Academy Grind Out Win

A VERY young Saints side with two players making their full debuts at this level and a further five more playing their first games at Langtree Park managed to eke out a 34-36 win against a competitive Rovers outfit, writes Graham Henthorne.

The Saints set the tone early on with some powerful drives from the pack rolling the team down field. But it was as they got to the final 30 that all the problems started as the Saints couldn’t seem to put the visitors under any kind of pressure.

In fact, as sometimes happens in these situations, it was Rovers who were the first to score with a neat offload allowing the centre to score in the corner.

The Saints were back level on the quarter hour as a high bomb from Lewis Charnock was allowed to bounce in the in goal by the Rovers full back. As is a rugby ball’s want it bounced back and was gleefully pounced upon under the posts by Dave Hewitt.

Dave Eccleston almost marked his debut with a try as he was adjudged to have had a foot in touch before putting the ball down in the corner.

The visitors took the lead again taking advantage of a two knock ons from the normally reliable Lewis Galbraith.

The long awaited return to action after injury of Andre Savelio off the bench gave the Saints some much needed go forward. Dave Eccleston was again held short but Aaron Smith marked his home debut darting over from dummy half after Savelio was inches away from a comeback try.

The big man capes his ten minute burst with a try on the stroke of the break. Smith and Matty Fleming had gone close before Savelio barged his way over.

The second half started badly for the Saints as a rejuvenated Rovers took the game to the Saints with their quick play the balls causing havoc in the Saints ranks.

They levelled the scores again on 55 minutes as the Saints defensive line stood and watched the scrum half dart over.

But two tries in a five minute period on the hour finally enabled the Saints to pull clear.

Firstly Liam Cooper scored as the Saints took advantage of a last tackle penalty repeat set on the Rovers line. Luke Thompson broke the line 30 metres out only to be brought down inches short. From the play the ball Cooper went over down the right.

Then Joe Ryan edged the Saints clear charging onto a Matty Fozard pass to go 30 metres unopposed after the hooker had broken the line.

Rovers wouldn’t go away though narrowing the gap with another try making for a nervy final few minutes.

The game was finally put to bed as the first jink at the line from Charnock in the game allowed him to put Olly Davies in with a one handed pass.

There was time for a consolation try for the visitors as yet another poor piece of handling from the Saints gifted them a try.

This was generally a below par performance from the Saints who will have to step it up significantly as the games get much harder very quickly in the near future.

Greg Richards, Thompson and Dave Eccleston on debut were the best for the Saints on this chilly evening.

Match Summary:
Saints U19s:

Tries: Dave Hewitt, Liam Cooper, Olly Davies, Joe Ryan, Aaron Smith, Andre Savelio.
Goals: Lewis Charnock 5.

Hull KR U19s:
Tries: Macca Hallett, Matty Marsh 2, Marvin Lee 2.
Goals: Connor Robinson 3.

Half Time: 16-12
Full Time: 34-26

Saints U19s:

1. Ricky Bailey; 18. David Eccleston, 4. Matty Fleming, 3. Jake Spedding, 2. Lewis Galbraith; 6. Lewis Charnock, 7. Dave Hewitt; 8. Greg Richards, 9. Matty Fozard, 15. Luke Thompson, 11. Liam Cooper, 12. Olly Davies, 13. Joe Ryan.
Subs: 14. Aaron Smith, 16. Lewis Hatton, 17. Phil Atherton, 20. Andre Savelio.

Hull KR U19s:
1. Josh Gudzek; 2. Jack Stewart, 4. Alex Gilbey, 3. Macca Hallett, 5. Elliott Kerry; 6. Matty Marsh, 14. Marvin Lee; 8. Tom Sullivan, 7. Connor Robinson, 10. Ryan Devaney, 11. Aiden Armstrong, 12. Harry Aldous, 13. Steve Holker.
Subs: 16. Josh Hamilton, 19. Chris Smith, 21. Liam Wake, 23. William Jubb.

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