LEWIS Dodd wrote his name in the history books of St Helens when they became world champions by beating Penrith in a 13-12 overtime thriller.
Jack Welsby seemed to add even more glory to his already trophy-laden career by scoring a try and matching Konrad Hurrell’s score.
Winning the World Club Challenge is hard enough – winning in Australia is almost impossible.
And Brian To’o’s attempt with 90 seconds left sent the match into Golden Point overtime, whoever scores next wins.
It was all set after Stephen Crichton, who similarly ended England’s World Cup hopes, knocked out from 30 yards.
And after previously missing a drop goal attempt, Dodd shot over the crucial one pointer.
The kick-off was postponed by 50 minutes due to temperatures of up to 38 degrees. The teams eventually started in a tropical storm and the second half was delayed due to lightning in the area.
You wouldn’t have known it when Jonny Lomax broke Curtis Sironen while Welsby stepped back to finish a 75-yard pull.
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That started to believe. When Hurrell broke through at 15 minutes, the question was asked, “Can St. Helens do it?”
Surely Penrith – back-to-back NRL firsts – would come back. The Saints’ fantastic defense ensured the Panthers were tamed in the first 40 minutes.
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However, they had to finish the job without Tommy Makinson as he failed a head injury evaluation following a collision with Hurrell.
But Wellens’ side, which had former boss Kristian Woolf in the coaching box, had an answer for everything.
Welsby summed it up modestly: “We played well.” If only that were okay, imagine what they would have done if they had been brilliant?
A penalty by Mark Percival made it 12-0 for the guests. However, Penrith is too good to keep him down and when Izack Tago touched down after Nathan Cleary’s kick, the game was on.
But Welsby’s pass was called forward when Will Hopoate went into what may have been the clincher, raising the tension when a turn and overtime looked more likely.
Jonny Lomax and Dodd missed drop goal attempts as the Saints searched for a settler – still no one could sit comfortably.
And almost predictably, To’o came in with Nathan Cleary’s conversion and ended the duel after 80 minutes.
But the young half-back, who tore his Achilles tendon last year, has not been absent from two glorious scenes.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7429487/st-helens-super-league-nrl-england-australia/ St Helens WINS the World Club Challenge in Australia with a brilliant effort in overtime