U19s Bow Out To Rhinos

SAINTS Academy’s season came to a disappointing end on Friday evening at the hands of the Rhinos, writes Team Manager Graham Henthorne.

The game was won and lost in the first three minutes as the home side raced into a 12 point lead almost before the young Saints had touched the ball.

Two 80 metre tries, one from an interception after a great tackle from Greg Richards had actually won Saints possession, put the Saints on the back foot.

Two more tries in the first quarter found the Saints Academy staring into the abyss at 20 – 0 in as many minutes.

A penalty and a massive 60 metre touch finder from Lewis Charnock gave the Saints their first attacking opportunity and they didn’t need asking twice. Four drives took the Saints close and on the fifth Dom Speakman jumped down the blind side finding Greg Wilde who went over in the corner.

It was hoped that the try meant that the corner had been turned but more poor ball control and tackling let the Rhinos in twice more for a half time deficit of 26 points.

It got worse as the second half started in similar fashion to the first with the home side increasing their lead.

Many a side would have crumbled at this point but it’s a measure of the character of the side that the Saints not only didn’t, but actually took the game to the home side.

A great drive form Connor Dwyer which sat his would be tackler on his backside put the Saints on the attack. Two tackles later and he was being denied a try for being held up. From the play the ball quick hands spread it left where Greg Richards weaved his way in.

The tide was turning and the Saints were starting to gain the upper hand. Wilde put Dave Hewitt 40 metres through a gap down the middle. Quick hands again saw the ball moved left from Speakman and Dwyer to Jack Ashworth who took it around to the sticks.

The comeback was well and truly on but two defensive lapses let the Rhinos stretch the lead to 26 again with only 13 minutes to play.

The determination not to go down without a fight was shown by Charnock who, despite never having a chance of catching the Rhinos winger chased him every bit of the 50 metres he ran for the try.

He then instilled that into the Saints for the final few minutes.

Olly Davies took the short kick off and won a penalty. From the restart Charnock ducked under a tackle to dive over. 44 – 20.

From the kick off the forwards showed great vigour marching the Saints down field. On the last a Charnock grubber was pounced upon by the ever improving Joe Ryan. 44 – 26.

From the kick off Lewis Galbraith went on another of his characteristic blockbusting runs 70 metres before having his pass to his support knocked down. The ball was picked up and two tackles later Dan Abram is weaving his way through for the Saints fifth try of the half. Charnock’s goal made it 44 – 32 and the once confident Rhinos were anxiously looking at their watches.

Unfortunately the hill eventually proved too high to climb.

Charnock and Speakman were tireless in the Saints cause, closely followed by Dwyer and Richards.

Ultimately the Saints were beaten by the opening three minutes. Whilst not wanting to detract in any way from the 17 players who took the pitch today, if you put the injured Mark Percival, Luke Thompson, Andre Savelio and James Tilley into that team then things could have been a whole lot different and it would have been the Saints hosting them lot from over Billinge Lump next week!

Match Summary:

Tries: Jacob Morgan, Ash Handley 2, Nick Rawsthorne 2, Thomas Minns, Ben White, Robbie Ward.
Goals: Nick Rawsthorne 6.

Tries: Dan Abram, Greg Wilde, Jack Ashworth, Lewis Charnock, Greg Richards, Joe Ryan.
Goals: Lewis Charnock 4.

Half Time: 4-30
Full Time: 32-44

Match Summary:

1. Jacob Morgan; 5. James Duckworth, 4. Thomas Minns, 14. Nick Rawsthorne, 2. Ash Handley; 6. Elliot Minichella, 7. Ben White; 8. Dan Grange, 9. Robbie Ward, 10. Jordan Baldwinson, 11. Josh Walters, 12. Alex Foster, 13. George Milton.
Subs: 3. Ben Frankland, 15. Matty Blake, 16. Mason Tonks, 17. Jack Cockerham.

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

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