19s Cruise To Win

IN an attempt to give as much experience as possible to as many players as possible the Saints side contained no fewer than 10 bottom age group players and a trialist for this game against the North East, writes Graham Henthorne.

Despite never being at their best the U19s were streets ahead of their opposition scoring 11 tries in the process to win 64-0.

The first half was a story of poor ball retention which restricted the scoring. Having said that, for the first half hour the Saints still managed to score a point a minute.

Elliott Jenkins was the first to break the deadlock as he stepped his way over from Captain Matty Lees’ pass, this after Brad Billsborough had robbed a Thunder player one on one.

From the kick off the duel wrecking balls of Lees and Jordan Olmez tore into the visitors getting the Saints on a roll. A quick play the ball and Rob Fairclough poked his nose through the line then delivered a peach of a back hand ball to put Mike Weldon away. He took it 40 metres to the full back before feeding Chris Follin to go around to the posts.

Again from the kick off the Thunder found Lees and Olmez and immediately found themselves on the back foot again. This time Olmez broke through, advanced on the beleaguered full back committing him before feeding Fairclough to go the final 50 metres to the posts.

Olmez’ departure for a well-earned rest saw the Thunder presented with Jorge Lewtas and it was suddenly apparent that they found him no easier to face. His run and quick play the ball gave Billsborough a chance to dart over for the Saints fourth try.

Just before the half hour mark Kevin Brown broke free only to be hauled in metres short of the line. But minutes later Weldon scored the fifth after great sleight of hand from Brad Pinder had put Lewtas away.

The immaculate boot of Jordan Gibbons saw all tries converted but poor handling saw the score remain at 30 nil until the break.

Despite the best of intentions the handling was only slightly better in the second period epitomised by Gibbons’ inexplicable knock on in the act of scoring having chased down Fairclough’s fine 60 metre kick.

Another three back to back tries reminiscent of the first half took the game way out of sight of the visitors.

Trialist Owen Smith, an early first half substitute for Cameron Brown, finished another Kevin Brown break in the right corner.

The halves combined over 60 metres to give Jenkins his brace and Follin followed suit soon after finishing good work from Pinder and Fairclough.

As Pinder was given a break Billsborough came back on and immediately created a try for Gibbons. He darted down the short side, gave it to Smith who in turn fed it onto the winger who ran in under the sticks.

Matty Costello got in on the act after Lees was stopped short (although it looked suspiciously like he was on the line!) taking a neat inside pass from Gibbons.

Fittingly the final score was reserved for Olmez who charged onto a pass to go in untouched from 10 metres out.

In truth this was an average display from the U19s who never really got into their stride. Having said that there were some good individual performances, notably from both hookers Billsborough and Pinder, and from Lees, Lewtas, Follin and Smith on debut.
But the stand out performer today was Jordan Olmez. From the start the Thunder couldn’t contend with his dynamic running or solid tackling. He was always on the look for an offload but most impressively when he made a mistake he upped his work rate to attempt to make up for it.

Match Summary:

Saints U19s:
Tries: Elliott Jenkins (8 & 55), Chris Follin (10 & 58), Rob Fairclough (13), Brad Billsborough (24), Mike Weldon (30), Owen Smith (53), Jordan Gibbons (64), Jordan Olmez (76) .
Goals: Jordan Gibbons 10.

North East:

Half Time: 30-0
Full Time: 64-0


1. Matty Costello; 2. Kevin Brown, 3. Cameron Brown, 4. Lewis Furlong, 5. Jordan Gibbons; 6. Elliott Jenkins, 7. Rob Fairclough; 8. Matty Lees (C), 9. Brad Billsborough, 10. Jordan Olmez, 11. Chris Follin, 12. Mike Weldon, 13. Callum Hazzard.
Subs: 14. Brad Pinder, 15. Jorge Lewtas, 16. Alex Eckley, 17. Owen Smith.

North East:
1. Lewis Burbridge; 2. Mark McCallum, 3. Jed Charlton (C), 4. Ryan Adamson, 5. Owen Reed; 6. Dan Coates, 7. Alex Bielby; 8. Will Bentley, 9. Ryan Jones, 10. Charlie Weaver, 11. Owen Harrison, 12. Sandy Rae, 13. Joel Marquez-Laynez.
Subs: 14. Haydn Williamson, 15. Joe Smith-Millican, 16. Connor Beswick, 17. Jake Egglestone.

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