St Helens, reigning champions of the Super League, won a warm-up match against St George Illawarra with a score of 30-18 in preparation for their upcoming World Club Challenge against the back-to-back NRL premiers, Penrith Panthers. This match was played at WIN Stadium.
St Helens, who were invited to participate in the NRL pre-season challenge as the 18th team, put forth a strong lineup as they aim to become only the second English team to win the World Club Challenge in Australia.
On the other hand, St George Illawarra had a weaker showing, with Jacob Liddle as the only likely member of their spine in the starting lineup.
With several international players and members of England’s World Cup squad on the field, it was no surprise that St Helens took an early lead of 10-0. Halfback Lewis Dodd scored the first try in the 7th minute, with a significant contribution to the second try four minutes later through a long overhead pass to Tommy Makinson. Makinson then passed the ball to Jack Welsby.
However, the Dragons fought back with a try from new recruit Ben Murdoch-Masila, who intercepted a loose pass from Connor Muhleisen and passed it on to Zac Lomax for the score. Fullback Treigh Stewart also had a noteworthy performance, breaking through attempted tackles from Dodd and Mark Percival to score a try in the 21st minute.
At halftime, St Helens held a lead of 16-12, with a try from Makinson after a catch and pass effort from Curtis Sironen. A try from Will Hopoate was disallowed due to a knock-on by Sione Mata’utia.
In the second half, Joey Lussick, filling in for the injured captain James Roby, scored the first try after a fumble from Stewart. Replacement player Theerapol Ritson sealed the game for St Helens with a try in the 69th minute.
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