SAINTS U19s continued their unbeaten start to the season with a hard fought win 32-6 in testing conditions in Wakefield on Saturday, writes Graham Henthorne.
The foundations for the win were laid in the first half where due to some fabulous last tackle kicking options the Saints kept the home side pinned in the own half for much of the first period and getting repeat set after repeat set.
Unfortunately one stray pass and defensive tackle led to the Wildcats taking the lead against the run of play running the ball in from halfway.
Unfazed the Saints continued their policy of playing the game in the Wildcats 40 metre area and turning the screw.
The policy came good on 20 minutes as Lewis Charnock scored to bring the Saints level. A great drive from Liam Cooper saw him stopped short but from the play the ball Charnock took two over by the posts.
Five minutes later and the Wildcats were broken again as André Savelio sent more bodies sprawling on his blockbusting 40 metre drive but the ball was dropped at the play the ball and the Saints had to settle for a share of the points at the break.
The punishing runs of the Saints big men Joe Ryan, Luke Thompson, Ross McCauley and Savelio allied to the intelligent kicking of Dave Hewitt, Danny Richardson and Charnock had meant countless turnovers for the Saints and seven more sets in possession than their hosts.
This was bound to have a sapping effect on the energy levels of the Wildcats in the second period and the coaching staff called for more of the same and patience to wait until the Wildcats collapsed.
The Saints got the dream start as big Ross McCauley got a deserved try as he plunged over after good work from Joe Ryan in yet another repeat set.
Then came the patience as the home side again demonstrated their dogged defensive attributes keeping the Saints at bay until the hour mark.
Inevitably, it seemed today, it was Charnock who dealt the killer blow breaking through the line after his own kick got a repeat set.
Charnock and McCauley then set up the position for Matty Fleming to run an angle and put Dan Abram over in the corner.
The Saints were in full flow then graphically illustrated as Morgan Knowles on his debut sprinted 50 metres to trap the full back in goal and gain the Saints more possession. Three tackles later and the human wrecking ball that is André Savelio ploughed his way over.
The final nail was hammered in by Aaron Smith who, after five drives from the pack had walked the Saints downfield, spotted the gap out wide on the last and darted over in the corner from 10 metres out.
Whilst there is still much to work on for the bigger tasks ahead this was a good performance built on the back of a commanding kicking game and big hitting defence which gave the opposition nowhere to go.
Luke Thompson led the way before his withdrawal at half time and was backed up by solid displays from Liam Cooper and stand in prop Matty Fozard.
Tries: Jacob Ware.
Goals: Max Jowitt.
Tries: Lewis Charnock 2, Aaron Smith, Ross McAuley, Dan Abram, André Savelio.
Goals: Lewis Charnock 4.
Half Time: 6-6
Full Time: 32-6
1. Max Jowitt; 2. Brandon Conway, 3. Kieran Holt, 4. Jacob Ware, 5. Declan Brereton; 6. Tom McGrattan, 7. Scott Lee; 8. Jack Teamby, 9. Brad Moles, 10. Fraser Morris, 11. Jordan Crowther, 12. Jack Walton, 13. Korbin Kildare.
Subs: 14. Ben Cornell, 15. Callum Sampson, 16. Cam Leeming, 17. Danny Douglas.
1. Dan Abram; 2. David Eccleston, 4. Matty Fleming, 3. Jake Spedding, 5. Jordan Tisdale; 6. Danny Richardson, 7. Dave Hewitt; 8. Joe Ryan, 9. Matty Fozard, 15. Luke Thompson, 11. Liam Cooper, 12. Jack Ashworth, 13. Lewis Charnock.
Subs: 14. Aaron Smith. 17. Ross McCauley, 18. Morgan Knowles, 20. André Savelio.