19s Tame Tigers

DESPITE Despite a stuttering attacking performance the Saints defence held firm to give them the 28-8 win and a double against the Tigers this season, writes Graham Henthorne.

The Tigers had been well and truly humbled just over a month ago when the Saints beat them at Blackbrook and were definitely out for revenge in this clash.

But the Saints gave them a taste of things to come in the first five minutes with some punishing tackling hemming the home side in their own half.

This aggressive defence brought the first try for the Saints as the Tigers were forced to kick from deep in their own territory. A break from Liam Cooper saw the second row brought down in sight of the line. Quick hands from the play the ball spread the play left when a couple of darts down the blind side saw Olly Davies in at the corner.

The Tigers drew level after a dubious decision gave them a repeat set from a high kick which Matty Costello found difficult to diffuse. The Saints defensive line was at sixes and sevens and was caught out with the hooker running in.

The introduction off the bench of Jonah Cunningham, Levy Nzoungou and the outstanding Matty Lees gave the Saints a new lease of life and with it three tries in a decisive 15 minute period before the break.

A Danny Richardson half break which saw the ball ripped out led to Calvin Wellington dummying his way over in the corner before another trademark Cunningham dummy half barge over at the line, this time of the Jonah variety, saw the Saints open up a ten point lead.

The home side imploded just before the break giving away three penalties on the trot which saw the Saints camped on their line. Both Nzoungou and Phil Atherton were stopped short before quick hands this time put Regan Grace in at the corner. Despite the try again being unconverted the Saints held a crucial three score lead at the break.

The lead was increased early in the second period as Wellington scored his second. A fantastic defensive set forced the Tigers into a forward pass inside their own 20 metre area gave the Saints possession in fantastic field position. Again a flowing right to left move gave the big Welsh centre enough space to force his way over in the corner.

The home side gave themselves a glimmer of hope five minutes later after the Saints inexplicably switched off after another attacking set allowing the Tigers to go 70 metres in three tackles to score beside the posts.

But normal service was resumed as the Saints starting pack trotted back onto the field to exert their own kind of control on proceedings.

The Tigers were getting increasingly frustrated at not being able to penetrate the watertight Saints line resulting in yet another penalty and then a sin binning for dissent.

Saints took immediate advantage with Lewis Fairhurst making the overlap pay darting over for a try. The extra 10 metres in from the touchline made all the difference as Richardson converted putting the Saints four scores in front.

There was still time for Olly Davies to drop the ball in front of the biggest gap you’ve ever seen but the damage was done and the points were going back over the Pennines with the Saints.

The game was won in the forwards and despite being pushed close by the ever dependable Morgan Knowles the outstanding player tonight, coming back with a vengeance after a couple of quieter games, was Matty Lees who never stopped either with or without possession.

The Saints now have a week off to prepare for the little matter of a trip over Billinge Lump to, hopefully, secure yet another double.

Match Summary:

Castleford U19s:

Tries: Brandon Moore (11), Russ Barton (53).

Saints U19s:

Tries: Olly Davies (5), Calvin Wellington 2 (23, 48), Jonah Cunningham (27), Regan Grace (36), Lewis Fairhurst (67).

Goals : Danny Richardson 2.

Half Time: 18-4

Full Time: 28-8



1. Pat Diskin; 2. Connor Hughes, 3. Russ Barton, 4. Luke Blockley, 5. Declan Sheehan; 6. Luke Adamson, 7. Tom Hughes; 8. Connor Fitzsimons, 9. Brandon Moore, 20. Will Maher, 11. Will Cooke, 12. Will Plimmer, 13. Brandon Westerman.

Subs: 14. Aiden Ineson, 15. Brandon Pickup, 16. Brandon Douglas, 17. Rory Dixon.


1. Matty Costello; 2. David Eccleston, 3. Jake Spedding, 4. Calvin Wellington, 5. Regan Grace; 6. Danny Richardson, 7. Lewis Fairhurst; 8. Ross McCauley, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Joe Ryan, 11. Olly Davies, 12. Liam Cooper, 13. Morgan Knowles.

Subs: 14. Jonah Cunningham, 15. Phil Atherton, 17. Matty Lees, 20. Levy Nzoungou. 

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