St Helens Scholarship U15s 34 v14 Widnes Scholarship U15s
The Saints Scholarship U15’s scured their second win of the campaign with a strong second half performance nilling the Vikings, writes Graham Henthorne.
The Saints started brightly with Ben Calland just failing to take a cross field kick from Kiye Rigby but fell behind as the Viking offloads created a chance for the winger in the corner.
It was Rigby who kick started the Saints with a good run finding David Eccleston on his inside who took it to the full back before finding Jonah Cunningham, again on his inside, who shrugged off the would be tackler for a great score.
The Vikings regained the lead as winger Dan Huxley misjudging a poor cross kick he should have been able to take allowing the Vikings to score.
The Saints didn’t let it bother them, however, as Huxley’s wing partner Bobby Williams and Morgan Knowles both went close.
It was big prop Joe McLoughlin who brought the scores level finishing off a fine move. Lewis Fairhurst darted blind out of a play the ball on the Saints 30. He found Ben Calland who put Huxley away and he in turn found McLoughlin on the inside to go the final 30 to the line. The prop then saw his conversion unluckily rebound off the posts.
Right on the stroke of half time poor tackling allowed the Vikings to go in at the break four points to the good.
The second half was a different story as Ian Lomax and Mike Bennett’s charges took the game to the Vikings and totally dominated.
Good strong defence stopped the offloads and, in turn, stopped any go forward the Viking had enjoyed.
Bobby Williams beat his opposite number on the outside to give the Saints the lead again and would have scored again had he grubbered ahead on the last minutes later.
As it was it didn’t matter as Chris Worrall took an overhead pass from the impressive Lewis Hatton to stretch over the line to give the Saints a bit of breathing space.
A big hit from Ben Morris gave the Saints a welcome break as the Vikings were thinking of mounting a late charge but this was stopped in its tracks as Hatton and Morris then combined to drive the Saints down field giving Aaron Smith chance to cap a fine display with a try from dummy half.
The best was left ‘til last, however, as Eccleston scored then try of the night and then converted it from the touch line for good measure. A great catch at his own line from Ben Calland and quick pass out to Huxley put the winger away, he kicked ahead then Calland hacked on twice before Eccleston picked it up 10 metres out and dove through the air to touch down one handed for a great try.
This was a much better display from the U15’s than the nail biting victory against Warrington.
The two Jakes Campbell and Spedding worked well off the bench as did Jack Wilkinson adding some much needed go forward in the second period. Jonah Cunningham was again in the thick of the action and the back line lively in attack, but once the collective got stuck into the Vikings the game became easy. A message Messrs Lomax and Bennett will no doubt be drilling into the lads this week, along with some singing practice!
St Helens Scholarship U15s:
Tries: David Eccleston, Bobby Williams, Joe McLoughlin, Aaron Smith, Chris Worrall, Jonah Cunningham.
Goals: David Eccleston 4, Lewis Fairhurst.
Widnes Scholarship U15s:
Tries: Rhys Rigby, Adam Kirby, Alex Mellor.
Goals: Danny Richardson.
Half Time: 10-14
Full Time: 34-14
1. Jordan Darwin; 5. Dan Huxley, 3. Ben Calland, 4. David Eccleston, 2. Bobby Williams; 6. Morgan Knowles, 7. Kiye Rigby; 10. Joe McLoughlin, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. James Nicholl, 11. Lewis Hatton, 12. Chris Worrall, 15. Jonah Cunningham.
Subs: 14. Lewis Fairhurst, 16. Ben Morris, 17. Jake Campbell, 13. Jake Spedding, 18. Jack Wilkinson.
1. Ben O’Connell; 2. Rhys Rigby, 3. Callum Edwards, 4. Ryan Ince, 5. Adam Kirby; 6. Danny Richardson, 7. Alex Mellor; 8. Connor Cutts, 9. Jack Bond, 10. Callum Brizell, 11. Shaun Mannion, 12. Jack Houghton, 13. Elliot Dennet.
Subs: 14. Tyler Mensah, 15. Steve Fenney, 16. Connor Pill, 17. Keelan Ashley.