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Crusaders 0-4 St Helens

Brave Crusaders defending kept out Super League giant St Helens
Brave Crusaders defending kept out Super League giant St Helens

Celtic Crusaders (0) 0

St Helens (0) 4
Try: Armstrong

A heroic defensive effort from Super League new boys Celtic Crusaders restricted St Helens to just a 4-0 win at The Brewery Field.

Peter Lupton almost shocked the mighty Saints when the Crusaders man was put over just a yard from the line but the score was ruled out due to a knock on.

Saints' Maurie Fa'asavalu was denied a try as he had not grounded the ball.

Wing Tom Armstrong eventually broke the deadlock just before the hour to score in the corner.

The visitors put the Welsh side under early pressure, but they could not plough over the try line due to some stubborn defence.

Crusaders took the game to their illustrious opponents and almost got the opening try of the match when loose forward Peter Lupton was put over just a yard from the line, but he knocked on when attempting to touch down.

The scoring attempts by the Crusaders were sporadic and they were on the backfoot most of the time, defending with gusto.

Fa'asavalu went over the line but referee Phil Bentham gave a kick under the posts to the home side, declaring that the ball had not been grounded.

The deadlock, which had lasted for nearly an hour, was eventually broken when the Crusaders defence buckled.

Their hesitancy was enough to allow Armstrong to just ground the ball in the left corner, and it ultimately earned Saints the win.

The St Helens supporters paid tribute to the opposition at the end, cheering the Welshmen off the pitch for their efforts.

Celtic Crusaders coach John Dixon:

"We were pretty good today against quality opposition. It was a clear marker that the team is heading in the right direction.

"We were asked last week if our defence would get better and, to restrict St Helens to one try and especially when we were down to 12 men at the time, then congratulations to them to exploit that single weakness but it still took a series of hands and smart passing to capitalise.

"That was really good today. The main thing is not to make this a single effort."

St Helens head coach Mick Potter:

"We knew it was going to be a difficult game, given the conditions and the strength of their team, so we are happy to come away with two points.

"The conditions dictate the way you play and the players adapted accordingly.

"I don't know if it was a spectacle for the fans but we have got what we wanted out of the game.

"There will be a lot of teams who will come down here thinking they will get two points and will find it a lot harder than they really want."

Celtic Crusaders: Chalk, Lennon, Hannay, Dalle Cort, Blackwood, Quinn, Smith, O'Hara, O'Hara, Withers, Bryant, Beasley, Mapp, Lupton.
Replacements: Peek, Flower, Chan, Budworth.

St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Gidley, Gilmour, Armstrong, Pryce, Long, Graham, Cunningham, Hargreaves, Wilkin, Dixon, Puletua.
Replacements: Cayless, Roby, Clough, Fa'asavalu.

Att: 6,351

Ref: P Bentham (Warrington).

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see also
Celtic Crusaders 20-28 Hull
21 Feb 09 |  Rugby League

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