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BBC Sport's Dave Woods
"An astonishing performance by St Helens"
 real 14k

Saturday, 7 July, 2001, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
Warrington feel Saints backlash
St Helens Paul Sculthorpe is challenged by Warringtons Lee Briers
St Helens hero Paul Sculthorpe is halted by Lee Briers
St Helens 70 -16 Warrington

Paul Sculthorpe produced a 30-point haul as Warrington felt the full force of a Saints backlash in a one-sided Super League derby at Knowsley Road.

The reigning champions, who had suffered two successive defeats, were in excellent form scoring 12 tries against a poor Warrington side.

Popular Australian forward David Fairleigh, who announced his decision to sign a new 12-month contract before kick-off, helped lay the platform with a typically powerful performance.


We came with a really good attitude and the scoreline typified the way we played... we wanted to be strong in defence
  Saints coach
Ian Millward
But former Warrington player Sculthorpe was the hero for Saints as he played some excellent rugby against his old team.

His performance included two tries and 11 goals from 12 attempts.

Before the game it was feared an injury-hit Saints side would struggle once again as five players, including skipper Chris Joynt and Keiron Cunningham, were ruled out by injury.

However, Saints scored two tries in the opening six minutes and never looked back.

Early tries from full-back Tony Stewart and prop Wayne McDonald, making his first Saints appearance since recovering from a broken jaw, got Ian Millward's men off to a flying start.

Although both sides had chances to score after that, St Helens never looked back after the game's defining moment after 18 minutes.

Sean Hoppe intercepted a pass from veteran scrum-half Langer 20 metres from the Saints line and held off a despairing tackle from Lee Briers to race 80 metres for a glorious touchdown.

Hoppe went on to claim a second try and John Stankevitch and Tommy Martyn went over for Saints before the half-time break.


We've been here before.... they were better than us in every facet of the game
  Wolves coach
Darryl van de Velde
Wolves were also reduced to 12 men before the interval after loose-forward Tawera Nikau disputed referee Bob Connolly's decision to rule a knock-on and was sent to cool off for 10 minutes.

Warrington's only first-half score was through Penny and they had brief hopes of a comeback after David Kidwell scored their second try within a minute of the re-start.

But Sculthorpe put the result beyond doubt when he went through a poor tackle from substitute Paul Noone to claim his first try.

Winger Steve Hall also went over while Warrington were still down to 12 men, and Fairleigh then joined in the romp before Sculthorpe and McDonald claimed their second tries.

Warrington grabbed a consolation try through substitute Steve McCurrie, but Saints had the last say when Higham picked up a stray pass for his side's final try.


St Helens: Stewart, Hall, Iro, Hoppe, Sullivan, Martyn, Wellens, Nickle, Higham, McDonald, Fairleigh, Stankevitch, Sculthorpe. Replacements: Edmondson, Jonkers, Cruckshank, Bennett.

Warrington: Hunte, Smyth, Kidwell, Sibbit, Penny, Briers, Langer, Guisset, Clarke, Nutley, Busby, Mercer, Nikau. Replacements: Wood, Noone, McCurrie, Masella.

Referee: Robert Connolly (Wigan)

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