U19s Tame The Wolves

SAINTS inflicted the first home defeat of the season on the Wolves at a sundrenched Halliwell Jones Stadium on Sunday, writes Graham Henthorne.

From 1 to 17 they were better than their hosts and fully deserved to come away with the points following a 28-16 win.

Roared on by a small, but beautifully formed, group of parents the Saints took it the Wolves and worried them from the off.

Wolves were first to threaten to score, however, taking advantage of a poor option from the Saints to break away but knocked on with the try begging.

Saints were not as generous. A penalty put them in Wolves territory and drives from André Savelio and Phil Atherton took them close. From the play the ball Dave Hewitt went left finding Danny Richardson who reached over to touch down to the left of the posts.

Two tries in the next 15 minutes put the home side ahead as they made the Saints pay for some poor execution on last tackle.

They didn’t let it affect them, however, as they gained a repeat set after a good kick from Lewis Charnock. From the restart the Saints should have scored as Ross McCauley knocked on over the line from Richardson’s short pass.

The pressure continued to mount for the Wolves as the Saints forced a knock on on their own 30 metre line. From the scrum Matty Fozard and Olly Davies got the Saints close before Hewitt gave a delightful drop off pass to Savelio and the big man did the rest using telescopic reach to touch down while four players dangled him upside down.

Charnock’s second conversion gave the Saints the lead at the break.

Having not played to their capacity the talk at half time was to up everyone’s intensity and work rate by 5 – 10 per cent and continue to get the forwards to lead from the front as the Wire pack had found it difficult to stop Savelio and McCauley on the run.

Joe Ryan, in his second match back from injury, forced another knock on with a great tackle in the Wire 20. From the scrum the Saints peppered the home line which eventually broke as Jonah Cunningham dove on a loose ricochet from Hewitt’s grubber.

Again good kick pressure forced a repeat set and kept the Wolves penned in their own half.

The turning point happened on the hour mark with Matty Fleming’s try putting the Saints two scores up. Drives from Joe McLaughlin and Fozard put the Saints on the front foot. A quick play the ball saw Hewitt close but his offload found Savelio who in turn put Ricky Bailey inches short.

The play the ball saw Charnock give quick service missing two out to Savelio who in turn missed the man out to give Fleming the chance to somersault over the defence into the corner.

The icing on the cake was served by Danny Richardson who finished an 80 metre move to score a great try.

The Wolves kicked dead on the last. Despite being barracked by his own team to slow down and run the clock Bailey picked up, raced to the 20 metre line and took a quick tap. He then wove 60 metres through the splintered defensive line to the full back. He engaged the defender but offloaded to the supporting Richardson on the 40 who handed off the cover before going over at the posts to the delight of the Saints crowd.

Unfortunately poor tackling gave the home side a consolation try at the end making the score somewhat respectful which was a shame as the Saints thoroughly outplayed them. Big carries from all of the pack with Phil Atherton having his best game for a while got the team moving and the creativity in the back line gave the Wolves too much to think about. Four rousing renditions of “When the Saints Go Marching In” showed what the victory meant to the Saints but it’ll count for nothing if it’s not backed up with another next week away at Hull FC.

Match Summary:

Tries: Jake Eccleston, Toby King, Joe Philbin.
Goals: Declan Patton 2.

Tries: Matty Fleming, Danny Richardson 2, André Savelio, Jonah Cunningham.
Goals: Lewis Charnock 3, Dave Hewitt.

Half Time: 12-10
Full Time: 28-16


1. Jack Johnson; 2. Jake Eccleston, 3. Harvey Livett, 4. Toby King, 5. Dean Kay; 6. Declan Patton, 7. Louis Jouffret; 8. Alex Whalley, 9. Sean Kenny, 10. George King, 31. Joe Philbin, 12. Sam Wilde, 18. Ryan Maneely.
Subs: 11. James Jones, 14. Robert Holroyd, 15. Andy Philbin, 16. Daniel Murray.

St Helens:
1. Ricky Bailey; 2. Adam Saunders, 4. Matty Fleming, 3. Jake Spedding, 5. Lewis Galbraith; 18. Danny Richardson, 7. Dave Hewitt; 8. Phil Atherton, 9. Lewis Charnock, 10. Joe Ryan, 11. Olly Davies, 12. André Savelio, 13. Matty Fozard.
Subs: 14. Jonah Cunningham, 15. Chris Worrall, 16. Joe McLoughlin, 17. Ross McCauley.

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