16s Tame Wildcats

AFTER watching such a dominant display from the U19s the U16s game could have been a bit of a damp squib especially as you never know what you’re going to get from a bunch of lads that have never played together before, writes Graham Henthorne.

However, it was a bit like groundhog day as the 16s said anything you can do we can do better scoring three great tries in a dominant opening 12 minutes to eventually win 40-18.

The first from Captain and Man of the Match Paul Nash was a typical hookers dive over at the play the ball. But the second two both from Dave Griffiths showed some wonderfully slick handling out wide and both times great centre play form Luke Maloney-Ward to commit his man before putting his winger clear.

However, the most pleasing part of the Saints opening stanza happened on the opening set of the game and before they had touched the ball as the whole team charged up and pounded the Wildcats knocking them back in possession and disturbing the balance of the team.

The visitors started to get a foothold in the game and were a constant threat as their diminutive but electric fullback continued to chime into the line.

The Saints dealt with it all extremely well with some tenacious goal line defence.

On the back of one stand the Saints pack got onto the front foot and made easy yards down the middle. On the last the ball was slipped left for Sean Croston to use his winger Jake Pass as a decoy to allow him to dummy his way free to score.

After another good step and run from impressive front rower Louis Brogan the ball was again spread left. Ryan Horne showed deceptive pace as he rounded the cover to put Croston clear. The centre took it 30 metres to the full back before feeding it back inside for Horne to finish the move he started going the final 30 for a great try.

Easy you would think. No, anything you can do we can do too said the visitors as, inspired by scrum half Pinder they scored twice in the opening five minutes to pull within two scores.

The Saints steadied the ship with two of their own. The first, a deserved try to Brogan pouncing on a grubber behind the line, the second to Callum Cooke now operating on the wing after great hands from Mike Wynn and Tom Nesbitt.

Back came the Wildcats again with their third try and had their fourth in successive sets not been ruled out for a forward pass the game could have taken a turn for the worst.

As it was the Saints weathered the storm and began to do what they did in the first half, pound away down the middle and then hit them out wide with some sparkling handling.

On the stroke of full time Cooke scored his second and the final try of the game from a restart after a Wynn grubber. The ball found Joe Sharratt on half way and a combination of good footwork and brute strength saw him through the line to the fullback before feeding the supporting Cooke for the Saints eighth try.

Coach Ian Lomax was well pleased with his charges after the game as they showed great vision in attack but also resolute defence to withstand the visitor’s pressure.

Match Summary:

Tries: Paul Nash (4), Dave Griffiths (7 & 12), Sean Croston (28), Ryan Horne (34), Louis Brogan (44), Callum Cooke (49 & 69).
Goals: Lewis Gartland 2, Mike Wynn 2.

Tries: Josh Pinder (37), Colby Colthorpe (40), Jack Dykes (55).
Goals: Josh Pinder 3.

Half Time: 24-0
Full Time: 40-18


1. Callum Cooke; 2. Dave Griffiths, 3. Luke Maloney-Ward, 4. Sean Croston, 5. Jake Pass; 6. Ryan Horne, 7. Lewis Gartland; 8. Louis Brogan, 9. Paul Nash (C), 10. Matthew Ashcroft, 11. Ben Sims, 12. Joe Sharratt, 13. Sam Royle.
Subs: 14. Brandon O’Neill, 15. Reece Jackson, 16. Eddie McLorie, 17. Christian Kellett, 19. Mike Wynn, 20. Tom Nesbitt.

1. Clayton Lynch; 2. Tom Markland, 3. Colby Colthorpe, 4. Tom Ashen, 5. Callum Hudson; 6. Owen Hughes, 7. Josh Pinder; 8. Yusuf Aydin, 9. Cameron Lees, 10. Robert Jowett, 11. Tom Murphy, 12. Kieran Lewis, 13. Joe Summers.
Subs: 14. Charlie Frost, 15. Jamie Szuluk, 16. Kian Morgan, 17. Jack Dykes, 18. Ben Markland, 19. Connor Bailey, 20. Lewis Teale.

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