Saints U19s had to dig deep after trailing at half-time, but came away with a 36-28 victory on a heavy pitch against a lively Huddersfield Giants side.
Saints shot out of the blocks in blistering style scoring twice in the opening 5 minutes. The first came courtesy of Josh Simm touching down Lewis Dodd’s delightful grubber kick. This after Tom Nisbett had swooped onto a loose ball and scooted 40 metres down the right touchline.
The second try came in true Saints fashion. Nisbett again got free down the right, but with the cover closing in he kicked back to the middle trying to find support. Paul Nash picked up the loose ball and was tackled, but from the play the ball quick hands and an overhead cut-out pass saw John Hutchings score in the corner.
Giants responded crossing twice themselves to level things up at 10 apiece. From the kick off following their second try the Giants giant centre was pushed into touch giving the Saints an attacking scrum. Four tackles later Jack Welsby’s pass to Nisbett was ruled forward.
Saints aggressive defence forced the knock-on on the second tackle and from the scrum Dodd ghosted through the defensive line to score in the right corner.
Unfortunately Saints then knocked on deep in their own half conceding a try at dummy half to again level things up. The Giants were growing in confidence and five minutes from the break took the lead for the first time scoring under the posts.
The Saints players were under real pressure for the first time this season and the challenge for the second half was always going to be how we would react. really well with lots of character.
The first ten minutes of the second half saw Saints put the Giants under more pressure both with and without the ball and they were rewarded with three repeat sets in a row culminating in Matty Foster crash ball try to the left of the posts.
A Saints grubber kicking and the Giants inability to cope with it saw Saints dominate possession for the next 10 minutes slowly chipping away at the Giants resolve.
On the hour Saints regained the lead as Ryan Horne darted over at dummy half. A penalty on the last tackle for obstruction on Horne after his kick would normally have seen the Saints run the ball, but in the context of the game it was prudent to take the two and make it a two score game, which Josh Simm duly did.
The wisdom of this was played out as another dummy half try with ten minutes to go still saw the Saints retain the lead. The game was made safe for Saints as Nico Rizzelli finished off a fine move. Nisbett again picked up a loose Giants ball to race 40 metres down the line. From the play the ball quick hands from right to left gave Rizzelli the overlap and a stroll in.
There was just time left for another Simms penalty to round off the win.
Huddersfield Giants U19’s:
Tries: Ben Bamber (14), Ben Tibbs (19), Jack Flynn (28), Alfie Copley (34), Robson Stevens (70).
Goals: Josh Pinder 4 from 5.
Half Time: 22-16
Full Time: 28-36
Tries: Josh Simm (2), John Hutchings (5), Lewis Dodd (24), Matty Foster (49), Ryan Horne (60), Nico Rizzelli (73).
Goals: Lewis Dodd 2 from 3, Josh Simm 4 from 4.
1. Jack Welsby; 5. Tom Nisbett, 3. Josh Simm, 4. Nico Rizzelli, 2. John Hutchings; 6. Ryan Horne, 7. Lewis Dodd; 8. Jamie Pye, 9. Paul Nash, 10. Kye Siyani, 11. Matty Foster, 12. Sam Royle. 13. Jake Wingfield.
Subs: 14. Keenan McDaid, 15.Harry Brooks, 16. Lewis Baxter, 17. Christian Kellett.
1. Louis Senior 2. Aidan McGowan, 3. Ben Tibbs, Blank. Dominic Young, 5. Travis Corion; 6. Kobe Poching, 7. Josh Pinder; Blank. Ben Bamber, 9. Jack Flynn, 10. Robson Stevens, 11. Lucas Hallas, 12. Alfie Copley, 13. Ross Whitmore
Subs: 14. Lewis Laing, 15. Tom Mayoh, 16. Ronan Michael, 23. Alfie Schultz.