19s Keep Run Going

GIVEN the dawn coach journey for a noon kick off in the Capital on a Saturday this was another splendid performance from the young Saints, writes Graham Henthorne.

Their hosts were fired up for playing their last game of the season and hot on the heels of their victory over the Dragons last time out.

The one thing you know when you play the Broncos is that they are enthusiastic and never give up and you know you have to reduce those qualities as much as possible.

Three tries in the first quarter did exactly that.

A huge gale down the field saw the Saints knock on straight from the kick off but recover with fierce defence to put their hosts under pressure.

Four tackles later with Matty Costello held short, quick hands from the play the ball saw Kevin brown with space to power his way over in the left corner.

Minutes later and a great line from Ben Morris saw the big second row take Elliott Jenkins pass to burst through to the line.

It was Morris who started the third try off with another trademark 30 metre break down the left. He passed it inside to the supporting Jenkins who went the final 30 metres. Had he had confidence in himself he would have scored but instead gave it on to the charging Alex Eckley who was caught on the line. Two tackles later and quick hands put Lewis Furlong in at the left corner.

But then came that never say die enthusiasm. The Saints gave them an inch and they took it with the vastly impressive loose forward Adebiyi powering over the line.

Five minutes later and the Saints were very lucky when the Broncos knocked on over the line. Six tackles later and Jenkins was restoring the lead. A grubber from Brad Billsborough rebounded into the hands of Captain Liam Cooper who reacted quickest to challenge the full back before feeding Jenkins.

The Saints then seemed to find their defensive mojo as a great chase and big set of six restricted the Broncos to 20 metres forcing a shallow kick. The Saints walked up field and Brown again belied his short stature to power over.

Then came the turning point. In the final minute of the half the Broncos, pressurising the Saints line grubbered on the last. Only needing to blast the ball out of the ground the Saints dithered allowing the Broncos to score going in on two scores behind.

So mission enthusiasm break was the call of the day again for the start of the second half. And again that’s what they did with tries from Josh Eaves and Matty Costello on his return from Australia on Great Britain duty.

Eaves finished off another Morris break whilst Costello ran strongly to ground under the sticks after a ball steal from Owen Smith had halted a promising Broncos break with a break of this own.

But then came the second turning point with the sinbinning of Cooper after rather too vehemently questioning the ref over one of the Saints 14 penalties.

With the Saints still reorganising Adebiyi scored his second after a good break and with winger Furlong being carried off and yet more reorganisation the Broncos closed to within 12 again barging over from close range.

But with Cooper back on and back to thirteen the Saints started to exert some control again with Aaron Smith taking the second of his two opportunities to score. Having knocked on over the line minutes later he caught Billsborough’s offload off the floor to score.

Fatigue and expectation could be starting to take effect on this group but it’s easy to forget how young they are when they keep on churning out performance after performance and finding ways to win week in week out.

Led around superbly by Billsborough and Jenkins and behind the power running of Alex Eckley and Evan Bullen the likes of mike Weldon and Ben Morris continue to shine.

Match Summary:

Tries: Sadiq Adebiyi (23 & 57), Jordan Williams (39), Callum Bustin (64).
Goals: Dan Weldon 2/2, James Meadows 2/2.

Tries: Kevin Brown (6 & 33), Ben Morris (10), Lewis Furlong (19), Elliott Jenkins (28), Josh Eaves (45), Matty Costello (50), Aaron Smith (70).
Goals: Brad Billsborough 5/8.

Half Time: 24-12
Full Time: 42-24


1. Fred Dodd; 2. Gideon Boago, 3. Jacob Ogden, 4. Kam Pearce Paul, 5. Will Reife; 6. Dan Weldon, 7. James Meadows; 8. Lewis Bienk, 9. Matt Davis, 10. Jordan Williams, 11. Rob Butler, 12. Danny Hindmarsh, 13. Sadiq Adebiyi.
Subs: 14. George Moore, 15. Callum Bustin, 16. Mitchell Stone, 17. John Sipawa.

1. Kevin Brown; 2. David Eccleston, 3. Matty Costello, 4. Jordan Gibbons, 5. Lewis Furlong; 6. Elliott Jenkins, 7. Brad Billsborough; 8. Evan Bullen, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Alex Eckley, 11. Liam Cooper (C), 12. Ben Morris, 13. Mike Weldon.
Subs: 14. Josh Eaves, 15. Callum Hazard, 16. Owen Smith, 17. Jorge Lewtas.

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