19s Record Remains Intact

SAINTS turned in probably their worst performance of the season so far but still managed to run out easy 46-20 winners over a very competitive Bulls side bereft of some players due to certain indiscretions in previous weeks, writes Grahama Henthorne.

Despite the above, the visitors were the ones out of the blocks fastest scoring twice in the opening 10 minutes to take a 12 point lead.

The curiously lethargic Saints still weren’t stung into action and spent the next fifteen minutes disrespecting both possession and their opposition in equal measure.

It was left to sub Jonah Cunningham to open the Saints account fully 25 minutes into the match against the mid-table Bulls.

From the kick off winger Kevin Brown inexplicably passed the ball straight to the Bulls and six tackles later they again made use of the overlap to score in the corner.

Finally, the Saints managed to hold onto possession and put the tiring Bulls under some pressure. But it was still more a question of good luck than good management as a series of offloads saw the Saints going backwards rather than forwards until the ball found its way to Regan Grace on the wing and he dove into the corner for the score.

On the stroke of half time Jordan Olmez decided to introduce himself to the game. It was his barnstorming 40 metre run which produced a penalty and then another from Rob Fairclough’s short pass saw him one on one with the full back. Although pulled down short, a quick play the ball saw Liam Cooper over down the right. Richardson’s second conversion brought the scores level at the break.

Stern words at the interval seemed to have had the desired effect as good defence on the Bulls line from Chris Follin forced the repeat set from which Cooper scored his second.

Grace got his second try minutes after bombing another chance from a Danny Richardson interception, outpacing the cover to the corner.

The Bulls kept their noses just in it capitalising on a slice of luck as a last tackle ricochet had given them another set of six in the Saints half.

Grace’s hat-trick try was a carbon copy of his second, the cover making no inroads into cutting him off from the corner.

The game was put to bed by two late tries from darts at the line from the play the ball by Aaron Smith.

The second half was a great improvement on the first but was by no means acceptable. Too many poor decisions seemed to be taken by the players in control and too many others seemed to take the bulls for granted, an opinion which was soon shown to be wrong.

Olmez showed glimpses of his best, Mike Weldon and Jonah Cunningham ran hard and there was an encouraging cameo from Alex Eckley off the bench but there was little else to shout about.

There will have to be a massive turn round before the short trip to Warrington next Friday evening as you can bet that they will be out halt the Saints juggernaut and exact some revenge for the drubbing handed out by the Reserves a week ago.

Match Summary:

Saints U19s:
Tries: Jonah Cunningham (26), Regan Grace (35, 51 & 63), Liam Cooper (39 & 44), Aaron Smith (72 & 76).
Goals: Danny Richardson 7.

Bradford Bulls U19s:
Tries: James Pickering (3), Liam Kirk (11), Josh Ricketts (29), Jay Panter (56).
Goals: James Bentley 2.

Half Time: 16-16
Full Time: 46-20


1. Ricky Bailey; 2. Kevin Brown, 4. Lewis Furlong, 3. Jake Spedding, 5. Regan Grace; 6. Danny Richardson, 7. Rob Fairclough; 8. Levy Nzoungou, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Matty Lees, 11. Liam Cooper (C), 12. Ben Morris, 13. Mike Weldon.
Subs: 14. Jonah Cunningham, 16. Alex Eckley, 17. Chris Follin, 18. Jordan Olmez.

1. Joe Brown; 2. James Pickering, 4. Ross Cakes, 3. Dan Waite Pullan, 5. Josh Ricketts; 6. Brandon Pickersgill, 7. Jacob Truman; 8. Liam Kirk, 9. Reiss Butterworth, 10. Brandon Wilkinson, 11. Ollie Bartle, 12. Matty Chrimes, 13. James Bentley.
Subs: 14. Lewis Ainley, 16. Milo Martin, 17. Evan Hodgson, 20. Jay Panter.

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