THE Saints U16s got Saturday’s double header of matches at sunny Langtree Park off to a flier with what turned out to be a comfortable 36-12 win against Huddersfield Giants, writes Graham Henthorne.
But the first half display left a bit to be desired prompting stern words from Coaches Ian Lomax and Eric Frodsham at the break.
What gave them cause for concern was the Saints lackadaisical attitude in both attack and defence that left them only eight points up at the break when it could and probably should have been more.
It all started so well, however, with two try scoring opportunities in the first three minutes. Ricky Bailey broke through on the second tackle of the opening set running 70 metres but his final pass to Jake Spedding hit the deck and Lewis Hatton knocked on over the line on the next.
All this and some poor defence out wide allowed the visitors to open the scoring.
Ricky Bailey again broke through to put the Saints on the attack but a poor decision on the last meant a try was missed.
Lewis Hatton again had a try chalked off for a forward pass from Danny Richardson before the Saints eventually levelled matters. Dave Eccleston was stopped short and from the play the ball Lewis Fairhurst dove through from dummy half converting his own try for good measure.
The Giants put the kick off out on the full and the Saints again squandered a gilt edged opportunity as Bailey’s pass to Kieron Herbert drifted forward.
Two David Eccleston tries in three minutes on the half hour finally gave the Saints some breathing space. The centre rounded his opposite number to score in the corner after Hatton’s break and then repeated the dose this time scrambling up to score after being tap tackled on his way finally giving full value to another break from full back Bailey.
The half time ‘talking to’ had the desired effect as the Saints dominated the second period.
Richardson took a Giants grubber on his own line before sprinting 95 metres to score in the corner. The scrum half then converted his own try perfectly down the middle off the touchline after having hit both posts in the first half.
Eccleston took the game away from the visitors in completing his hat-trick. The centre stepped inside the cover after more good work from Bailey.
Richardson scored his second jinking his way through the line after a good drive from Jonah Cunningham had taken play to the 10 metre line.
The Giants got a consolation score on the hour mark but quick hands on the final play of the game saw Kieron Herbert go over in the corner.
Comfortable in the end but it could have been so much better. Pick of the forwards was Chris Worrall who worked tirelessly ably supported by Lewis Hatton, with Ricky Bailey the best of the backs with Dave Eccleston a close second.
Tries: Kieron Herbert, David Eccleston 3, Danny Richardson 2, Lewis Fairhurst.
Goals: Danny Richardson 3, Lewis Fairhurst.
Tries: Jamie Stringer, Jak Dadam.
Goals: Will Gledhill 2.
Half Time: 14-6
Full Time: 36-12
1. Ricky Bailey; 5. Joey Brady, 4. Jake Spedding, 3. David Eccleston, 2. Kieron Herbert; 6. Morgan Knowles, 7. Danny Richardson; 8. Phil Atherton, 9. Lewis Fairhurst, 10. Chris Worrall, 11. Liam Cooper, 12. Lewis Hatton, 14. Jonah Cunningham. Subs: 13. Ben Morris, 15. Bobby Williams, 16. Aaron Smith, 17. Kieran Atherton, 18. Joe McLoughlin, 19. Jack Wilkinson, 21. Josh Houghton.
1. Jordan Knowles; 5. Darnell McIntosh, 17. Sam Moore, 3. Jamie Stringer, 2. George Sykes; 6. Scott Fleming, 7. Harry Redfearn; 8. Sam Wood, 9. Brad Moules, 10. Jordan Syme, 11. Will Gledhill, 12. Mathew English, 13. Frazer Morris.
Subs: 4. Izaac Farrell, 14. Oliver Bartle, 15. Jak Dadam, 16. Dan Smith, 18. Liam Senior.