Academy Gain First Win

SAINTS Academy pulled off their first victory of their Australian Tour with a 32-30 win over Wests Tigers under 17s.

This was the youngest team we have ever played while away on tour with 15 under 16s taking to the field out of the 23 man squad, writes Mike Rush.

Experience in the shape of Joe Ryan, Adam Saunders and Tom Calland were all missing with injuries alongside Jonah Cunningham and Ricky Bailey from the younger age.

The lads got off to a flying start and in the first 20 minutes managed to establish to a 22-0 lead.

This was a big boost to the staff who could finally see some of the training exercises being taken on to the field.

Tries in this spell came from Olly Davies, following a great break from Dave Hewitt who drew the full-back perfectly. Dave Eccleston scored the second with a great team try – beating two players as he ran half the length of the field to score.

Olly then got his second thanks to a well-worked kick from Dave Hewitt following a good break from Lewis Hatton.

And the 22-0 lead was rounded off with a try from dummy half from the impressive Aaron Smith.

Dave Hewitt with three goals.

The back end of the first 30 minutes saw Wests come back into the game with two well-worked tries to finish the first third at 22-10

The next two thirds were both really tight with Aaron Smith again diving over form dummy half in the middle game which went in favour of the West Tigers who managed to get over the line twice in this section.

The last third was a very close affair with Danny Abram scoring following a excellent play from Ross McCauley who again drew the full-back to send him over by the posts.

Dave Hewitt making it 4 from 6 for the night.

Overall it was a great team performance against another big side.

From a development point of view the kids are coming on well and the trip will prove a real learning curve for all concerned.

Match Awards on the night went to Ross McCauley, Lewis Hatton and Aaron Smith.

Finally, I’d like to say well done to all the players and staff.


For all the latest on the Academy Tour click here.

Ross McCauley

Lewis Hatton

Aaron Smith

Post match recovery!!

More pics can be found here.

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