LACKING four first choice players due to suspension and losing three more during the course of the match through injury, the Academy put in a Rourke’s Drift type performance (for those too young, myself included I might add, look it up on the web!) to come away with the spoils 22-18, writes Graham Henthorne.
It’s never easy to go to Humberside and win with all the odds in your favour but to lose players of the calibre of Adam Barber (5 minutes), Corey Lee (25 minutes) and Joe Bate (50 minutes) and still more than compete is a massive task. Add to that the fact that the Saints were down to 11 men at one stage due to sin-binnings to Greg Wilde and Luke Thompson and the stature of the performance becomes more evident.
The Saints had started well and when an offload from Wilde put James Hill away for the opening score all looked good.
Wilde then scored the second himself increasing the lead to ten but unfortunately was sin binned just before the break, the home side capitalising with a converted try to reduce the arrears.
Luke Thompson’s yellow card early in the second period saw the Saints down to 11 and the home side scored twice to stretch their lead to 18-10.
However, as the numbers evened themselves up again the Saints regained their dominancee and set about reducing the deficit.
Despite being hamstrung by the injury load Yates and Speakman led their charges around the park and victory was achieved with late tries to Lewis Foster and Danny Yates both converted by Yates.
Coach Derek Traynor was effusive with praise for all the players today. The pack laid the platform for the win with some outstanding defence. Led by Bate, Jordan O’Neill and Danny Jones they held the home side at bay, limited the damage during the sin-binnings and then led the fight back in the second half.
A special mention must go first to Lewis Galbraith who made his debut for the Saints with only 5 minutes gone and then to Nathan Skupski who started in the second row but moved out wider to cover injuries and put in a top class performance in both positions.
This was a banana skin waiting to slip on but due to some heroics it was turned into a defining moment in the season.
Tries: Smith 2, Jackson (K.)
Goals: Jackson (L.)3
Tries: James Hill, Greg Wilde, Lewis Foster, Danny Yates.
Goals: Danny Yates 4.
Half Time: 10-6
Full Time: 22-18
1. Corey Lee, 2. James Hill, 3. Greg Wilde, 4. Adam Barber, 5. Leon Tatlock; 6. Dom Speakman, 7. Danny Yates; 8. Joe Bate, 9. Callum Welsby, 10. Jordan O’Neill, 11. Luke Thompson, 12. Nathan Skupski, 13. Danny Jones.
Subs: 14. Lewis Foster, 15. Greg Richards, 16. Jack Francis, 17. Lewis Galbraith.