19s Demolish North East

SAINTS fielded probably their youngest side ever at this level with 6 making their debut along with 6 with less than 10 games under their belt and yet were still massively too strong for their opponents – recording a 94-0 victory over the North East.

The game was a procession virtually from the kick off and developed into a battle with the score board against the clock. Although to their credit the players never once thought of it that way, approaching the job professionally throughout.

Lewis Furlong kicked off the 17 try jamboree collecting Regan Grace’s clever knock back of Dave Hewitt’s last tackle cross kick to scoot into the corner.
Second tackle from the restart and good footwork from Mike Weldon, making a welcome return after injury, put him through on a 50 metre break, he found Hewitt in support who shipped it out to Calvin Wellington and the big Welsh centre finished in style.

Wellington turned provider for Hewitt minutes later providing the pass from which the scrum half twisted over in a tackle for the try.

From the kick off a great 40 metre run carrying three defenders from Adam Thompson put the Saints on the front foot. The ball was spread right for Jake Spedding to go 50 metres down the right flank only to be caught with the line in sight. From the play the ball Hewitt jinked over for his second and the Saints were 22 points to the good in the opening 15 minutes.

Saints fifth try saw Regan Grace show his paces. The ball was fired out to the wing from a scrum on the Saints 30 and Regan did just enough to outpace his opposite number and the covering defence on his way to the line without really getting out of second gear!

This wasn’t just a fantastic display of handling skills. A wonderfully deep clearance kick from Rob Fairclough and a great chase saw the North East picking the ball up on their 5 metre line. Two tackles later and the weight of tackle had forced the error. Four tackles later and a Hewitt long ball saw Spedding in for his first.

The pack were making yards down the middle for fun and runs from Chris Worrall, Ross McCauley and Joe Ryan, all impressive off the bench, coupled with an intelligent grubber on the last from Hewitt saw Ben Morris touch down at the sticks.

Worrall and Ryan teamed up for the Saints last try of the half on the half hour as the Captain took the pass from his fellow prop after he had committed the full back.

If there was to be a criticism at all about the Saints yesterday it’s that in both halves they switched off for 10 minutes at the end of each one.

It’s often very difficult to switch back on in the second period after such a dominant display but normal service was most definitely resumed with a divine 40/20 from Hewitt giving the Saints a scrum on the home 15 metre line. Two tackles later and Ryan was strolling under the sticks.

On the next set a half break from Wellington put Matt Costello in the clear. He took it on 30 metres before feeding the supporting Weldon to storm the final 30 to the try line for his first try in Saints colours at this level.

Worrall and Ryan teamed up again this time to send fellow sub McCauley in at the posts for his first.

Wellington showed the defensive side of his game rattling the teeth of his opposite number. Spedding picked up the loose ball and scooted in.

McCauley charged over for his second try and then embarked on a series of wonderful examples of strong running centre play. The big prop obviously thought, wrongly, that Lewis Furlong needed a little bit of help down the left and proceeded to terrorise the right flank of the North East Region with some barnstorming runs, scattering would be defenders like pieces of straw on the wind. Worrall and Grace benefitted from these runs, both finishing off moves with tries.

Just when the century looked a formality the Saints lost concentration and despite two more tries in the final three minutes from Lewis Furlong and Spedding’s hat-trick try after good work by Josh Eaves and Wellington, it was always going to be just too far away.

However, as always this was never about reaching the ton, it was always about attitude and the ability to stay focussed and do your job properly and professionally. That is what this side did even to the expert running of water although the cone boy left a little to be desired!

Seriously though, a long trip, a young side and the knowledge that other teams had whipped our hosts could have been a recipe for disaster. But not with this team. What they have done is exactly what they should have done, left the coaching staff with a host of dilemmas as the season progresses.

Match Summary:

North East U19s:

Saints U19s:
Tries: Jake Spedding 3, Lewis Furlong 2, Calvin Wellington, Regan Grace 2, Dave Hewitt 2, Ben Morris, Mike Weldon, Ross McCauley 2, Chris Worrall, Joe Ryan 2.
Goals: Dave Hewitt 4, Rob Fairclough 7, Lewis Furlong 2.

Half Time: 44-0
Full Time: 94-0


North East:
1. Joe Thubron; 35. Lewis Davey, 3. Jake Woods, 4. Jack Williams, 5. Niall Sidney; 29. Zack Clark, 7. Dave Wheetman; 8. Lewis Thompson, 9. Aidan McCallion, 10. Kieran Bruce, 11. Jason Bass, 12. Kane Young, 13. Will Doyle.
Subs: 14. Alex Bielby, 15. Ben Hoggart, 16. Alex Taylor, 17. Jonah McIntyre, 18. Jack Midgley.

1. Matt Costello; 2. Jake Spedding, 4. Calvin Wellington, 3. Lewis Furlong, 5. Regan Grace; 6. Rob Fairclough, 7. Dave Hewitt; 15. Joe McLoughlin, 9. Josh Eaves, 10. Adam Thompson, 11. Lewis Hatton, 12. Ben Morris, 13. Mike Weldon.
Subs: 8. Ross McCauley, 14. Brad Billsborough, 16. Chris Worrall, 17. Joe Ryan.

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