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Match Report – Leigh 12-22 St Helens

Sione Mata’utia, Lachlan Coote, Jack Welsby and Kevin Naiqama crossed paths for the Saints at Leigh Sports Village to ensure the defending champions maintain their undefeated start to the 2021 season.

Last updated: 04/30/21 21:18 pm

Match Report – Leigh 12-22 St Helens


Highlights of Betfred Super League fifth round clash between Leigh Centurions and St Helens

Highlights of Betfred Super League fifth round clash between Leigh Centurions and St Helens

St Helens scored three tries in the second half as they overcame a spirited effort from Leigh who struggled to maintain his winning start in the Betfred Super League.

Two successive touchdowns after the break from Lachlan Coote and Jack Welsby, followed by a new effort from Kevin Naiqama, saw the champions claim a 22-12 victory at Leigh Sports Village.

The Centurions had been tied at the break after Matty Russell called off a try from Sione Mata’utia and an astonishing effort from Anthony Gelling then kept them in the running. But in the end, the extra quality of Saints, with influential Jonny Lomax and Coote who also scored three goals, was decisive.

Match Report – Leigh 12-22 St Helens

Lachlan Coote’s kicks proved crucial for St Helens with his try

The result has left Leigh still on the hunt for her first win since returning to the top, but they can be encouraged by improved performance.

The hosts made the Saints work hard and it wasn’t until the 20th minute that their defense was violated when Lomax found space to send Mata’utia.

The Saints pressed again but the Centurions held on with Regan Grace stopped before the line by Matty Wildie, then ousted after another break.

It underscored Leigh’s determination and they felt they had forced their way into the fight as Nat Peteru passed but the play was called out for a forward pass.

Match Report – Leigh 12-22 St Helens

Leigh’s Jordan Thompson defends St Helens

The Centurions kept up the pressure and had their chance after Theo Fages was sentenced just before the interval for malpractice.

Leigh made the extra man count as he extended the play for Russell to dive into the left corner. Ben Reynolds converted to make it 6-6 at the break but, realizing they were in a game, Saints picked up the pace.

They crossed twice within six minutes of the restart as the first Lomax made their way through the defense to send Coote and Welsby, then found a way through.

Leigh’s heads could have easily gone down at this point, but they fought back and reduced the deficit with a nice interception try from Gelling.

Match Report – Leigh 12-22 St Helens

Kevin Naiqama passes for St Helens fourth try

The former Wigan and Warrington cross, making his second appearance for the club, landed a pass from Coote and traveled almost the full length of the pitch to land.

Inevitably the Saints fought back and this time Coote found his lineup to install Naiqama on the right. Coote converted but surprisingly missed a simple penalty shortly thereafter which would have extended the Saints’ lead further.

In the end, it didn’t matter as the Saints comfortably held Leigh, but the visitors’ night ended on a sour note with James Bentley carried away on a stretcher.


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