Academy To Face Leeds

SOMETIMES the hors d’oeuvres don’t do the main meal justice but that couldn’t be said tonight as the Saints U19’s served up a fabulous 40-16 victory over Warrington as a prelude to the first team, writes Graham Henthorne.

Fielding one of the youngest teams to pull on a Saints jersey in the Play-offs, the team did the club proud with a fine win against much more experienced opposition.

The omens weren’t good early on however, as the Wolves took advantage of a Saints knock on to open up a six point lead.

The Saints were a little hesitant but finally got into gear making the Wolves pay for some silly penalties. Olly Davies and Greg Richards drove the ball in and Dave Hewitt jinked his way over for the try.

Led from the front by Richards the young Saints pack were growing in confidence but it was the backs who were worrying the Wolves. Quick hands from Davies and Dan Abram put Jack Ashworth away down the left. He took it to the full back before feeding his wingman Ben Parry to go the final 20 metres to the corner.

Two bizarre decisions against the Saints led to the Wolves regaining the lead with a try under the posts but some great tracking back from both Abram and Parry saved another certain six points.

From the resulting scrum, two penalties later the Saints were looming large on the Wolves line. Greg Richards showed great determination to shrug off one defender and beat another two to the line to give the Saints a vital lead at the break.

Having been in this position two weeks ago and wilted in the second period the Saints learnt their lesson and came out and dominated their opposition from the word go.

A poor last tackle choice was turned into gold as Greg Wilde’s offload found Connor Dwyer and the big loose forward saw the gap down the blind side sprinting 20 metres to the corner.

Ten minutes later and the Saints again find themselves in the Wolves 20. On the last the ball was just kept alive by offloads from Wilde and Lewis Galbraith as another poor last tackle option seemed to be going to cost the Saints. However, Lewis Charnock’s chip, chase and regather out of the hands of the winger saw him pass around the tackler to put Alex Clare in.

The Wolves kept their slim hopes alive with a try on the hour but the Saints were not to be denied storming home in the final 20 minutes.

Dwyer bombed a certain try with an inside forward pass with two unmarked men outside him but it made little difference as Hewitt’s second try took the wind out of the visitors sails. The scrum half again jinked his way through and stretched out to score.

Charnock again showed his command of the kicking game as he again chip over the defensive line and regathered his own kick this time beating the cover to the corner for the try.

The coup de grace was delivered by Ben Parry as the ball was spread left from a scrum on the Wolves 40. The winger went outside his opposite number then inside the cover for a fine try.

All 17 players deserve the plaudits today as this was a fine team performance with no-one letting anyone down. Richards and Charnock were good but Dom Speakman was outstanding repeatedly driving the Saints forwards with darting runs from dummy half.

The rewards for tonight’s win? A trip to Headingly on Friday, again as curtain raiser to the first feam.

Match Summary:

Tries: Ben Parry 2, Dave Hewitt 2, Lewis Charnock, Greg Richards, Alex Clare, Connor Dwyer.
Goals: Lewis Charnock 4.

Tries: Scott Turner, Ben Currie, Joe Philbin.
Goals: Scott Turner 2.

Half Time: 16-12
Full Time: 40-16


18. Dan Abram; 2. Lewis Galbraith, 3. Greg Wilde, 4. Jack Ashworth, 5. Ben Parry; 6. Lewis Charnock, 7. Dave Hewitt; 8. Greg Richards, 9. Dom Speakman, 20. Tom Calland, 11. Olly Davies, 12. Alex Clare, 13. Connor Dwyer.
Subs: 10. Ross McCauley, 14. Tom Roughley, 15. Adam Hesketh, 17. Joe Ryan.

32. James Saltonstall; 57. Scott Turner, 52. Will Milner, 49. Toby King, 63. Jack Johnson; 65. Louis Jouffret, 54. Declan Patton; 33. Gavin Bennion, 61. Andy Ackers, 58. Tom Walker, 64. Jacque Peet, 55. Joe Philbin, 24. Ben Currie.
Subs: 47. Robert Holroyd, 50. Mickey Learmouth, 51. Ryan Maneely, 53. Daniel Murray.

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