

Brett Hodgson put the Giants ahead with an early penalty but the Saints hit back as Paul Wellens, Ade Gardiner and Lee Gilmour ran in unconverted tries for Mick Potter's side.

Paul Whaturia responded with a try for the hosts just after the break but New Zealand forward Tony Puletua's score, Sean Long's penalty - his 1000th Saints goal - and drop-goal plus Gary Wheeler's late try settled a one-sided encounter.

Injury-hit Wakefield brushed aside the challenge of Salford at Belle Vue, laying the foundations for a 29-10 win with 19 unanswered first-half points against Shaun McRae's side.

Tries from Damien Blanch, Oliver Wilkes and Ryan Atkins helped the Wildcats take control and although Salford rallied after the break, there was no way back.

Blanch and Atkins both added to their tally in the closing minutes while Stephen Myler ran in a consolation score.

Catalans Dragons coach Kevin Walters called for some fighting spirit ahead of Saturday's visit to Warrington and his charges certainly rallied to his cause.

However, the 40-20 victory was overshadowed by an injury to former Brisbane Broncos prop Dane Carlaw after just eight minutes.

The game was halted for seven minutes as he received treatment following a dangerously high challenge from second row Ben Westwood, who was placed on report for the incident.

Walter later confirmed Carlaw suffered "no neck damage" and reported he was "sitting up and drinking".

Warrington, who have now lost their opening two Super League fixtures, were leading at half-time, thanks to three tries in a 14-minute spell.

But the Dragons produced a determined second half fight-back as Warrington fell apart in the final 20 minutes, Clint Greenshields, Cyril Stacul, Jean Philippe Baile and Dimitri Pelo all crossing to stun the hosts.

In the day's other fixture, Hull second row Danny Tickle scored a hat-trick to deny Celtic Crusaders victory on their first Super League home game at Brewery Field.

Former Canberra Raider Marshall Chalk ran in tries either side of the interval for the new side but Hull were always value for their 28-20 win.

Leeds edged past hosts Hull KR 19-10 on Friday night, despite resting several players - including influential Australian hooker Danny Buderus head of next weekend's World Club Challenge.

And watching Manly Sea Eagles scouts won't have been disappointed to have witnessed the reigning champions endure a physical encounter.

The visitors seized an early lead through Carl Ablett but Rovers immediately responded with a converted try from full-back Shaun Briscoe.

Two Michael Dobson penalties extended the home side's advantage to six points at the break, but Leeds took control after the interval as Ryan Hall and Kallum Watkins sealed the win.

However, Great Britain international prop Ryan Bailey will miss the Manly match after he was knocked unconscious following a cover tackle from Briscoe late in the match.

The game was held up for ten minutes before Bailey was stretchered from the pitch.

Elsewhere, Castleford condemned Wigan to their third successive defeat and their worst start to a season in 24 years.

Former Bulldog Brent Sherwin had a key role in four of Castleford's five tries as the pressure continues to build on Wigan coach Brian Noble, who was booed off the field by the home supporters.

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