Mark Percival will go down as a modern legend of the game.
He is a four-time Super League Champion and a two-time Grand Final try scorer scoring superb tries against Salford Red Devils and Leeds Rhinos in almost the exact same spot both times in Saints’ first and last Grand Final triumphs of their historic four in a row. Percival did sadly miss out in the 2020 win over Wigan Warriors.
Nonetheless, he is a player who should be celebrated and was tonight as the Saints took on Widnes Vikings.
Sadly, Percival wasn’t able to take to the field but his side still did him proud.
Though Widnes started the game well with some good defence to force the Super League Champions into an error.
The Vikings then looked for a 40/20 though it was just off the mark and the momentum went as the Saints soon went up the other end of the field.
James Bell, playing at 13, drew in the defence before feeding the ball to Curtis Sironen to carve through and race away to score after 13 minutes.
Ten minutes later Ben Davies made a break through the centre of the pitch before finding young Jon Bennison at fullback but his opposite number and former Saint Jack Owens chased him down to stop him short of the line.
It was a delaying the inevitable as four minutes later Jonny Lomax went through a gap before finding halfback partner Lewis Dodd in support to score who returned from injury with a bang.
As Widnes looked for a response in the 35th minute, the Super League Champions scrambled well only for Joey Lussick to be sin binned.
Widnes nearly exploited the man advantage with a break but sadly Tom Gilmore knocked on and that was the last chance of the half.
Seven minutes into the second half, the Saints made it three tries as a kick forced an error that Bell, who impressed, pounced on to score and make it 16-0.
To Widnes’ credit, they didn’t go away and in the 63rd minute they moved the ball left with the ball being flicked into the hands of Ryan Ince who dived in at the corner.
As the Saints trusted youth, the rest of the game was matched fairly evenly but Widnes did have a say again going left and Brad Holroyd getting over for a try.
The Vikings thought they had won it after a kick was claimed by Lawton and touched down but a knock on was seen in the build up.
Dodd back with a bang
In his first appearance of the season, Lewis Dodd was back with a bang with a try against the Vikings linking up brilliantly with his halfback partner Jonny Lomax.
Now more than settled as Saints, James Bell showed his class with a try and an assist on the night.
Vikings show what they can do
The Vikings battled back into the game after a difficult first 50 minutes to finish with a flourish.