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Ex-Panther Walsh stars in UK league debut

LONDON, Feb 13 AFP-PA - Former Penrith NRL halfback Luke Walsh scored a try on debut for St Helens on Thursday in their 38-8 victory over Warrington in the opening round of the new Super League season
Ex-Panther Walsh stars in UK league debut
by AAP

LONDON, Feb 13 AFP-PA - Former Penrith NRL halfback Luke Walsh scored a try on debut for St Helens on Thursday in their 38-8 victory over Warrington in the opening round of the new Super League season.

Walsh also kicked seven goals from as many attempts in his first match for the Saints, who ruined Warrington's stadium anniversary celebrations with three tries in each half.

Warrington, pre-season title favourites, began their 10th season at the Halliwell Jones Stadium without former captains Lee Briers and Adrian Morley and the lacklustre display suggested they might be a less imposing team.

Saints look well equipped to improve on last year's fifth-placed finish, with prop Kyle Amor also making a hugely impressive debut.

He was a tower of strength in the forward battle and scored a try of his own.

St Helens coach Nathan Brown is keeping his players' feet on the ground despite their impressive opening performance.

"Warrington as a team have been so successful for so long so to get the result was pleasing.

"We're really rapt with what the guys did but we're certainly not going to get carried away.

"It's a good start but it's about consistently doing well."

"Walshy had a lot of good contributions for us, built on the back of some of the forwards' work.

"I thought our game management in the second half was actually quite poor but it's clear to see what Walshy can bring to the team," Brown said.

It was a bitter defeat for Warrington, who have high expectations after finishing as premiership runners-up for the past two years.

The home side gave a debut to former South Sydney prop and New Zealand international Roy Asotasi and scored the game's first try in the second minute when Michael Monaghan combined with Chris Bridge to get his brother Joel over.

But St Helens quickly recovered as winger Tom Makinson ran in the first of three tries from the visitors in eight minutes.

James Roby and Amor then crossed for St Helens, who scored again early in the second half through substitute prop Anthony Laffranchi.

Joel Monaghan scored his second try after 68 minutes, but it was little consolation for Warrington.

This was just the second match of the new Super League campaign following Huddersfield's 24-8 win against Wigan last Friday.

Hull FC play Catalan Dragons in the next of the opening-round matches on Friday.




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