WARRINGTON Wolves U20s 42 v 4 Saints U20s – This match turned on a seven minute period either side of half time, writes Graham Henthorne.
If the Saints could have taken advantage of a Wolves knock on deep in their own territory on the stroke of the break then the second half would have been a much close affair. As it was the Wolves held out to maintain their 14 point lead at the break and the Saints conceded two soft tries in the opening minutes of the second period to effectively seal the result in the home sides favour.
The Saints, decimated by injuries and first team call-ups, fielded a much younger side than their hosts, with no fewer than nine members of the side still eligible to face Wigan on Sunday in the U18s.
However, they were more than in with a shout at oranges. The Wolves had opened up a 12 point lead on the back of two penalties conceded by the Saints gifting field position to the home side.
The Saints opened their scoring and closed the gap taking advantage of a Wolves knock-on on half way. Scott Hale took the ball blind and from the play the ball Jordan Case offloaded to Greg Wilde who in turn found Ste Yates. The winger stayed in field and from the play the ball the ball was spread wide right where Danny Yates’ miss pass put Jaydon Sandford in at the corner.
Lewis Charnock narrowly missed with the touchline conversion but the Saints had definitely rattled their hosts who had clearly expected to roll over the inexperienced Saints.
The Wolves extended their lead courtesy of a Saints error but had to scramble to keep the Saints out prior to the interval.
As stated earlier two early tries in the second half followed by two more before the hour put the game out of the Saints’ reach but the U20’s showed a certain resolve in keeping the hosts out with some desperate defence.
Greg Wilde, Alex Trumper and Lewis Charnock all fought hard to keep the Wolves out.
Danny Yates was denied a consolation try at the death when James Tilley’s pass was adjudged forward after Anthony Walkers’ offload had put the loose forward clear.
Had the Saints scored before the break the result would have been different. The Saints can take solace in the fact that before next week’s game, probably against the “Auld Enemy”, many of tonight’s absentees will be back.
James Tilley, in his first start for the 20’s, Brad Ashurst and Lewis Charnock tried their damndest but head and shoulders above the rest in both attack and defence was Anthony Walker who showed the kind of commitment necessary if the Saints are to progress.
Tries: Gene Ormsby, James Mendieka, James Laithwaite 2, Ben Currie, Gavin Bennion, Jordan Burke.
Goals: Ryan Shaw 7.
Tries: Jaydon Sandford.
Half Time: 4-18
Full Time: 4-42
34. Ben Hellewell; 2. James Saltonstall, 3. Rhys Evans, 28. Ryan Shaw, 5. Gene Ormsby; 30. James Mendieka, 7. Bobbie Goulding; 35. Glenn Riley, 33. Brad Dwyer, 8. Jack Morrison, 27. James Laithwaite, 32. Ben Currie, 25. Ben Evans.
Subs: 9. Liam Hulme, 18. Gavin Bennion, 31. Jordan Burke, 37. Brooke Broughton.
1. Lewis Charnock; 2. Jaydon Sandford, 4. Alex Trumper, 3. Greg Wilde, 5. Ste Yates; 6. Nathan Ashe, 7. Danny Yates; 8. Jordan Hand, 9. Dom Speakman, 10. Ant Walker, 11. Scott Hale, 12. Jordan Case, 13. James Tilley.
Subs: 14. Marcus Baines, 17. Adam Hesketh, 19. Greg Richards, 20. Brad Ashurst.
Image shows Saints putting the hurt on Ben Currie. Thanks to Neil Ashurst of P&B Pictures.