Reserves Record Fax Win

SAINTS Reserves side kept their 100% record intact with a fine 24-12 win against a good Halifax side sprinkled with names familiar to anyone watching U19s rugby over the past few years, writes Graham Henthorne.

The Saints again fielded a side with a mixture of older and younger heads and all will be better for the experience.

As will all of the Championship Reserve sides playing Super League opposition the home side were quick out of the blocks and eager to take the game to the Saints.

They opened the scoring capitalising on poor Saints handling to gain a repeat set and three tackles later prop Martyn Reilly scored the first of his brace crashing over at the posts.

The Saints continued to stutter as the new formations got to know each other but as the half went on the home side visibly wilted. Couple that with the Saints finally holding onto possession and the strangle hold was well and truly applied.

The scores were levelled as a series of slick, quick passes down the left put Matty Costello away and he had the simplest of tasks to put his winger Regan Grace away to glide under the sticks.

There followed numerous great grubber kicks from Tom Connick and Danny Richardson which kept Halifax penned in. From the resulting repeat sets Calvin Wellington was twice held up over the line.

The home side just couldn’t summon the energy to get out of their own half which allowed the Saints to finally take the lead right on the stroke of half time.

Richardson’s pin-point last tackle cross kick was taken by the home winger but he was quickly bundled into touch by Tommi Hughes and Dave Eccleston giving the Saints a scrum on the Fax 10 metre line. Three tackles later and Richardson expertly dummied his way over under the posts.

The half time interval re-energised the home team and they again took it to the Saints who had to absorb a good deal of pressure for a ten minute period. But once Lewis Charnock, back from his sojourn down the road at Leigh, had crumpled his opposite number in half with a big tackle there was seemingly only one winner.

However, on the hour Fax did manage to take advantage of a 40/20 and levelled the scores as the big prop scored his second try in identical fashion to the first.

The response was immediate. Good work at the play the ball by Hughes forced the error and four tackles later Ross McCauley trundled his way through an increasingly beleaguered defensive line to give the Saints the lead.

From the restart the saints again camped on the Fax line and the prop again burst his way through but seemed to get white line fever passing the ball instead of going for the line and the chance was lost.

The game was made safe five minutes from time as a Charnock miss pass put Wellington free to interpass with his Welsh colleague finally taking the return ball to score. Charnock’s fourth goal gave the score a more fitting look to go along with the performance.

This game was a fantastic advert for all that the Reserves League is about. Two evenly matched sides playing good, hard attractive rugby made for a great spectacle.

There was invaluable experience for the Furlong’s, Weldon’s, Morris’s and Costello’s of the team who all played against bigger and older opposition than they have faced before. The midfield trio of Tony Suffolk, Olly Davies and Charnock were relentless, Jonah Cunningham and Aaron Smith controlled the ruck and there were good performances from Liam Cooper and Tom Connick.

But this game was yet another step on the seemingly inevitable road to first team recognition at some point for Danny Richardson as he demonstrated his artistry both with ball in hand and in his kicking.

Match Summary:

Tries: Martyn Reilly (8 & 60).
Goals: Connor Robinson 2.

Tries: Regan Grace (28), Danny Richardson (40), Ross McCauley (63), Calvin Wellington (74).
Goals: Lewis Charnock 4.

Half Time: 12-6
Full Time: 24-12


1. Joe Martin; 2. Gareth Potts, 3. Ben Heaton, 4. Chester Butler, 5. Craig Robertson; 6. James Woodburn-Hall, 7. Connor Robinson; 8. Martyn Reilly, 9. Ryan Maneely, 10. Gavin Bennion, 11. Jordan Syme, 12. Ed Barber, 19. James Saltonstall.
Subs: 13. Josh Greenwood-MacDonald, 14. Jack Georgiou, 15. Callum Dunne, 16. Cian Timmins, 17. Luke Nelmes, 18. Jordan Baldwin.

1. Matty Costello; 2. Dave Eccleston, 3. Tommi Hughes, 4. Calvin Wellington, 5. Regan Grace; 7. Danny Richardson, 6. Tom Connick; 18. Tony Suffolk, 9. Jonah Cunningham, 19. Ross McCauley, 11. Olly Davies, 12. Dave Llewellyn, 13. Lewis Charnock.
Subs: 8. Levy Nzoungou, 14. Aaron Smith, 15. Lewis Furlong, 16. Mike Weldon, 17. Liam Cooper, 20. Ben Morris.

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