Saints Scholars narrowly lost to Warrington Wolves on Wednesday evening at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
The game was a real battle for the first 15, with both sides returning strong carries and tackles to start the game. Jake Davies came closest to scoring the first try when he picked up a loose ball and slid over the try-line, but the referee called it back for a double knock-on.
The game returned to its tough, gritty battle, but just as the game entered the half hour stage, George Whitby put William Cowen through a gap, but he couldn’t keep hold of possession, as the rain started to pour down.
But it would be Warrington who opened the scoring in the 34th minute of the game. After shifting the ball out to the right early in the tackle count in their own half, they passed the ball back inside where Junior Westwood caught the ball and quickly gave it to Cai Taylor-Wray on his inside who ran away to score under the posts. Joseph Hickey converted the try to give Wire a 0-6 lead.
Saints were nearly in for a try from the last play of the game, after a knock-on from Warrington presented Saints with an opportunity before the break. Straight from the scrum Whitby kicked over the top as soon as the ball came to him, but Ben Godwin got to the ball first to kick the ball out of play before the on-rushing Rocco Talbot-Piggott could get to it.
The start of the second half was perfect for the Saints, with a try straight after the break following an error from Wire from kick-off. Saints picked up the loose ball from the error and on the third tackle played the ball left where Louie Roberts put Owen Dagnall through a gap to go and score in the left corner. Whitby’s conversion from out wide just went wide of the posts, reducing the Wire lead to two points. 4-6
Just before the hour mark, Warrington hit back after Miller Dalton crashed over from short distance after a ball from Lewis Barrott right on the line saw him go over to score. Hickey converted the try to present Wire with an 8 point lead, 4-12.
Just four minutes later that lead would extend further when Junior Westwood put Alfie Longstaff through a gap before he passed the ball back inside to Westwood would go away to score next to the posts, despite the last-ditch attempts from the Saints to hold him up. Hickey converted the try again, 4-18.
But the Saints wouldn’t go away without fighting back and with 68 minutes gone they got themselves back on the scoresheet. After receiving a full set of the six on the Wire line following a knock-on, Saints made the most of the possession when Whitby found Harry Robertson whose looping ball found Talbot-Piggott out wide who stepped in then out to beat the winger and score in the corner. Whitby stepped up again, with his kick hitting the post from out wide, meaning the score was reduced by 10 points, 8-18.
With four minutes left to play it would be Saints who would score the last points of the game. The ball was played from right to left where Robertson cut out the middle of the field with a pass to fins Roberts who gave it to Dagnall who tipped it onto Daniel Hill to dive into the corner and score the final try. This time Whitby nailed the sideline conversion, but the valiant comeback from the Scholars wasn’t enough to win the game, with the final score finishing 14-18 in the wet conditions.
Saints team: Louie Roberts, Rocco Talbot-Piggott, Ellis Anderson, Owen Dagnall, Daniel Hill, Harry Robertson, George Whitby, Dan Frost, Jamie O’Keeffe, Callum Cottington, Deacon Swarbrick, Jake Davies, Cole Marsh.
Bench: Keane Elms, Harry Rigby, Malachi Price, Morgan Barraclough Watson, William Cowen, Liam Smethurst, Reece Robinson.
Tries: Owen Dagnall, Rocco Talbot-Piggott, Daniel Hill.
Goals: George Whitby (1 from 3)
Warrington team: Cai Taylor-Wray, Francis Sergent, Alfie Longstaff, Arron Lindop, Ben Godwin, Joseph Hickey, Junior Westwood, Thomas McKinney, Lewis Barratt, Oliver Evans, Miller Dalton, Isaac Reid, Isaac Millachip.
Bench: Noah Broadbent, Isaac Hirsch, Saba Asatiani, Deacon Connolly, Tom Daley, Alfie Mather, Jacob Bull.
Tries: Cai Taylor-Wray, Miller Dalton, Junior Westwood.Goals: Joseph Hickey (3 from 3).
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