Scholars Hang On In Hull

ItT’S never easy travelling to Hull so when it’s your first away trip of the season coming away with anything is considered as pretty good. Coming away with the spoils after being behind as the U16s did today can be classed as a very good day at the office, writes Graham Henthorne.

There were three more debutants today as well, one with a rather familiar surname!

The Saints started in determined mood with a great defensive set then a fabulous kick chase earning a repeat set on their first possession. And they made it count too as Callum Cooke opened the scoring with a weaving run under the posts.

A lapse at marker four minutes later allowed the homesters sharp hooker to scoot 50 metres to level the scores.

Both sides continued to test each other out but as the half wore on the Saints left side started to create chance after chance.

Debutant centre Jake Sculthorpe (profited from a great spot from Brandon O’Neill. The substitute hooker took his game up another notch in this encounter and it was his jump to the blind side which allowed Mike Wynn to send his centre through a yawning gap.

The Saints then bombed two more chances down the left. The first from a suspicious knock on call from a towering Lewis Gartland bomb, the second as Sculthorpe and Jake Pass over-ran Wynn forcing the scum half to hang on to possession.

As is often the case the Hull side went straight down the other end and scored in the left corner to close the gap to two.

Another try went begging from a free play knock on from Hull on halfway. The ball was picked up by Pass but the big winger was caught from behind.

On the stroke of the break Wynn caught the home defence flat footed as he ran the ball on the last stepping inside two on his way to the line for a great individual score. His third successful conversion gave the Saints an eight point cushion at oranges.

In the previous two matches the Saints opening ten minutes after the break has been terrible so much was spoken about changing that this time. However, five minutes into the second half the Saints found themselves four points behind having allowed the big sub prop to waltz through some paper thin tackles after two dubious ball stealing decisions had put them under pressure.

The players responded in terrific fashion though. Gartland’s fabulous kick off was pushed into touch on the Hull 10 metre line and from the scrum the ball was whipped left for Cooke’s miss pass put Pass in at the corner for his first.

Both sides continued to feel the weight of each other’s tackles. From such an error Ben Sims missed a try as he couldn’t hold onto a pass but minutes later from a scrum 30 out Gartland showed his side step running in to put the Saints back in the lead.

Luke Maloney-Ward found himself in the same situation from the kick off as he failed to take the swirling kick off and the chunky Hull scrum half dummied his way through the Saints’ defence to level matters once more.

The final fifteen minutes belonged to the Saints as they tidied their act up and started to exert pressure.

Big tackles from the kick off from Louis Brogan and Adam Hooper forced the error but Sculthorpe found himself pushed in touch as he went for the corner.

With ten minutes to go the Saints got their noses in front again with Pass’ second try of the game. From a scrum deep in home territory debutant scrum half Josh Waterworth came on to deliver the final ball for the winger to touch down in the corner.

A slightly better pass to the third and final debutant Kelvin Ojeaburu would have seen the game safe with five minutes to go but the big winger just couldn’t hold on.

As it was we had to wait until a last minute penalty from Wynn to breathe the collective sigh of relief.

As was said previously no-one goes to Hull and has an easy game so missing three players over in France with England made this trip even worse but all nineteen players stood up and were counted.

In Gartland, Wynn, Ryan Horne, O’Neill and Waterworth the Saints had ball playing ability in abundance. Back that up with the grunt of Brogan, Hooper, Christian Kellett and Sam Royle and the team looks very good indeed.

Match Summary:

Hull 1 Scholarship U16s:
Tries: Kieran Sewell (9), Elliott Wallis (28), Connor Beet (37 & 40), Harrison Morrow (56).
Goals: Harrison Morrow 4.

St Helens Scholarship U16s:
Tries: Callum Cooke (4), Jake Sculthorpe (21), Mike Wynn (34), Jake Pass (43 & 61), Lewis Gartland (52).
Goals: Mike Wynn 5.

Half Time: 18-10
Full Time: 34-28


1. Josh Atkinson; 5. Tom Burnett, 4. Gabe Hawtree, 3. Jack Bartlett, 2. Elliott Wallis; 6. Charlie Patterson-Lund, 7. Harrison Morrow; 8. Josh Oliver, 9. Kieran Sewell, 10. Kai Thorpe, 11. Luke Livingston, 12. Tom Burke, **. George Tyson-Wilson.
Subs: 13. Connor Beet, 14. Elias Harrison, 15. Lewis Todd, 16. Barnaby Teasdale, 18. Jordan Richmond, 19. Aaron Crammon.

1. Callum Cooke; 2. Luke Maloney-Ward, 3. David Griffiths, 4. Jake Sculthorpe, 5. Jake Pass; 6. Lewis Gartland (C), 7. Mike Wynn; 8. Louis Brogan, 9. Ryan Horne, 10. Adam Hooper, 11. Eddie McLorie, 12. Joe Sharratt, 13. Reece Jackson.
Subs: 14. Brandon O’Neill, 15. Ben Sims, 16. Kelvin Ojeaburu, 17. Christian Kellett, 18. Sam Royle, 19. Josh Waterworth.

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