Saints Punished For Poor Start

SAINTS paid the price for a disappointing first half as they went down 24-16 at Leigh Centurions on Friday night.

An Adam Swift try just before the interval gave the visitors a foothold in the game at 18-4 but scores from James Roby and Alex Walmsley couldn’t quite overhaul a significant deficit.

The damage was done following a disappointing start.

Right from the off Saints piled on the pressure but couldn’t break the deadlock – despite forcing a repeat set.

And that was as good as it got as five minutes in Saints’ old boy Atelea Vea busted through the defence.

Two repeat sets for the Centurions followed and Gareth Hock extended the advantage with a bulldozing run.

Ben Reynolds accurate with the boot to make it 12-0 after 11 minutes.

Saints dominated the next period of play, kicking deep to twice force Leigh to come off their own line.

Danny Richardson looked lively with the ball whilst Adam Swift just couldn’t haul in Jonny Lomax’ pass.

And the winger was bundled into touch on the very next play by an important Adam Higson tackle.

It took until the 25th minute for Saints to finally cross the whitewash and it came off the back of a lovely move involving Richardson and Lomax.

Ryan Morgan latched on to the final pass – but it was agonisingly called back for crossing.

Leigh subsequently went up the field, on the back of two penalties, and scored through Jamie Acton.

Reynolds making it three from three with the boot.

Saints hadn’t had an ounce of luck throughout but a penalty with seven minutes remaining gave them the perfect chance to reply.

A strong Lomax run set them up in good field position before Theo Fages linked with Jon Wilkin and Mark Percival to put Swift over acrobatically in the corner.

Saints were buoyed by the try and looked to have reduced the deficit further when James Roby put down on the line.

But he was adjudged to have been held up leaving the visitors with a 16 point gap at the break.

Keiron Cunningham’s men needed a strong start to the second half but an error handed the impetus right to Leigh.

Vea stormed onto a ball and plunged over the line too, but was denied the four points for crossing.

Saints returned down the field at pace with Swift scorching down the left hand side.

Higson’s tackle was perfect once more, but the homesters gave away a penalty that Saints frustratingly couldn’t convert.

And on Saints’ next set a superb passing move was halted by some desperate defence.

You got the feeling a try was coming and it finally did through the club’s tallisman.

Denied in the first half, Roby darted over from close range to make it very much game on.

In the final quarter Richardson went close before Cunningham’s men were held up over the line for the third time in the match.

Leigh then struck to take the game away from their opponents.

Back on for the final 15, Mickey Higham took on the ball from acting half and flew over from 20 metres.

Walmsley pulled one back in the 70th minute – goaled by Percival – but they couldn’t force the issue and snatch an unlikely comeback.

Match Summary:


Tries: Vea, Hock, Acton, Higham

Goals: Reynolds (4 from 5)


Tries: Swift, Roby, Walmsley

Goals: Percival (2 from 3)

Penalties Awarded:

Centurions: 7

Saints: 15

HT: 18-4

FT: 24-16

REF: Ben Thaler

ATT: 9,012



1. Mitch Brown; 2. Adam Higson, 3. Ben Crooks, 4. Willie Tonga, 5. Matthew Dawson; 20. Ben Reynolds,7. Joshua Drinkwater;  8. Gareth Hock, 9. Mickey Higham, 22. James Green, 11. Cory Paterson, 17. Atelea Vea, 13. Harrison Hansen.

Subs: 14. Eloi Pelissier, 15. Danny Tickle, 23. Sam Hopkins, 24. Jamie Acton.


1. Jonny Lomax; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Theo Fages, 24. Danny Richardson; 10. Kyle Amor, 17. Tommy Lee, 14. Luke Douglas, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 12. Jon Wilkin.

Subs: 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 16. Luke Thompson, 20. Morgan Knowles.

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