19s Make It Three From Three

WHAT was it I said last time the Saints came here? Sometimes they make you proud? Well it must be something about this place that brings the best out of the Saints, ‘cos they just went and did it again, writes Graham Henthorne.

This time there was no howling gale blowing down the pitch just a swelteringly hot day which claimed its first casualty in the warm up as Dave Eccleston had to bow out with vomiting. In came Matty Costello, a veteran of the earlier game, who slotted into the right wing without a worry.

The black and whites are a proud club and they will have been hurting from the previous two defeats and it showed as their big pack charged into the Saints in the opening ten minutes. They engineered an overlap down the right and opened the scoring.

The restart was spilled, however, gifting the Saints a chance and this side don’t need asking twice. From the scrum Ben Morris and Ross McCauley went held short before quick hands from Rob Fairclough and Ricky Bailey put Calvin Wellington in at the corner.

Thus started a purple fifteen minute period which saw the Saints score five tries and which stunned the home team and crowd.

From the restart the Saints earned a penalty and two tackles later Liam Cooper, who had his best game for weeks, broke through. Crucially he steadied himself, committed the full back, then found Bailey steaming up on the inside for the try and to give the Saints the lead they never relinquished.

Aaron Smith scored a trademark try darting over from dummy half after a great second effort from Wellington had seen him almost over.

The fourth try came after Cooper this time offloaded out of the tackle to Levy Nzoungou and the big prop revisited his debut score sprinting 30 metres under the sticks unopposed.

The last try was the whole display in a microcosm. Great defence forced the error from FC and from the attacking scrum on the home 10 metre line forwards and backs worked in unison to create the score.

Prop replacements Phil Atherton and Matty Lees showed that there’s no let up off the Saints bench with powerful drives then the ball was swung right whereupon quick passing saw Costello free and he again showed composure to delay his pass until Bailey had arrived for the stroll in to the posts.

There was just time enough for Jonah Cunningham to epitomise the steel of the Saints as his big hit stopped a try on the whistle.

No-one in Saints colours thought that the second half was going to be anything like the first and it proved to be as FC scored with their second possession taking advantage of lazy marking at the play the ball.

The response was immediate, however, as Regan Grace introduced himself into the game. He picked the ball up from dummy half 60 metres out. Weaved his way through traffic then opened the accelerator to run around the full back and under the posts.

Almost as quickly, and however luckily due to a ricocheting ball, FC were back in it capitalising on another Saints error, something that they had virtually eradicated in the first half.

The game turned on the hour as Ben Morris started a fabulous break down the right. He found Bailey in support who took it on before finding Danny Richardson (pictured) again on the inside. The half back jinked his way inside but instead of pinning his ears back and going for it he tried to find his support out left with a pass which was easily intercepted. A try then and FC were gone as it was they gained confidence and pounded back.

Grace and Wellington combined to save a try but three tackles later quick hands found the defence wanting and the home side were back within 10 with quarter of an hour remaining.

By this stage the Saints had lost Nzoungou to injury with two or three carrying knocks that really should’ve seen them replaced but they soldiered on regardless putting their bodies on the line for their mates time after time.

Bailey saved a try with a tackle from behind to keep the margin before the Saints were denied another match winning try. Quick hands from Bailey and Wellington put the ball in Grace’s hands but as he stepped inside to score agonisingly he put a foot in touch.

There was just time for Richardson to book-end his kicking game missing a penalty as he had missed his first conversion before the whistle went on a marvellous win for the Saints.

It’s difficult to pick anyone out in such a team performance as everyone played their part but Danny Richardson controlled the game well and his partnership with Rob Fairclough is blossoming. Joe Ryan was rivalled for the description Captain’s knock by Morgan Knowles but back to his best and always a threat either with or without ball was Calvin Wellington.

Match Summary:

Hull FC U19s:
Tries: Brad Fash (12), Jez Litten (43 & 50), Jack Downs (67).
Goals: Harry Tyson-Wilson 4.

Saints U19s:
Tries: Calvin Wellington (15), Ricky Bailey (18 & 31), Aaron Smith (22), Levy Nzoungou (26), Regan Grace (46).
Goals: Danny Richardson 5.

Half Time: 28-6
Full Time: 34-24


Hull FC:
1. Jack Sanderson; 2. Ryan Adamson, 3. Matty Liggins, 4. Zeus Silk, 2. Mike Adlard; 6. Harry Tyson-Wilson (C), 7. Josh Wood; 8. Brad Fash, 9. Brad Harrison, 10. Masimbaashe Matongo, 11. Ash Bastiman, 12. Jack Downs, 13. Jansen Turgut.
Subs: 14. Ross Osborne, 15. Charlie Weaver, 16. Brad Clavering, 17. Jez Litten.

18. Ricky Bailey; 2. Matty Costello, 3. Ben Morris, 4. Calvin Wellington, 5. Regan Grace; 6. Danny Richardson, 7. Rob Fairclough; 8. Ross McCauley, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Levy Nzoungou, 11. Morgan Knowles, 12. Liam Cooper, 21. Joe Ryan (C).
Subs: 14. Josh Eaves, 15. Matty Lees, 17. Jonah Cunningham, 23. Phil Atherton.

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