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Result: St Helens regain top spot with Warrington Wolves win

Result: St Helens regain top spot with Warrington win
© Reuters
The Saints are back on top in Super League.

St Helens regained top spot in the Betfred Super League with a ruthless 38-12 destruction of nearest rivals Warrington.

The Wolves, on a high after five straight wins, led 6-2 early in the game but paid a heavy price for the sin-binning of prop forward Mike Cooper for a high tackle on 27 minutes.

St Helens, surprisingly beaten for the first time by Catalans Dragons last Saturday, took advantage of the extra man to score two converted tries in Cooper's absence that turned a tenuous 8-6 lead into a virtually unassailable one of 20-6.

The visitors briefly rallied early in the second half but long-range tries from wingmen Regan Grace and Tom Makinson demonstrated Saints' superiority, to the delight of most of the 17,078 crowd, a Super League record for this fixture.

Stand-off Jonny Lomax and forward Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook both scored tries on their return for Saints, who made the brighter start but only had a penalty goal from Lachlan Coote to show for their efforts.

Warrington actually scored the opening try in bizarre fashion. Hooker Daryl Clark looked set to profit from a Chris Hill offload just short of the line only to have the ball ripped from his grasp in the act of scoring by Lomax.

However, stand-off Blake Austin pounced on the loose ball and the try was confirmed by video referee Ben Thaler and converted by Stefan Ratchford for a 6-2 lead.

But Saints drew level midway through the first half when England centre Mark Percival took Grace's pass to score their first try after the home side opted to run the ball on the last tackle.

Saints' kicking game was poor but they were given a helping hand with the sin-binning of Cooper for an ugly challenge on Richardson as the 12-man Warrington defence cracked twice in his absence.

McCarthy-Scarsbrook powered his way over from close range and, after being denied a second try by a last-ditch tackle from Ben Currie, Lomax jinked his way over for his side's third try.

Mark Percival goes over for St Helens
Mark Percival goes over for St Helens (Richard Sellers/PA)

Coote took his goal tally to four from five attempts as Saints led 20-6 at the break.

McCarthy-Scarsbrook went close to scoring a second before the Wolves threatened a fightback when Clark dummied his way over from close range for their second try.

But there was no way back for the visitors when Coote managed to land his high kick in space and Saints substitute Matty Lees made the most of a kind bounce to score his side's fourth try.

Regan Grace on his way to scoring his sole try
Regan Grace on his way to scoring his sole try (Richard Sellers/PA)

Warrington tried to get back in the game – Josh Charnley had a try disallowed and Ryan Atkins was held up over the line – but winger Grace applied the finishing touches to an accomplished performance with a 70-metre solo try.

The Wales international was fouled in the act of scoring by Tom Lineham, who was put on report by referee James Child, and Coote turned it into an eight-point try with a penalty.

Saints were on a roll by then and centre Kevin Naiqama sent England winger Makinson over for their sixth try to round off an impressive show.

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