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Rugby union: Kirkby Lonsdale 70-12 Liverpool St. Helens
AUSTRALIAN Sam Latu scored a hat-trick of tries as Kirkby Lonsdale completely demolished Liverpool St. Helens at Underley Park to record their fourth straight victory.
Tom Pickthall, Tim Groves, Dave Barton, Stuart Storey, Ryan Terry and Matt Hughes all joined Latu on the scoresheet in the home side’s dominant first-half performance.
Martyn Knapton, Barton and Ben Walker completed the Kirkby rout as scrum-half James Laycock and Neil Hull replied for the visitors in the second period.
Dan Armistead moved from hooker to prop, with Matt Hoyland at two and Groves at three, while Alan Robinson returned to the side at six with Terry at full-back.
Left wing Knapton was denied an early touchdown with Kirkby maintaining pressure and not allowing Liverpool St. Helens out of their own half with ball in hand for 15 minutes.
By this stage the home side held at 19-0 lead, with a further six tries scored by the interval as Kirkby picked up exactly where they left off at Leigh seven days earlier.
Back in Greater Manchester, the Underley Park side scored 43 points in the second period, meaning by the interval they had accumulated 96 points in their last two halves of rugby.
Latu completed his treble by the half-time whistle with Pickthall, Groves, Barton, Storey, Terry and Hughes all joining the 21-year-old on the scoresheet.
Pickthall’s unerring accuracy with the boot was a feature of Kirkby’s victory at Leigh, with the outside centre kicking half of his side’s points at Hand Lane.
On this occasion Pickthall faced a number of difficult conversions although by the interval the hosts held a commanding and unassailable 53-0 advantage.
The second half was only a few minutes old when second row Simon Dowker slipped a clever pass to Knapton who scored in the corner.
Sam Chesney-Benson replaced Craig Galbraith at eight as Josh Maddocks also joined the fray, with Walker and Barton continuing to dictate proceedings.
Barton was next to cross the line for the hosts before Laycock collected his chip over the defence to put the visitors on the scoreboard.
Fly-half Greg Smith converted and this was followed by some dangerous passages of play which saw Hull cross the line to reduce the Liverpool St. Helens arrears further.
However, Kirkby had the final say after the ball went loose in midfield just inside the away side’s half – Walker taking full advantage of the half chance.
After getting a foot to the ball and sending it beyond the Liverpool St. Helens defence, the scrum-half executed an impressive pick up at pace to score by the posts, with Pickthall converting.
This result extends Kirkby’s winning run and consolidates their fifth-place position in the League North One West table, six points ahead of closest rivals Warrington in sixth.
Kirkby Lonsdale: Dan Armistead, Matt Hoyland, Tim Groves, Simon Dowker, Matt Hughes (c), Alan Robinson, Stuart Storey, Craig Galbraith, Ben Walker, Dave Barton, Martyn Knapton, Jack Akrigg, Tom Pickthall, Sam Latu, Ryan Terry. Replacements: Sam Chesney-Benson, Josh Maddocks, Ryan Holmes
Liverpool St. Helens: James Windle, Mario Bonati (c), Mark Fryer, Mark Potter, Adam Donlevy, Sam Molyneux, James Burrows, Phil Kearns, James Laycock, Greg Smith, Danny Webster, Neil Hull, Matt Cunliffe, Matt Johnston, Jack Hodson. Replacements: Connor Charlton, Patrick Royle
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