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Adam Swift grabs a hat-trick as Saints run riot against Vikings
YOUNG wing Adam Swift scored a hat-trick as Saints effortlessly saw off the Vikings at Langtree Park.
After being given a scare in the cup tie last week, Saints left nothing to chance and were always in control against a Widnes side that slowly lost heart as the game unravelled.
It was a no contest really and gave the healthy contingent of travelling fans nothing to cheer.
It was fitting that Swift should grab the headlines as the night started with a minute’s silence in honour of his granddad Harold, who passed away last weekend.
Vikings seemingly had no answers to the speed of the men in the red vee at the play the ball, with James Roby having a field day running at a back-pedalling defence.
Off the back of successive penalties, the rampaging Sia Soliola stormed over on the right to start the proceedings. Jonny Lomax added the extras to give Saints a six-point advantage after 11 minutes.
Three minutes later the signs were ominous for Vikings when Paul Wellens took Lance Hohaia’s smart reverse pass to storm over.
Two close range efforts from strong running prop Anthony Laffranchi, both goaled by Lomax, took the lead up to 22-0.
And two minutes before half time a long range break from Lomax, who found support from Hohaia, opened up the Vikings again.
Saints should have scored from the first foray, but Francis Meli was forced to cut back inside after taking Hohaia’a pass.
But two tackles later, youngster Adam Swift crossed for his first senior try to make it a healthy lead at the break.
The one way procession continued in the second half with Vikings rarely offering anything with the ball.
A fine break from teenage centre Josh Jones put Saints on the front foot, allowing the perfect platform for Hohaia to launch a delicate punt towards the visitors’ line for prop Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook to pluck out of the air for a try.
A fine break by the non-stop Roby set up the next one, with Andrew Dixon polishing it off.
And on 54 minutes a sublime flick pass from Chris Flannery sent Michael Shenton over for a try, with Lomax’s goal stretching the lead to 44 points.
Mark Flanagan raced on to a delicate Roby grubber to bring up the 50 with his first try for the Saints.
Saints repelled one threatening Widnes attack when three men stopped Stefan Marsh from crossing. Vikings shifted the ball wide, only for Meli to intercept.
Although he was easily overhauled by Paddy Flynn, the Vikings were at sixes and sevens to allow Swift to touch down for his second.
And seven minutes from time Shenton handed Swift the opportunity to nip in at the corner for his third, with Lomax’s touchline conversion completing the rout.
Saints: Wellens; Swift, Shenton, Jones, Meli; Hohaia, Lomax; Laffranchi, Roby, Magennis, Flannery, Soliola, Flanagan. Subs: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Clough, Dixon, Forster.
Widnes: Phelps; Flynn, Marsh, Isa, Ah Van; Craven, Mellor; Cross, Clarke, Pickersgill, Haggerty, Winterstein, Cahill. Subs: White, Allen, Leuluai, Mullally.