St.Helens U18s suffered their second defeat in as many games this season, as they were edged out 12-10 by the Huddersfield Giants in a tight contest at Ruskin Drive after a controversial late penalty goal.
Watch the highlights below and watch the full 80 minutes and reaction on Saints TV.
Three of the four tries were scored in the opening quarter of the first half. The visitors took the lead in the third minute, Fenton Rodgers was fed the ball 10 metres out and he powered his way over underneath the sticks to make it 4-0, the try was converted by Sean Slater.
Saints responded well and grabbed their first try of the game three minutes later. A flowing move down the right hand-side saw them move the ball through hands and that allowed Ellis Keppel to dive in the right corner. Taylor Pemberton was unable to add the extra two.
It wasn’t long until the Giants went over again to extend their lead though. James Johnson got the ball around 20 metres out from the line, he evaded multiple Saints tackles before he touched down to the left of the sticks in the tenth minute. Slater was unable to add the extra two second time around, so Saints remained six down.
There was a 20-minute break then to the third try. Reece Sumner found himself on the end of a good short pass and he went over down the left-hand side to reduce the deficit. Pemberton’s conversion put the Saints level with the Giants at 10-10.
With five minutes to go Baxter had a try under the sticks disallowed for a forward pass meaning honours were even at the break.
The second half was a one-sided affair with the Giants only managing to get inside the Saints 20 metre area twice.
10 minutes in and Baxter was again denied a try knocking on over the line after Jamie Pye had been held short. With 10 minutes to go Owen Blackwood was adjudged to have been held up when all the crowd and the player were convinced he had scored.
Four tackles later and the same player was also denied as he also knocked on over the line. The Giants were besieged by now and Blackwood was denied for a third time on the next set this time for a forward pass after Appleby & Pye had got the Saints close.
Then came the big talking point after 76 minutes. The ball went dead in the Saints in-goal and as they went to restart it was alleged that one of the St.Helens players had said something out of turn to the referee, he then awarded Huddersfield a penalty in front of the sticks. Huddersfield’s William Pryce, son of former Saints great Leon, converted the penalty to give the visitors a controversial late win.
Saints Team – Jonathan Bennison, Ellis Keppel, Rio Corkill, Owen Blackwood, Harvey McDaid, Taylor Pemberton, Daniel Moss, Jamie Pye, Keenan McDaid, Harry Brooks, Ben O’Donnell, Reece Sumner, Lewis Baxter.
Interchanges – Ethan Bradbury, Joe Woods, Owen Appleby, Zack Lee.
Tries – Ellis Keppel (6), Reece Summer (31).
Conversions – Taylor Pemberton (1 from 2).
Huddersfield Team – Aidan McGowan, Connor Carr, Joseph Howe, James Johnson, Oliver Peterkin, William Pryce, Kobe Poching, Robson Stevens, Sean Slater, Ben Killan, Lewis Laing, Marcus Garley, Fenton Rodgers.
Interchanges – Kieran Rush, Jacob Beer, Max Hindle, Alfie Schultz.
Tries – Fenton Rodgers (3), James Johnson (10).
Conversions – Sean Slater (1 from 2), William Pryce (1 from 1).