THE Saints ran in 15 tries to beat Crusaders 82-0 in a decidedly one-sided curtain raiser to the main game at Widnes on Saturday writes Graham Henthorne, Team Manager
Led around the park by Dom Speakman and Danny Yates, 13 of the 15 tries came from the backs who showed a clean pair of heels to their opponents all day.
But as usual it was the forwards w/ho laid the platform for their more fleet of foot compatriots. This was typified in the opening score of the game. Drives from Jack Francis and Brad Ashurst, who terrorised the opposition every time he touched the ball, took the Saints forward and quick hands to the right saw James Hill get the first of his brace in the corner.
Another massive Ashurst drive taken on again down the left by Joe Greenwood put the Academy on the front foot. Alex Clare broke through gave it on to Corey Lee who took it to the full back before feeding Yates on his inside.
Mark Percival showed his class in knocking off three would-be tacklers on his way to the line for the third and when Leon Tatlock opened his account the match was effectively over after a quarter of an hour. Another Greenwood drive put James Hill in at the corner and Lewis Foster dove in at dummy half to keep the score at a point a minute.
A good inside ball from Yates saw Corey Lee show his pace in running under the sticks for his first.
The final act of the first half saw Crusaders pick up a Saints loose ball and go 90 metres to threaten the Saints line only to drop the ball at Leon Tatlock’s feet and the winger outpaced the cover for a great wingers try.
Being so far ahead at half time can often be the kiss of death and sides find it difficult to keep up the momentum after the break but Coach Derek Traynor asked his side to be professional in their attitude and show no mercy to the visitors. Seven more tries in the second period speaks for itself.
Joe Greenwood left the match at the break to take up his position as 18th man to the first team, a well earned recognition for his displays for both 18’s and 20’s, so it fell to Connor Dwyer to make the breaks down the left and that’s exactly what he did.
He put Lee in for his second as the full back supported his break brilliantly.
Dom Speakman scored twice in back to back sets before Dwyer put James Tilley away and he found Yates to go under the sticks.
Foster’s wide miss pass put Tatlock in for his hat-trick and then Ashurst swatted away defenders before Yates found Alex Clare on the burst to score.
A serious injury to centre Nathan Skupski gave put a downer on proceedings but the 80 point mark was brought up on the final whistle as Yates completed his hat-trick.
One sided it may have been but you can only play what’s put in front of you and that’s exactly what the Academy did today.
Brad Ashurst had his best game in the red vee, Corey Lee again showed his class chiming into the line well, Lewis Foster and James Tilley add go forward from the bench and Connor Dwyer showed how he’s benefited from his recent outings at Reserve level. But it’s hard to look past someone who scores 34 points and has a hand in almost everything else for Man of the Match, so well done again Danny Yates.
Tries: Corey Lee 2, James Hill 2, Mark Percival, Leon Tatlock 3, Dom Speakman 2, Danny Yates 3, Alex Clare, Lewis Foster.
Goals: Danny Yates 11.
Half Time: 42-0
Full Time: 82-0
1. Corey Lee, 2. James Hill, 3. Mark Percival, 4. Nathan Skupski, 5. Leon Tatlock, 6. Dom Speakman, 7. Danny Yates, 8. Brad Ashurst, 9. Callum Welsby, 10. Jack Francis, 11. Joe Greenwood, 12. Alex Clare, 13. Connor Dwyer.
Subs: 14. Lewis Foster, 15. James Tilley, 16. Adam Hesketh, 17. Chris Webster.
1. Jacob Morgan, 2. Josh Ramsay, 3. Bradley Hill, 4. Jack Pring, 5. Tom Jones, 6. Olly Olds, 7. Courtney Davies, 8. Owen Thomas, 9. Dale Evans, 10. Rhys Watkins, 11. Sebastian Vidal, 12. Thomas John Collin, 13. Rhodri Lloyd.
Subs: 14. Efan Ellis, 15. Dan Maguire, 20. Tom Evans, 17. Luke Kell.