A try by Jordan Turner with just three minutes remaining broke the deadlock and gave St Helens a 14-20 victory tonight in a Super League thriller at the Halliwell Jones Stadium against Warrington Wolves.
Turner’s try was converted by Luke Walsh, after a compelling contest in which Saints hooker James Roby played a vital role after captain Jon Wilkin had to leave the field early with what appeared to be a broken thumb.
Turner’s late try came from a great break by fullback Adam Quinlan, who was playing only his second game for St Helens after having scored a hat-trick on his debut a week earlier against Huddersfield Giants.
Saints had led 6-8 at half-time in a game that had seen 16 penalties awarded until that point, with Warrington having been given a team warning for constant dissent towards the referee James Child.
They had taken the lead in the fifteenth minute when James Roby scored from dummy-half, with the video referee confirming the try and Walsh converting.
Three minutes later a Walsh penalty extended Saints’ lead to eight points after Ashton Sims had conceded a penalty in the tackle against Mose Masoe.
It took Warrington until the 38th minute to get on the scoreboard, when Ben Currie went over from a fine pass by Gareth O’Brien, who also added the conversion.
Warrington took the lead on 50 minutes when winger Kevin Penny intercepted a Walsh pass and ran away to score, with O’Brien’s goal giving them a four-point lead.
Five minutes later, however, Saints responded when Masoe was too strong for the Warrington defence, and Walsh’s goal restored a two-point margin.
With the decibel level in the stadium growing, Chris Hill was held up over the line, and Joe Philbin was turned down by the video-referee after losing the ball when trying to ground it.
The Wolves then were awarded a penalty from a Myler kick that was contested by both sides, and O’Brien kicked the goal to level the scores with six minutes to go.
But then Quinlan broke and it was Turner who created a moment of magic for St Helens that sent them to the top of the table, one point ahead of Leeds, who play Salford at home tomorrow night.
A full report, photos and analysis of tonight’s game will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express.