Super League: St Helens 42-12 Leigh Centurions - Saints overcome valiant Centurions

Jack Welsby made his influence felt for St Helens yet again as he scored two tries and set up Joe Batchelor's late score for the hosts
Jack Welsby made his influence felt for St Helens yet again as he scored two tries and set up Joe Batchelor's late score for the hosts
Betfred Super League
St Helens (12) 42
Tries: Grace, Welsby 2, Mata'utia, Coote, Batchelor, Dodd Goals: Coote 7
Leigh (6) 12
Tries: Gee, Sidlow Goals: Brierley

St Helens were too strong for Super League's bottom side despite a valiant effort by Leigh Centurions.

Regan Grace got Saints off the mark before Matty Gee cut the hosts' lead but Jack Welsby responded soon after.

Welsby added another try after the break, Adam Sidlow's try kept the visitors in it, but Sione Mata'utia added points on the board for Saints.

Lachlan Coote, Joe Batchelor and Lewis Dodd all crossed to round off victory for St Helens late on.

Leigh came into the match off the back of a morale-boosting first win of the season after overcoming Salford Red Devils on Sunday.

The Centurions, who have struggled throughout the season, move ever closer to relegation back to the Championship following their 17th defeat of the campaign.

It was a difficult start for the visitors, however, as the talismanic Grace crossed to get Saints going.

In the second half there was bad news for St Helens as Jonny Lomax limped off but Welsby shone yet again for the hosts as he set up Batchelor's late score.

Despite the scoreline, it was at times a spirited performance from Leigh, who stand on the verge of an immediate return to the second tier.

St Helens head coach Kristian Woolf told BBC Radio Merseyside:

"Jonny [Lomax] has copped something around the hamstring region. It was a funny one in terms of how it happened and him getting caught in an awkward position but at the minute we don't know how bad it is.

"It's a tough period we're going through at the minute with the number of games we've got to play and the quick turnaround.

"We've got a lot of games to play and we've got to show some faith in the blokes we've got out there."

Leigh Centurions interim boss Kurt Haggerty told BBC Radio Manchester:

"I thought the scoreline was flattering in the end. We were certainly competing for 60 minutes and I'm really proud of our players tonight.

"The effort has been there every week and I can't commend the lads enough. The situation at the bottom of the table, and whatever we have to deal with, the players have been fantastic.

"All I've done is step in to help out and get the lads playing. I think the lads have turned a corner with the effort they're putting in."

St Helens: Coote, Naiqama, Simm, Welsby, Grace, Lomax, Dodd, Walmsley, Smith, Lees, Mata'utia, Batchelor, Knowles.

Interchanges: Roby, Amor, Paasi, Wingfield.

Leigh: Brand, Elliot, Sa'u, Stone, Russell, Mellor, Brierley, Bell, Gee, Hellewell, Sidlow, Hood, Gerrard.

Interchanges: Thompson, Mullen, Butler, Ashworth.

Referee: T. Grant

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