THE Reserves continued their revival with a fine 38-24 victory over a strong Rovers side built largely, as last week, on a dominant first half, writes Team Manager Graham Henthorne.
As with the first team later, however, the visitors were allowed to take the lead after the Saints had seemed in control.
Simon Atherton made a 50 metre break from the kick off and the second set of the night finished with the Rovers pinned on their own line. But as they started to find their feet one missed tackle allowed the full back through to put the second row in for the opening score.
That was as good as it got though as the Saints forwards took control. Warren Thompson got the first Saints try with a great second effort taking three players over the line with him after Kyle Eastmond had gone close.
Aggressive defence was forcing errors from the visitors. From a scrum on the 30 Josh Jones went on a curving run to the corner flicking a pass out the back at just the right time to put Atherton in.
Eastmond then went in as he plucked a Ben Karalius grubber out of the air to stroll under the sticks.
The Saints were in total control and big Samir Tahrouai came off the bench to continue the pain. In his best start for the Saints his drives were instrumental in the Reserves scoring twice in three minutes to put thaw game beyond the Robins.
His drive and quick play the ball gave Marcus Baines the space to dart through the line. Anthony Walker was caught but again a quick play the ball allowed Eastmond to put Karalius away and he did enough to give Dan Brotherton an easy walk in at the corner.
Scott Hale was the next beneficiary as again a Tahrouai drive and quick play the ball saw Baines away. Eastmond took it to the full back before putting Hale in at the posts.
Tommy Johnson’s third conversion made it a 20 point lead at the break but Coach Ian Talbot stressed to his young side that he wanted more of the same in the second period.
However, the visitors hadn’t read the script scoring a try from a lucky ricochet off a Saints defender in the first minute.
Tahrouai continued his good form being stopped inches short before a serious injury to Scott Hale held the game up for more than seven minutes.
Andrew Dixon, again playing 80 minutes, scored a deserved try to push the lead out to 20 again but two tries in quick succession put the Saints on the back foot.
Poor tackling allowed the big centre to put his winger away before three consecutive defensive sets proved just too much.
The Saints were reduced to 12 as Jordan Hand was sin-binned for what seemed an innocuous challenge and the game was really on the line especially when an Eastmond try following Alex Trumper’s delightful chip over the line and regather had been chalked off for crossing.
Josh Jones’ never say die attitude in chasing a Karalius grubber got the Saints a repeat set which was rewarded with Simon Atherton’s second try of the night as Eastmond and Jordan case combined to put the winger in.
Rovers pack featured full time pro’s and yet for the second week in succession the Saints six, led by Jordan Hand, Joe Greenwood and Anthony Walker continuing to belie their age, held the upper hand. Kyle Eastmond’s influence on the team grew from last week but the guile provided by Aaron Lloyd and the energy and vision of Marcus Baines off the bench are playing a larger part in the success of the team as the weeks go by.
Tries: Simon Atherton 2, Dan Brotherton, Kyle Eastmond, Warren Thompson, Andrew Dixon, Scott Hale.
Goals: Tommy Johnson 5.
Tries: Louis Sheriff, Nick Johnson, Jordan Cox, Jamie Logan.
Goals: Ben Crane 4.
1. Tommy Johnson, 2. Simon Atherton, 3. Josh Jones, 4. Alex Trumper, 5. Dan Brotherton, 6. Kyle Eastmond, 7. Ben Karalius, 8. Jordan Hand, 9. Aaron Lloyd, 10. Warren Thompson, 11. Andrew Dixon, 12. Scott Hale, 13. Jordan Case.
14. Marcus Baines, 15. Joe Greenwood, 16. Anthony Walker, 17. Samir Tahrouai
1. Louis Sheriff, 5. Ben Crane, 4. Sam Bowring, 3. Chris Heil, 2. Nick Johnson, 20. Jordan Lee, 7. John Gay, 8. Richard Beaumont, 9. Nathan Powley, 10. James Green, 11. Jordan Cox, 12. Matt Cook, 13. Dave Petersen.
Subs: 14. Jamie Logan, 15. Ryan Morrow, 16. Adam Sunman, 17. Scott Howlett.