Reserves Cruise Past Wigan

A DOMINANT, if sometimes sketchy, second half performance saw the Saints Reserves continue their unbeaten run by emulating the U19s from last Saturday, writes Graham Henthorne.

The torrential rain that had teemed down over the North West had left the pitch greasy to say the least and with a big puddle over one corner of one try line.

Handling was always going to be tricky as proven when Tony Suffolk knocked-on with his first carry after a great charge down and pick up by Lewis Charnock. The redoubtable prop more than made up for it later with some fantastic carries off his own line into the heart of the home sides defence.

Saints opened the scoring as Jack Ashworth, who had earlier had a certain try ruled out as being held up over the line, strode majestically under the posts taking Matty Fleming’s inside ball. This after a Travis burns dummy had allowed him to put Fleming into the clear.

The Saints then managed to lose their way a little as the errors and penalties increased in tandem allowing the hosts to take the lead scoring twice in a five minutes spell. The first came after three big defensive sets on the Saints line.

But that was as good as it got for the hosts as the Saints then took control.

Another great defensive set forced a poor kick from deep in their own half. Further territory courtesy of a penalty put the Saints on the attack and Ricky Bailey showed his footwork skills as he took a left to right pass and stepped inside to score under the black dot.

A massive side on hit from Tom Connick, which cut the player in half, forced a knock-on on half way. Three drives down the left after the scrum dragged the defence out of shape then from the play the ball Travis Burns went back right out the back to Bailey then to Tommi Hughes who beat two men to the corner.

The second half started as much of the first half had been, as a bit of an arm wrestle but two tries in a five minute period put the Saints out of reach.

The first came after a big hit from Lewis Charnock forced the home side into spilling the ball. Two tackles later and Burns went on a mazy run bouncing off tackles and eventually going in under the posts.

The second was also Ashworth’s second. A home knock-on on the last was picked up by Hughes who went 50 metres. Four tackles later, with the defence at sixes and sevens, Charnock’s beautiful miss pass straight from the play the ball gave Burns the chance to commit his man and put the big second row over.

As in the first half saw the Saints lose their way as the completion rate plummeted thus allowing the home side a foothold into the game they didn’t deserve.

Common sense prevailed, however, as Bailey did well to save a try holding the player up over the line and then five tackles after the handover Levy Nzoungou was showing his pace and footwork as he danced his way over on the left for the final score.

Despite the dismal handling on show the Saints showed the calibre of their defence as, apart from the two first half lapses, they were never really troubled by a poor home side.

Big minutes from Suffolk, Ashworth, Charnock, Joe Greenwood and Olly Davies set the platform for the backs to challenge their much vaunted opposition and make them look pedestrian in the process.

The juggernaut rolls on with the Reserves and U19s challenging each other to keep the run going every time they take to the field.
Match Summary:

Tries: Liam Marshall (25), Luke Waterworth (30).
Goals: Jack Higginson.

Tries: Jack Ashworth (15 & 56), Ricky Bailey (34), Tommi Hughes (38), Travis Burns (52), Levy Nzoungou (70).
Goals: Travis Burns 3, Lewis Charnock.

Half Time: 16-10
Full Time: 32-10


1. Gabriel Fell; 2. Liam Marshall, 3. Jack Higginson, 4. McCauley Davies, 5. Tom Davies; 6. Lewis Heckford, 7. Jake Shorrocks; 8. Joe Bretherton, 9. Luke Waterworth, 10. Greg Burke, 11. Nick Gregson, 12. Jack Wells, 13. Kyle Shelford.
Subs: 14. Craig Mullen, 16. Max Dudley, 17. Josh Woods, 18. Jake Moore, 19. Liam Paisley, 20. Cain Barnes, 21. Sam Brady.

1. Ricky Bailey; 2. Tommi Hughes, 3. Matty Fleming, 4. Jake Spedding, 5. Regan Grace; 6. Travis Burns, 14. Tom Connick; 21. Tony Suffolk, 9. Lewis Charnock, 19. Ross McCauley, 12. Joe Greenwood, 16. Jack Ashworth, 13. Olly Davies.
Subs: 8. Levy Nzoungou, 10. Tom Whittle, 15. Ben Morris, 22. Jonah Cunningham 23. Dave Llewellyn, 24. Brad Billsborough.

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