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Challenge Cup: Saints cruise into last eight

St Helens eased into the Challenge Cup quarter-finals with a comprehensive 70-0 victory over Featherstone.
Challenge Cup: Saints cruise into last eight
by NRL

St Helens eased into the Challenge Cup quarter-finals with a comprehensive 70-0 victory over Featherstone.

The Championship title-chasers did not disgrace themselves, especially in the first half, with the final scoreline not doing their effort justice.

Saints, without 11 injured first team players, handed Warren Thompson his debut off the bench alongside Scott Hale who made his senior bow in last week's 40-18 defeat at Huddersfield.

Thompson marked the occasion with a first half try with Jamie Foster booting 11 goals from 12 attempts and Jon Wilkin landing the man-of-the-match award.

Rovers included Ian Hardman against his old club as they made their first visit to Saints for 16 years.

Hardman prevented an early Foster try by barging the winger into touch after a bright start by Rovers.

But Saints went ahead in the 11th minute when Francis Meli, who looked suspiciously offside, latched onto Jon Wilkin's grubber kick and Foster converted.

Rovers caused Saints problems with desperate defence needed to keep out Ross Divorty.

Saints missed a chance to extend their lead with a poor pass from Meli to Paul Wellens with Matty Ashurst held up over the line.

But the stubborn Rovers resistance was breached by bulldozing forward Thompson after 25 minutes and Foster's conversion calmed the Saints nerves.

Liam Finn's promptings from scrum half caused problems for Saints who managed to go further ahead with Wellens taking Nathan Ashe's pass from James Roby's break to make it 18-0 five minutes before the break.

Ade Gardner was denied by a superb Andy Bostock tackle from Wellens' pass.

Featherstone almost snatched a deserved try but neither Bryn Powell or Mufaro Mvududu could collect Tom Hemingway's teasing kick to leave them trailing 18-0 at half-time.

James Graham gave Saints the perfect start to the second half by blasting over with Foster adding his fourth conversion.

Ashe added the fifth try from a looping inside ball from Foster with an element of a forward pass in the build-up to increase the lead to 30-0 after 51 minutes.

England centre Michael Shenton weaved his way over for a scorching solo effort before Matty Ashurst added to Featherstone's woes as their first half effort began to take its toll.

Tom Makinson finished off a slick handling move to make it 48-0 before adding his second two minutes later.

Sol Soliola forced his way over for Saints 10th try eight minutes from time but there was still time for Shenton and Tom Armstrong to add further touchdowns.

St. Helens 70
T: Michael Shenton 2, Thomas Makinson 2, Francis Meli, Warren Thompson, Paul Wellens, James Graham, Nathan Ashe, Matty Ashurst, Iosia Soliola, Tom Armstrong
G: Jamie Foster 11

Featherstone Rovers 0




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