A SCINTILLATING display of rugby league saw the Saints thrash the Tigers 56-6, writes Graham Henthorne.
There were doubles for Lewis Galbraith, Greg Wilde, Lewis Foster and Alex Clare and further tries from Lewis Charnock, Corey Lee and Lewis Sheridan as the Tigers literally had no answer to the power and pace of the Saints.
The tone was set for the day with a great first set of six as the pack drove downfield and Brad Ashurst had a try disallowed from Sheridan’s last tackle grubber to the line.
On the next set Lee opened the scoring as Foster darted blind and quick hands from Jordan Heaton and Mark Percival put the winger in at the corner.
Lee had another try disallowed for a forward pass before the Saints increased the lead down the other flank. Alex Clare broke through the line, fed it out to Sheridan who committed the full back before feeding Galbraith to go in from half way.
The Tigers rallied briefly but a big defensive set on the line kept them at bay and signalled the end of their resistance.
The Saints were cutting the Tigers to pieces down the left and a piece of typical Saints rugby ended with Greg Wilde’s first in the corner. The ball was offloaded from five or six pairs of hands with Alex Clare providing the final pass around a mesmerised Tigers defence.
The pack with Ashurst, Adam Hesketh and Andre Savelio causing havoc were totally dominant allowing Lewis Foster to exchange passes with Ashurst and dive in at the right corner.
Savelio finally showed a glimpse of the power which made him such a monster at the lower age groups as he powered his way to the line through three would be sets of tacklers before offloading for Lewis Charnock to go in at the side of the posts
Saints blotted their copy book as after withstanding three repeat sets a simple dummy at the play the ball yielded the only score for the visitors
Normal service was resumed on the stroke of half time, however, as Sheridan’s high kick was caught by Wilde and offloaded to Galbraith who rounded his opposite number to score in the corner
Sometimes when you’ve been so dominant it’s difficult to replicate the form of the first half on the restart but that wasn’t the case yesterday as the Saints scored on the first possession. A great short ball from Savelio put Clare away, he took it to the full back before feeding the supporting Sheridan on the 40 metre line. The little scrum half pinned back his ears and even had enough to fend off the cover before diving over in the left corner
The Tigers, no doubt with the voice of their coach ringing in their ears, again put the Saints under severe pressure but the defence scrambled well absorbing three repeat sets then breaking out to resume the try fest
Clare got a well-deserved try courtesy of a Matty Fozard break, then was instrumental in breaking the line for Greg Wilde’s second try, another started deep in the Saints half and finished with good hands from Lee and Galbraith
Savelio again put his second row partner Clare through a yawning gap for his second before the eleventh and final try was started and finished by Foster. It was his great 40/20 that produced the attacking scrum from which he danced through the line to score.
Make no mistakes this was a great performance studded with sparkling handling skills founded on the beaches of the Maracana (as we say down our way!).
But to have the time and space for those handling skills to come to fruition you have to first go forward and this the pack did in spades. Ashurst, Hesketh, Fozard, Greg Richards, the unsung James Tilley, Clare and Savelio all demolished their opposite numbers.
One point very worthwhile making at this time is that with Adam Swift’s debut, at least one member of every St Helens Academy Touring Team to Australia has progressed to play for the First Team. A statistic which every Super League club will be jealous of.
Tries: Lewis Charnock, Corey Lee, Lewis Galbraith 2, Greg Wilde 2, Lewis Sheridan, Lewis Foster 2, Alex Clare 2.
Goals: Mark Percival 3, Lewis Sheridan 3.
Tries: Connor Land.
Goals: Connor Land.
Half Time: 30-6
Full Time: 56-6
1. Lewis Charnock; 2. Corey Lee, 3. Mark Percival, 4. Lewis Galbraith, 5. Greg Wilde; 6. Jordan Heaton, 7. Lewis Sheridan; 8. Brad Ashurst, 9. Lewis Foster, 19. Adam Hesketh, 11. Alex Clare, 12. Andre Savelio, 13. James Tilley.
Subs: 14. Tom Roughley, 15. Matty Fozzard, 21. Ben Parry, 17. Greg Richards.
2. Ben Reynolds; 5. Curtis MacDonald, 3. Mitch Law, 4. Tommy Newbould, 16. Max Chetwyn; 6. Connor Land, 7. Zak Snellgrove; 8. Liam Lunn, 9. Jake Dehal-Clark, 10. Shaun Pick, 11. Nathan Hammond, 12. Brad Hay, 13. Luke Day.
Subs: 1. Mike O’Donnell, 14. Brad England, 15. Ben Foster, 17. Jordon Anderson.