19s Thump Leeds

SAINTS kept the pressure on at the top of the table with an adequate performance against a poor Leeds Rhinos outfit, writes Graham Henthorne.

However, this was a Leeds side which contained many of the players who so efficiently wiped the floor with a very similar Saints side in the opening forty minutes of this season. This shows just shows how far the Saints have come that turning in a display in which for the most part they went through the motions allowed them to so comprehensively beat the visitors.

Ben Morris opened the scoring taking Danny Richardson’s pass and running a a great line crashing through the Rhinos defence wide right.

Quick hands again down the right side from Richardson to Jake Spedding finally ended up with Dave Eccleston stepping back inside to cross the whitewash.

Had Aaron Smith’s line ball to Rob Fairclough been ruled legal then the game would have been beyond the visitors in the first quarter. As it was the Saints had to work hard for three full repeat sets before the visitors made the error which relieved the pressure.

Straight away the Saints went down the other end where Fairclough showed his attacking flair with a delightful dummy which stood up the defence giving him a walk in to score.

What wasn’t in question throughout this game was the Saints commitment to defence, shown perfectly after Richardson’s long clearing kick down field. The chase was on from Morris and Spedding and both were on hand to force a repeat set.

The last five minutes belonged to Regan Grace. The winger, cheered on enthusiastically by a very vocal band of his countrymen and women, finally managed to do what he has threatened to do for weeks. He got through the defensive line on his own 30, rounded the full back then teased him on his way to the line.

But with seconds to go to the break it was he who got under his opposite number to save a certain try.

Losing Captain Joe Ryan at the break meant longer stints for the big guys down the middle but the work was shouldered without complaint from Levy Nzoungou and his counterpart off the bench Matty Lees.

Richardson opened the second period with a 40/10 and from the scrum Calvin Wellington earned his own burst of “When the Saints Go Marching In” from his countrymen as he burst through paper thin tackling to score.

Fairclough and Richardson were both unlucky not to score before Morgan Knowles got the try that his tireless work every week deserves.

The final try was scored by Richardson but was made from Phil Atherton’s half break and offload.

The game was played in extremely humid, muggy conditions which may account for the sluggish nature of the Saints play. There may also have been a hangover from last week’s disappointing loss to the Auld Enemy. And whilst it is always difficult to nil a side and just as difficult to beat and side from Leeds be under no illusions that this is anything other than a very young and inexperienced Rhinos side.

Consequently the tempo will need to rise for the second visit of the season by a Hull KR which arguably should have won at Langtree earlier in the season.

Match Summary:

Saints U19s:
Tries: Ben Morris (10), David Eccleston (16), Rob Fairclough (26), Regan Grace (35), Calvin Wellington (44), Morgan Knowles (54), Danny Richardson (70).
Goals: Danny Richardson 6.

Leeds U19s:

Half Time: 22-0
Full Time: 40-0


20. Ricky Bailey; 2. David Eccleston, 3. Jake Spedding, 4. Calvin Wellington, 5. Regan Grace; 6. Danny Richardson, 7. Rob Fairclough; 8. Ross McCauley, 9. Josh Eaves, 10. Phil Atherton, 11. Olly Davies, 12. Ben Morris, 13. Morgan Knowles.
Subs: 14. Aaron Smith, 15. Levy Nzoungou, 16. Matty Lees, 21. Joe Ryan.

1. Jack Wray; 2. Tommy Brierley, 3. Jack Norfolk, 4. Harry Boyes, 5. Ryan Jones; 6. Jordan Lilley, 7. Joe Sanderson; 8. Nyle Flynn, 9. Ben Brady, 10. Jonny Holmes, 11. Nathan Barker, 12. Ben Frankland, 13. Matty While.
Subs: 14. Harvey Hallas, 15. Josh Jordan-Roberts, 16. Sam Hallas, 17. Trea O’Sullivan.

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