Saints U19s returned to winning ways last night with a resounding 46-12 win, set-up by an opening quarter performance that put the game to bed early.
Saints had opened up a 20 point lead in the first 15 after scoring four blistering tries.
Playing up the slope in the first half the Saints knew that pinning the Tigers back with good defence would allow them to shine. Five minutes in and on the back of a penalty the ball was spread left for Josh Simm to go in for the opening try.
The Tigers tried a short kick off and three tackles later were rueing that choice as quick hands put John Hutchings away down the right. He then showed great awareness and deftness of touch to put cross kick back to the sticks which was pounced on by Lewis Dodd.
From the restart the Saints marched upfield and four tackles later Sam Royle’s short pass put Jake Wingfield under the posts untouched.
The Tigers learnt their lesson kicking long this time but a fabulous last tackle kick from Jack Welsby was chased by Simm and his centre counterpart Tom Nisbett both combining to tackle the fullback in goal earning a repeat set.
This time it took only three tackles for Dodd’s miss pass to be caught expertly overhead by Jumah Sambou who walked in at the corner.
The second quarter was more of a scrappy affair as the Saints handed possession back to the hosts inviting them in culminating in a try fifteen minutes before the break.
Four minutes later normal service was resumed as Simm crossed on the left after Wingfield had been held up over the line.
The second half mirrored the first as any hopes of a fightback from the Tigers were extinguished as the Saints scored straight from the restart.
Dodd’s magnificent 40/20 turned defence into attack in an instant. From the tap, the ball was spread left to right with Welsby’s miss pass putting Hutchings in.
Despite their dominance Saints were still gifting field position to the Tigers and they tested the Saints goal line but it held firm finally resulting in a knock on.
Saints then took full advantage with drives from Nisbett and Jamie Pye ending in Ryan Horne being stopped short. On the last Dodd’s miss pass this time picked out Simm who crossed for his hat-trick.
On the hour Lewis Dodd showed why he is so highly regarded in the Saints set-up. From the restart, after a Tigers kick had gone dead, Dodd received the ball down the left. Two massive side-steps later and he was through the line approaching the full back.
Poor defence and a lucky bounce saw the Tigers gain a consolation five minutes before the end.
But the last say was definitely down to the Saints. Welsby went on a trademark weaving run before putting Sam Royle through. He found support 20 metres out on his left wing in the shape of Jumah Sambou and proceeded to send out a beautiful pass to the winger for his second.
Welsby and Dodd were at their mercurial best for the Saints on the back of the work of the pack led as always by Sam Royle.
Castleford Tigers U19’s Team:
Team: Lewis Carr; Kieran Carr, Bradley Graham, Kian Morgan, Jae Priest; Stephen Gibbs, Ritchie Westwood (C); Josef Fella, Bradley Jinks, Lewis Peachey, Robbie Storey, Daniel Attley, Louis Collinson.
Interchanges: Shay North, Benjamin Dobson, Dominic Tyson, Myles Tate.
Tries: Lewis Carr (24), Bradley Jinks (75).
Goals: Ritchie Westwood 2 from 2.
Saints U19’s Team:
Team: Jack Welsby; John Hutchings, Nico Rizzelli, Tom Nisbett, Jumah Sambou; Ryan Horne, Lewis Dodd; Jamie Pye, Paul Nash, Sam Royle (C), Matty Foster, Josh Simm, Jake Wingfield.
Interchanges: Keenan McDaid, Joe Sharratt, Kye Siyani, Warren Smith.
Tries: Josh Simm (5, 28 & 56), Lewis Dodd (8 & 62), Jake Wingfield (11), Jumah Sambou (14 & 78), John Hutchings (41).
Goals: Lewis Dodd 3 from 7, Josh Simm 2 from 2.
Half Time: Castleford Tigers U19’s Team 6
Saints U19’s Team 26
Full Time: Castleford Tigers U19’s Team 12
Saints U19’s Team 46