St Helens Academy began their 2023 Under 18's Academy Championship season with a huge win over London Broncos Academy, 80-0 at Ruskin Drive.
Will Roberts kicked our Saints campaign off and immediately set the Saints off on an attack on the London line with his spiralling kick fumbled by the London man. From the resulting scrum George Whitby got the ball out the back of the scrum and went over to the left of the posts for the first points of the season. Roberts converted the kick to set the Saints off with the lead early.
Five minutes into the game Dayon Sambou broke down the left side before fending off the Broncos number one to score in the corner. Roberts kick just went wide, 10-0.
Two minutes later the young Saints were in for another score. This time attacking the right side, as Harry Robertson got the ball out the back before accelerating through the gap to score. Roberts was successful this time meaning the Saints led 16-0 after just ten minutes.
After a set on the London line, a loose ball was kicked ahead from the Broncos but was swiftly dove on by Jonny Vaughan. The following tackle Robertson attacked the short side to the right where Ben Will crashed over to score in the corner. Roberts was unsuccessful with the conversion, making it 20-0.
Another try for the Saints with 18 minutes on the clock, as Jerry Carty ran a line and burst through the gap to score on the left of the posts. Roberts converted, 26-0.
Back-to-back tries in back-to-back sets as a brilliant carry set the Saints up on half way from the first carry. Whitby ran the ball to the left before finding a brilliant pass to Owen Dagnall who ran away to score just next to the posts. Roberts converted again, putting the sets 32-0 after just 20 minutes.
Roberts went in for his second of the game after some nice play on the right saw Max McGucken find the wingman with an offload before he crashed over right in the corner. Roberts was unsuccessful with the conversion, leaving the score at 36-0 after 28 minutes.
Harry Robertson struck immediately after when he found his way to the line again after running the ball on the last to score to the right again, and with Roberts converting the score was taken to 42-0.
As the final five minutes of the first half approached, Will completed his hat-trick with another try right in the corner after an error from London presented the Saints with some great field position. Roberts couldn’t get the extra 2 points, 46-0.
SAINTS TV – ACADEMY HIGHLIGHTS: ST HELENS 80-0 LONDON BRONCOS
A penalty from the kick off set for a strip saw the Saints set up in the London 20 metre zone, and after some nice hands right Jake Davies crashed over to score. Whitby stepped up to convert the try, 52-0.
With 15 gone in the second half Alfie Sinclair took a short ball from Ciaran Nolan do score under the posts. Whitby converted again, 58-0.
A barnstorming run from Sam Oakes from kick-off saw him scatter the London line and break away, where he found Robertson to go over for his hat-trick try. Whitby converted again from right in-front, 64-0.
Whitby placed in a strong kick which London spilled, giving the Saints a scrum right on the London line. McGucken gave it to Dagnall who beautifully tipped on to Will to score his fourth. Whitby missed from the sideline, 68-0.
Cole Marsh got himself on the score sheet after picking up from the back of the scrum and dummying his way to the line from 10 out. Whitby converted, 74-0.
The following set the Saints were in again for their final try of the game. Marsh ran from dummy half before finding McGucken who juggled the ball before grounding under the posts. Whitby converted to take the score to 80-0, and see the Saints wrap up a comprehensive opening day victory.
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St Helens Academy team: 3. Harry Robertson 2. Ben Will 6. Max McGucken 4. Dayon Sambou 5. Owen Dagnall 14. George Whitby 7. Will Roberts 19. Alfie Sinclair 9. Ciaran Nolan 10. Leon Cowen 11. Jamaine Carty 12. Jonathon Vaughan 13. Cole Marsh.
Bench: 15. Dan Frost 16. Sam Oakes 17. Jake Davies 18. Ellis Anderson.
Tries: Ben Will (4), Harry Robertson (3), George Whitby, Dayon Sambou, Jamaine Carty, Owen Dagnall, Jake Davies, Alfie Sinclair, Cole Marsh, Max McGucken.
Goals: Will Roberts (5 from 9), George Whitby (5 from 6).
London Broncos Academy team: 1. Morgan Jackson, 2. Jack Suddick, 3. Aiden Tolley, 4. Kacper Lesniewski, 5. Logan Caroline-Hines, 6. Jensen Binks, 7. Charles Walker, 8. Filimoni Laqeretabua, 9. David Slater, 10. Harry Stevens, 11. Adam Yule, 12. Che Baker, 13. James Evans.
Bench: 14. Aidan Frensham, 15. Kyronn Fairclough, 16. Josh Calvert, 17. Luke Varela