19s Run Out of Steam

DESPITE leading by 10 points at the break the Saints contrived to concede 17 unanswered points in the second period against Wigan to end up on the losing side and a definite second place in the table, writes Graham Henthorne.

For twenty five minutes all was going smoothly as the Saints stormed into a 16 point lead with some fine attacking play coupled with ferocious defence, notably from the French assassin Levy Nzoungou.

The Saints were out of the blocks quickest forcing the first error of the game in the visitor’s 40 metre area. From the resultant free play smart offloading worked an overlap down the right and intelligent play from first Ricky Bailey and then Jake Spedding committed their defenders to give Dave Eccleston space to work. The winger took the ball inside before twisting out of the clutches of the defence for the try.

His second minutes later came as a result of a great high bomb from Danny Richardson. The ball was left to bounce and then tipped to the Saints as the full back was put under pressure from the kick chase. Phil Atherton was stopped short before the ball was moved right where Bailey’s miss pass put Eccleston into acres of space for the score.

On quarter time the winger turned into try saver as his last ditch tackle put his opposite number into touch in the act of touching down.

The Saints were playing with confidence exhibited no better than by Atherton’s drive and offload down the middle. The ball was picked up and taken on a mazy weaving run by Bailey bamboozling the defence before he gave it wide for Regan Grace to stroll over in the corner.

The tide was starting to turn, however, as the Saints started to lose the penalty count and possession stats. The visitors turned this to their advantage scoring on the half hour. Crucially as it turned out Morgan Knowles was hurt in the act of trying to stop the try and was ruled out for the rest of the game with concussion.

With him goes a relentless 80 minute talisman and left the Saints with only four substitutes for the whole of the second period.

The game was won and lost in the opening ten minutes of the second half. The Saints were down in the visitors red zone three or four times but didn’t manage one repeat set. When they did manage to break the defensive line with an Olly Davies run he tried to take the full back on instead of waiting for the figure of Jake Spedding who was steaming up in support.

Fatigue then started to play its part and the error count increased.

In the end the Saints just couldn’t hang on conceding three tries, the last one on the final whistle, to go down to a disappointing defeat.

Sixteen points to the good at home and you should win. The visitors gave the Saints a harsh lesson in how to manage your resources and a game to come out on top.

You couldn’t fault anyone’s effort, typified by the work of Ricky Bailey and the big minutes played by Levy Nzoungou, but you could ask for many to be a lot smarter in what they tried to do.
Match Summary:

Saints U19s:
Tries: David Eccleston (8, 12), Regan Grace (26).
Goals: Danny Richardson 2.

Wigan U19s:
Tries: Jake Shorrocks (32), Jack Higginson (55, 65), Liam Forsyth (80).
Goals: Jake Shorrocks 3.
Drop Goals: Jake Shorrocks (78).

Half Time: 16-6
Full Time: 16-23


1. Ricky Bailey; 2. David Eccleston, 3. Jake Spedding, 4. Matty Fleming, 5. Regan Grace; 6. Danny Richardson, 7. Rob Fairclough; 8. Phil Atherton, 9. Josh Eaves, 10. Levy Nzoungou, 11. Olly Davies, 13. Morgan Knowles, 21. Joe Ryan.
Subs: 12. Liam Cooper, 15. Matty Lees, 20. Jonah Cunningham, 23. Ross McCauley.

1. Gabriel Fell; 2. Liam Marshall, 3. Liam Parsley, 4. Liam Forsyth, 5. Jack Higginson; 6. Jake Shorrocks, 7. Lewis Heckford; 8. Kieran Sharrett, 9. Luke Waterworth, 10. Jack Wells, 11. MacCauley Davies, 12. Nick Gregson, 13. Kyle Shelford.
Subs: 16. Callum Field, 17. Brad Lawrence, 18. Josh Ganson, 19. Paddy Jone.

Principal Club Partners

LWC Logo

Platinum Club Partners

Kinaxia Logistics logo
Elcons Logo
Astar Recruitment logo

Associate Club Partners

St Helens College logo

Official Club Partners

Box Holders