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C Cup R4: Saints Blast Past Doncaster
Paul Wellens ended a difficult week on a high with two tries as St Helens booked their place in the Powergen Challenge Cup fifth round with a 56-6 win over Doncaster.
The Great Britain full-back played in last Friday?s 46-0 win at Hull despite Saints not having named him in their squad before the match.
But the engage Super League leaders escaped punishment and Wellens put the matter well and truly behind him with a quickfire second-half brace to pile the misery on National League part-timers Doncaster.
Maurie Fa?asavalu also claimed two touchdowns as Daniel Anderson?s men ran in a total of 10 tries to move one step closer to Twickenham, where this year?s final will be played after it was confirmed Wembley will not be completed in time.
Lakers coach Tony Miller had been hoping to turn the clock back 12 years having been in the Doncaster team which stunned Saints 30-29 on their last visit to Knowsley Road in 1994.
Doncaster arrived on Merseyside to face a St Helens side boasting the current longest run of reaching in the last 16 of the Challenge Cup, but they showed no signs of stagefright.
Doncaster playmaker Graham Holroyd, who appeared in back-to-back Wembley finals with Leeds in the mid-1990s, showed his class with some clever kicking as Saints? line led a charmed existence during the early exchanges.
After surviving several early scares, however, St Helens seized command after 18 minutes when Keiron Cunningham barged his way over the line from point-blank range.
Jamie Lyon added the extras and then orchestrated a delightful second try for team-mate Sean Long just three minutes later.
The Australian centre, whose future has this week been the subject of much speculation, charged down Holroyd?s attempted kick on his own 20-metre line and embarked on a charge upfield.
Lyon raced deep into Doncaster territory and found Long in support to his left with a perfect offload which saw the scrum-half to cross the line with ease.
Lyon again added the extras and engineered his side?s third try of the evening shortly before the half-hour mark, the Australian sending a teasing chip down the right flank which allowed Ade Gardner to collect and ground.
The dwindling prospect of an upset was well and truly over after 33 minutes when young replacement James Roby burst clear from midfield and set up Vinnie Anderson to race under the posts from 10 metres.
St Helens wasted no time extending their advantage after the restart as the impressive Lyon latched on to Long?s short grubber to ground for a 41st-minute try which he converted.
It was then Wellens? turn to take centre stage as the Great Britain full-back claimed two outstanding tries in as many minutes after breaking clear and collecting passes from first Lee Gilmour and then Anderson.
And after 51 minutes it was 44-0 as Francis Meli crossed the line in the left-hand corner from Anderson?s pass as the visitors struggled to contain wave after wave of attack from St Helens.
Samoan forward Fa?asavalu touched down twice in four minutes shortly after the hour mark while Lyon ended the game with five goals and Ian Hardman three from four attempts.
However, the spirited visitors had the final say when prop Gareth Handford crossed the line in the closing stages for a try converted by Chris Ross.
St Helens (24) 56. Tries: Cunningham, Long, Gardner, V. Anderson, Lyon, Wellens 2, Meli, Fa?asavalu 2. Goals: Lyon 4, V. Anderson, Hardman 3.
Doncaster (0) 6. Tries: Handford. Goals: Ross.
St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Lyon, Hardman, Meli, Pryce, Long,Graham, Cunningham, Fa?asavalu, Bennett, Wilkin, Gilmour.
Replacements: Roby, P. Anderson, V. Anderson, Fozzard.
Doncaster: Royston, Colton, Ross, Newlove, D. Mills, Holroyd,Leaf, Handford, Jordan, Tonks, Green, Robinson, Lawton.
Replacements: Cuffe, Sozi, Lowe, Martinez.
Referee: Peter Taberner (Wigan)