Liverpool St Helens 45 – 12 Southport

Liverpool St Helens registered a convincing victory against previously unbeaten Southport, despite never really hitting top gear. What would have pleased coach Andy Northey just as much as the score line was the steely defence LSH offered up as they played a fair portion of the game with 14, and even 13 men.

LSH asserted their dominance from the off when after some neat ball retention from the kick off allowed playmaker Filson, who had an excellent game, to jink his way through several would be defenders from 20 yards out to ghost in under the posts. After converting his own score, Filson then knocked over a penalty to make it 10-0. Southport then had a sustained period of pressure attacking the LSH line and chose on at least two occasions to turn down the easy 3 points on offer for richer rewards. However, they were denied on each attempt and much to the agony of the away support, LSH delivered a real sucker punch with a further Filson penalty followed by a trademark Hodson scything run, outmuscling and pacing any Southport player to score under the sticks, 20 – 0.

Undeterred, Southport came straight back on the attack and again pressurised the LSH line for at least ten minutes. LSH’s resolve finally cracked but only after Stanley then Molyneux had been sent to the bin for separate offences. Southport, with their two-man advantage, worked the play down the left flank then switched with a beautifully weighted cross field kick to give the right winger a simple catch to score – unconverted 20 – 5.  Unfortunately for Southport they must have thought the half time whistle would have followed their score, but it didn’t. LSH regathered the kick off and the ball was eventually worked to McClurg who bore down on the try line only to be held, illegally, and from the resultant penalty scrum (time up meant no line out was able to be taken), captain Wilson picked up from the back and darted in at the corner to score a deserved try, unconverted. H/T 25 – 5.

The second half was a tale of two halves. The first 20 minutes belonged entirely to LSH who scored three exquisite tries (one disallowed) and two penalties to put the game and the contest to bed. The first try, which was bizarrely disallowed, was scored by Filson who went on mazy run from about 30 yards out. His celebrations were cut short when a skirmish in back play had caused the referee to blow up just before he touched down. After sin binning a player from either side, the ref then gave a penalty to LSH. Despite not getting his try Filson knocked it over, 28 – 5. From the kick off LSH scored arguably the try of the game came as Fryer, returning from his enforced break, collected the high ball under pressure and bundle his way through the close defenders to offload to the supporting Kean. After beating several defenders, Filson was in support to collect a neat pass from Kean to run in from distance. Try converted 35 – 5.

LSH’s final try of the match came from the kick off again. Once more Fryer collected the ball and the neat hands through the backline saw Stanley muscle his way through a small gap. Three Southport players hung off him as he delivered a telling offload to the ever willing Hodson, who had too much strength and speed from half way, to score under the posts again. Try converted shortly followed by a penalty, 45 – 5.

The last 20 minutes was a bit of a dour affair and with changes on either side, the game became a bit disjointed. Only a converted try for the visitors, probably deserved, troubled the scoreboard in the final quarter. LSH, who would have enjoyed the score line, must now focus on their home match with Widnes next Saturday, knowing a tough contest will be waiting for them.


15 Kean 14 Heslop 13 McClurg 12 Stanley 11 Hodson 10 Filson 9 D Wilson ©

1 G Wilson 2 Houlton 3 Fryer 4 Royle 5 Gore 6 Molyneux 7 Burrows 8 Potter

Reps 16 Williamson 17 Donlevy 18 Kearns

Andrew Harrison