19s Demolish Hull

SOMETIMES they make you proud!

That is the only thing you can say about the display put on by the Saints today in sunny Hull that saw them win 46-26, writes Graham Henthorne.

Deprived of six starting players due to either England call-ups or first team debuts in the Challenge Cup the Saints side sent to play the Black and Whites on Humberside was a young one and one bereft of much experience.

This was made much worse after only three seconds after an horrific collision between Matty Costello and Joe Ryan which resulted in the Saints Captain leaving the field.

The remaining team did well to hold out the home side for the next six tackles and then proceeded to rebuild their shattered confidence.

Playing with a severe wind at their backs the easiest thing to do would be to put the ball high up into the air early in the tackle count and play them in their own half. Tigerish defence from the Airlie Birds forced the Saints to either kick from deep in their own territory or find a different way to clear their lines. Namely scoring from well into their own half!

Regan Grace started the whole bizarre set of events in motion taking Calvin Wellington’s dubiously forward overhead pass and then streaking 60 metres down the left touchline beating the full back and cover on his way to the posts.

From the restart on the last tackle making a highly impressive true debut Matty Costello turned his man before flicking a backhand ball out to Jake Spedding. The centre shot 30 metres down the right before feeding Lewis Furlong who expertly snook in at the corner.

Again from the restart, this time on the third tackle, Josh Eaves darted out of dummy half making a half break. He somehow got a ball out to the supporting Wellington who in turn fed it inside to Costello who strolled under the posts.

Spedding turned try saver with a bruising tackle which saw the Hull winger smashed into touch in the act of scoring.

Lewis Furlong’s second and the Saints fourth came courtesy of yet another Wellington/Eaves break. From the play the ball on the last Danny Richardson put in a sublime cross kick which Furlong did extremely well to pluck out of the air to score.

The Saints pack had been warming to its task and forced an error from the home side. Four tackles later and Ben Morris burst through for the Saints fifth try in the opening 23 minutes. Lewis Fairhurst’s fourth conversion made the score 28-0.

However, as the half came to a close the Saints all committed professional suicide conceding three tries to give the home side a glimmer of hope.

That glimmer got much brighter within five minutes of the restart as a Saints knock on gifted the hosts a converted try to bring them within eight points and with the benefit of the not inconsiderable gale.

Just as things didn’t seem as if they could get any worse Furlong had to join his Captain permanently on the side lines forcing a reshuffle of the troops. But this only seemed to galvanise the boys even more and they proceeded to achieve the near impossible mastering both the hosts and the weather.

Liam Cooper steadied the ship backing up Eaves’ half break to go the final 20 to score.

Brad Billsborough provided the match winning pass, however. The substitute hooker ignored the cries of his half backs and coaching staff alike to get the ball wide left from a play the ball to the right of the posts and on the line by dummying and jumping out right giving a great short pass to Morris who stretched over.

The coup de grace came when a loose ball fell at the feet of Grace who went 60 metres under the posts to seal a remarkable win.

A consolation try near the end made the score look slightly better for the home side but be under no illusion this game was well and truly won by a fantastic team performance from the Saints.

In the absence of Ryan, Phil Atherton and his forward colleagues charged into the much bigger home side both with and without the ball giving them no time to rest. Richardson and Fairhurst masterminded the attack but the power and pace out wide and from full back was too much for FC to handle.

Play like that every week and there’s no team around that would be able to live with the Saints.

Match Summary:

Hull FC U19s:
Tries: Brad Fash (27), Josh Poskitt (29), Ryan Adamson (36), Josh Wood (44), Ash Bastiman (72).
Goals: Reece Dean 3.

Saints U19s:
Tries: Regan Grace (8, 66), Lewis Furlong (11, 18), Matty Costello (13), Ben Morris (23, 56), Liam Cooper (52) .
Goals: Lewis Fairhurst 7.

Half Time: 28-14
Full Time: 46-26


Hull FC:
1. Jack Sanderson; 5. Ryan Adamson, 3. Connor Bower, 4. Jack Downs, 2. Josh Poskitt; 6. Josh Wood, 7. Reece Dean; 8. Masimbaashe Matongo, 9. Brad Harrison, 10. Charlie Johnson, 11. Ash Bastiman, 12. Bard Clavering, 13. Brad Fash.
Subs: 14. Ross Osborne, 15. Joe Marquez-Laynez, 16. Matty Liggins, 17. Jez Litten.

1. Matty Costello; 2. Lewis Furlong, 3. Jake Spedding, 4. Calvin Wellington, 5. Regan Grace; 6. Danny Richardson, 7. Lewis Fairhurst; 20. Phil Atherton, 9. Josh Eaves, 10. Joe McLoughlin, 11. Ben Morris, 13. Liam Cooper, 12. Joe Ryan.
Subs: 14. Brad Billsborough, 15. Chris Worrall, 16. Lewis Hatton, 17. Matty Lees.

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