THE Academy saved their worst performance for many a moon for the most important game so far this season – to lose 46-12 at Wigan writes Graham Henthorne.
They were 16 points down after ten minutes and looking down and out. There was a brief rally as a Danny Jones tackle dislodged the ball and from the scrum Mark Percival beat his man to score in the corner
The Saints were definitely hanging on but four tackles in a row from Man of the Match Nathan Skupski lifted spirits and when big Jack Francis charged onto a ball scattering defenders the Saints started to believe in themselves.
The substitute prop got his just desserts four tackles later as he picked up from dummy half at the line taking four over with him for the score.
Unfortunately that was as good as it got and Leon Tatlock’s jump for a Dom Speakman high bomb ten minutes from time was only a consolation score.
The error strewn performance of Widnes last week was carried through to today and the Saints, having got away with last week, were punished mercilessly.
Whether some players’ minds are already on the plane to Australia or not is hard to tell. The only thing for certain is that a big improvement will be necessary for the visit next week of our nearest rivals this season Hull KR, and the willingness of players to turn it around will tell the coaching staff all they need to know.
Tries: Shae Lyon Fraser, John O’Donnell, Danny Parkinson, George Williams, Ryan Hampshire, Greg Burke, Matty Crow, Connor Parnell.
Goals: George Williams 4, Ryan Hampshire 3.
Tries: Leon Tatlock, Mark Percival, Jack Francis.
Half Time: 8-28
Full Time: 12-46
1. Louis Tierney; 2. Joe Bullock, 3. Shae Lyon Fraser, 4. John O’Donnell, 5. Danny Parkinson; 6. George Williams, 7. Ryan Hampshire; 8. Greg Burke, 9. Andy Cunningham, 10. Ryan Sutton, 11. Matty Crow, 12. Grant Beechem, 13. Connor Parnell.
Subs: 14. Calum Wright, 15. Liam Fishwick, 16. Rob Lever, 17. Jacob Almond.
1. Corey Lee; 2. Leon Tatlock, 3. Mark Percival, 4. Greg Wilde, 5. Jamie Tracey; 6. Dom Speakman, 7. Danny Yates; 8. Brad Ashurst, 9. Callum Welsby, 10. Adam Hesketh, 11. Nathan Skupski, 12. Luke Thompson, 13. Danny Jones. Subs: 14. Lewis Foster, 16. Jordan O’Neill, 18. Jack Francis, 15. Chris Webster.