Watch the highlights as Saints Academy lost out after a late Sydney Roosters try succumbed the boys to a narrow 20-16 defeat on day 9 of their tour of Australia.
After training on the field the night before, the Saints came to St Marys Leagues Club to play against the Sydney Roosters on a very warm 30 degree Wednesday afternoon.
The opening 10 minutes saw both sides go set for set and after receiving a couple of welcoming penalties the Saints were able to march up the field thanks to some very strong carries from forwards Harry Brooks, Joe Woods and Lewis Baxter.
Pressure finally told on the Roosters defence on the fourth tackle as Lewis Dodd threw a ball out the back to Harvey McDaid who flashed the ball across his centre to winger Shay Martyn and he strolled over to score the first try after 12 minutes. Dodd missed the extras.
St.Helens were having the better of field position and a nice little left foot grubber from Dodd just had one to many rolls and went dead leaving the Roosters with a seven tackle set. The Saints compounded their error with a penalty on tackle four and were immediately under pressure defending their line, but some very good defence on the right side from Rio Corkill, Taylor Pemberton and Harvey McDaid held up the Roosters’ impressive centre Jordan Swann.
On the last play the Roosters number seven Tommy Anderson put a high ball up which was again allowed to bounce and Swann grabbed it and placed it down for an easy try. As is common in trial games in Australia, the Roosters chose not to take the kick for goal which was right beside the posts.
The Roosters were then allowed to play a bit of ‘footy’ and were awarded a penalty for ripping the ball out. They started to quicken their play and after a smart run close to the line by Anderson, the ball was passed to Brae Verhayen who spun around in the tackle and touched down. The Roosters again elected not to kick for goal. 21 minutes had passed and it was St.Helens 4 Roosters 8.
From the kick off the Roosters took the ball up field and after a couple of quick play the balls the Saints markers went to sleep and Michael Whitton showed some pace to sprint away to spin out of the tackle to score out wide and the Roosters led 12-4.
St Helens then had a scrum on their 10 metre line after the Roosters found touch and carried the ball hard up the field. The Saints then received two consecutive penalties for stripping of the ball and good carries again from second row Ben O’Donnell put some dents into the Roosters defence before some good ball play from resulted in Jumah Sambou tackled right on the try line. From the play the ball Martyn dived over from dummy half to score in the corner for his second of the game. This time Saints opted not to take the kick for goal and at half-time the score read St.Helens 8 Sydney Roosters 12.
Into the second half, Saints were then denied a certain try after three tackles on the line to deny Pemberton, Woods and then Baxter. Roosters’ Luke Knight then made a good break up field and only some good scramble from the Saints kept them out. On the last play the defence hung back instead of moving up off the line allowing the ball to be passed out to Faima Betham to force the ball over the try line for the first try of the second half as the Roosters extended their lead to 16-8.
A 40/20 by the impressive Dodd put pressure on the Roosters line before a couple of half break were just denied. Dodd was involved again as he threw a dummy and poked his nose through only to be grabbed by the collar and brought down two metres from the line. A neat little grubber from dummy half resulted in a knock on by the Roosters full back Tyler Afoa and from the scrum a smart back line play had Dodd throw a pass onto the chest of Kian Naylor who ran a very good line to score. 15 mins into the second half and it was 16-12 to the Roosters.
A high kick from Dodd saw Tom Deakin knock on. From the scrum, the ball was passed out to Dodd who put in a show and go before sprinting away to score a smart individual try and it was 16-16!
From the ensuing kick off the ball was again allowed to bounce and found touch. St.Helens defended very well and forced a Roosters error which gave Saints a chance to run up field only to drop the ball. From the resulting set Anderson went over the line to snatch a win for the Roosters with just two minutes left to play.
Both teams and supporters untied to attend the fabulous St Marys Leagues Club hospitality to reflect on the game before the stand-out players were presented with awards.
Man Of the Match: Lewis Dodd and Tommy Anderson.
Best Back: Jumah Sambou and Jordan Swann.
Best Forward: Cole Appleby and Kobe Rugless.
1 Tyler Afoa
2 Luke Knight
3 Bowen Slee
4 Jordan Swann
5 Michael Whitton
6 Ronald Volkman
7 Tommy Anderson
8 Zac Montgomery
9 Tom Deakin
10 Cooper Paige
11 Louis Grossemy
24 Faima Betham
13 Kobe Rugless
21 Michael Coleman
15 Drey Mercy
16 Jack Stringer
14 Brae Verhayen
20 T J Toevai
13 Harvey McDaid
12 Shay Martyn
7 Rio Corkill
21 Jumah Sambou
4 Owen Blackwood
18 Taylor Pemberton
8 Lewis Dodd
6 Harry Brooks
14 Keenan McDaid
23 Joe Woods
17 Ben O’Donnell
22 Reece Sumner
2 Lewis Baxter
1 Cole Appleby
3 Jonathon Bennison
5 Ethan Bradbury
10 Zack Lee
11 Tom Lyon
15 Daniel Moss
16 Kian Naylor
19 Jamie Pye
20 Kallem Rogers
9 Ellis Keppel ( injured )
Day 9 Summary
The usual pre-match routine for the boys today – a lie in and a later breakfast. After breakfast we went for a short walk together as a team before heading up to the local Westfield shopping centre in Penrith. This was planned to ensure the boys were indoor and in the air conditioning, out of the direct sunshine and the growing temperatures given the game later.
After the Usual pre-match meal of scrambled eggs and beans on toast we boarded the bus for the short journey over to the St Mary’s Club for our game with the Sydney Roosters. In a close end to end encounter we fell just short after a 20-16 defeat.
It was great to have recent Grand Final winner, Zeb Taia, in the crowd showing his support for the boys whilst another Grand Final winning Saint, Daniel Anderson, was coaching the strong Roosters team!
The post match function was held in the impressive St Marys Leagues Club where the lads had time to mix with family and friends before heading back to base to lick our wounds, review the game and get ready for our next challenge.