Saints maintained their 100% winning record in the Reserve League this season, with a comfortable 30-10 win over derby rivals Wigan Warriors at a windy Ruskin Drive.
It was the visitors who opened the scoring in the second minute as Saints failed to deal with a grubber under the sticks, Jake Shorrocks pouncing quickest to touch down the loose ball. Chris Hankinson added the extra two to make it 6-0.
Twelve minutes later the red vee grabbed their first try of the afternoon. Jack Ashworth ran the ball in, he offloaded and found Joe Batchelor, the second rower then ran 20 metres before throwing a dummy to score. Lewis Dodd’s conversion attempt bounced out off the post, so Wigan remained 6-4 ahead.
Saints did take the lead two minutes before the break though. Wigan fumbled the ball on their own try-line, Saints use a few tackles from the scrum before going down the short-side on the left and that allowed Josh Simm to power his way over in the corner to give us the lead. Dodd missed the conversion attempt from the left touchline.
Paul Nash extended the Saints’ lead in the 54th minute, as he exploited a gap in the Warriors defence to score underneath the sticks. Dodd added his first conversion of the afternoon to make it 14-6. Five minutes later Saints went in again, Ben Davies threw a great one-handed pass as he fell to the floor and it found Sam Royle, who strolled over for their fourth try of the game. Dodd again added the extras to make it 20-6 as the game entered the final quarter.
Wigan then responded. They threw the ball from right to left and Hankinson forced his way over in the Saints’ left corner to reduce the deficit. He couldn’t convert his own try, Saints remained 20-10 ahead.
But Saints secured the well earned win in the 68th minute, Batchelor made a good break down the middle of the field, he then found Jack Ashworth on his inside and the prop ran almost half the length of the field to score underneath the sticks. Dodd added the conversion to make it 26-10.
They added their sixth try of the afternoon six minutes from time, Callum Hazzard made a big break down the middle of the pitch before he was tackled by a Wigan defender. Dodd then picked the ball up from dummy half and sprinted into the left corner to score the final try of the game. He couldn’t convert his own try, as Saints emerged 30-10 victors in difficult conditions.
Saints Team – Tom Nisbet, Ryan Ince, Nico Rizzelli, Josh Simm, Brad Holroyd, Owain Abel, Lewis Dodd, Jack Ashworth, Paul Crook, Kyle Amor, Mike Wheldon, Joe Batchelor, Callum Hazzard.
Interchanges – Paul Nash, Alex Eckley, Sam Royle, Ben Davies.
Tries – Joe Batchelor (14), Josh Simm (38), Paul Nash (54), Sam Royle (59), Jack Ashworth (68), Lewis Dodd (74).
Conversions – Lewis Dodd (3 from 6).
Wigan Team – Umyla Hanley, Cian Tyrer, Chris Hankinson, Sam Halsall, Ben Holcroft, Jake Shorrocks, James Barran, Harry Rushton, Aiden Roden, Jack Wells, Joe Greenwood, James McDonnell, Kai Pearce-Paul.
Interchanges – Amir Bourouh, Oscar Stone, Max Roberts, Jake Sculthorpe.
Tries – Jake Shorrocks (2), Chris Hankinson (63).
Conversions – Chris Hankinson (1 from 2).