Saints Edged In Friendly

SAINTS were edged 20-16 by Widnes Vikings in their first run out of the season.

Tries from Joe Greenwood, Adam Swift and James Roby looked to have completed a solid afternoon’s work – but Declan Hulme scored twice in the final few minutes to seal the win for the visitors.

This was a game more about getting players ready for the season ahead though with Head Coach Keiron Cunningham quick to praise the youngsters that took to the field in the second half and Greenwood.

He gave 26 players in total game time including new signings Atelea Vea and Travis Burns whilst Widnes, in their second friendly of pre-season, whittled down their roster to 23.

That match sharpness seemed to benefit the Vikings in the early stages as on two minutes they took advantage of a Saints knock on. The ball was shifted right and Paddy Flynn scored in the corner.

Saints almost hit back but Luke Thompson had the ball whacked out of him on the line thanks to a crunching tackle.

The home side’s D was certainly tested in the opening quarter with Burns in particular showing his strength.

And that strong defence was eventually rewarded.

Dawson was initially held up over the line in the 20th minute but seconds later Joe Greenwood went in under the sticks.

Makinson with the extras.

Saints could have been further ahead in the 34th minute but a fabulous move from a scrum on the right saw Dawson just bundled into touch.

And they were punished when Patrick Ah Van finished off a great move in the corner two minutes later.

Saints would be better for their first 40 minutes but had a lot to tidy up on in the second half.

Cunningham made wholesale changes too bringing in the likes of Paul Wellens, Mark Flanagan and Olly Davies.

The new look Saints immediately forced a drop out before Savelio put them in a good position once more.

A Roby break, bettered by Wellens and Swift then forced a drop out.

Saints were on top and were given a numerical advantage when Macgraff Leuluai was sinbinned.

He was adjudged to have hit Wilkin late as he kicked on the last – but it was probably a case of mistaken identity.

And the Saints man was lucky not to depart with him after a melee on the floor.

A man up, on 55 minutes Saints scored. Savelio broke through in the middle, offloaded to Hewitt who fed Turner; the centre making no mistake, finding Josh Jones to put Swift over in the corner.

Moments later Roby increased the lead from short range.

Buoyant, Saints continued to come and had great contributions from Hewitt and Jack Ashworth who was unlucky not to score when he broke from deep within his own half.

But it was Widnes who scored next, Declan Hulme flying over in the corner after great work from one touchline to another.

And seconds later, he repeated the feat to give the Vikings a late lead.

Saints tried to force a late winner with Hewitt and Fleming combining to force a drop out, but there wasn’t enough time to take advantage.

Match Summary:

Tries: Greenwood, Swift, Roby
Goals: Makinson (1 from 1), Hewitt (1 from 2)

Tries: Flynn, Ah Van, Hulme (2)
Goals: Tickle (0 from 1), Marsh (0 from 1), Craven (1 from 1)

Saints: 3
Vikings: 7

HT: 6-8
FT: 16-20

REF: Richard Silverwood

ATT: 3,508


1. Jonny Lomax; 2. Tommy Makinson, 17. Mark Percival, 3. Jordan Turner, 22. Matty Dawson; 6. Travis Burns, 12. Jon Wilkin; 8. Mose Masoe, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 21. Joe Greenwood, 11. Atelea Vea, 18. Luke Thompson.
Subs: 4. Josh Jones, 5. Adam Swift, 14. Alex Walmsley, 15. Mark Flanagan, 19. Greg Richards, 20. Paul Wellens, 24. Jordan Hand, 25. Andre Savelio, 26. Lewis Charnock, 27. Dave Hewitt, 28. Jack Ashworth, 29. Olly Davies, 30. Matty Fleming.

1. Rhys Hanbury; 2. Paddy Flynn, 4. Stefan Marsh, 14. Chris Dean, 5. Patrick Ah Van; 6. Kevin Brown, 7. Joe Mellor; 25. Alex Gerrard, 9. Lloyd White, 10. Manase Manuokafoa, 17. Chris Clarkson, 12. Danny Tickle, 13. Hep Cahill.
Subs: 3. Cameron Phelps, 19. Ben Kavanagh, 20. Declan Hulme, 21. Danny Craven, 22. Liam Carberry, 23. Phil Joseph, 24. Macgraff Leuluai, 27. Grant Gore, 28. Matt Whitely, 31. Ryan Ince, 33. Aaron Heremaia.

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