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Too easy for the Saints - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Sat, 24 Feb 2007 08:44:00 GMT
St Helens have clean sweeped their 2006 season after defeating Brisbane 18-14 in the World Club Challenge at Reebok Stadium.

A last tackle cross-field kick from Sean Long proved the Broncos undoing after in-form winger Ade Gardner timed a good race to the ball to grab the match-winning try.

St Helens will now have to find more room in their trophy cabinet for the World Club Challenge mantle piece, having also won the Challenge Cup and Super League Grand Final in 2006.

For the Broncos, their loss means there is still at least one Rugby League trophy that Darren Lockyer has yet to win.

The Brisbane Broncos controlled the game early and put plenty of pressure on the right-side opposition defence courtesy of Darren Lockyer’s mixed kicking game.

Lockyer’s work with the boot paid off in the opening minutes of the clash when Ade Gardner dropped a high ball, setting up a desperate Corey Parker try.

Parker – who converted his own try – won GRL’s half-time man of the match award after later picking up a penalty goal, thereby scoring all of his side’s first-half points.

St Helens were left ruing a few missed opportunities off the back of their kicking game until Ade Gardner went over in the right corner right before half-time.

It was a quick turnaround in form from Gardner who helped Brisbane score the first points of the night after fumbling a Lockyer bomb.

The Broncos then looked ready to pull their socks up and cause St Helens some second-half grief when winger Darius Boyd scored a controversial four-pointer.

Video replays revealed their was a forward pass taken by Ben Hannant earlier in the set, meaning the try should have been disallowed.

The Saints of course almost danced with fate care of their own unforced errors.

A poor passing movement to Matt Gidley in the 45th minute almost proved more horrible then a Norman Bates movie when the ball ended up loose on the ground and found it’s way to the try line courtesy of a Tonie Carroll kick in play and a Darren Lockyer flick on the green.

To the relief of Saints coach Daniel Anderson, an attempted double from Corey Parker under the sticks was ruled to be a knock-on by the video referee.

The most inspirational try of the night however arrived in the 56th minute when Keiren Cunningham and Paul Sculthorpe, both returning from injury, combined to level the score at 12-all.

It was nothing short of a trip down memory lane for Sculthorpe who also scored a try against the Broncos during the WCC in 2001.

On a tight night of great rugby, the game looked like it could be decided by a goal after Corey Parker got the visitors back in front courtesy of a Mathew Gidley penalty.

But to the credit of Daniel Anderson’s men, they executed their plays very well when it counted, giving most of the 23,107 fans on hand something to cheer about on the long trip home.

What can St Helens not do?

St Helens 18 (A Gardner 2, P Sculthorpe 1 tries; Sculthorpe 3 goals) Brisbane 14 (C Parker, D Boyd tries; C Parker ¾ goals) at Reebok Stadium, Friday February 23, 2006. Referee: Steve Clark Crowd: 23,107 Half-Time: Broncos 8-6. - Read More, Here