St Helens’ Under 16’s Scholarship side got their 2023 season off to a perfect start, with an impressive win away against Wigan Warriors at Ince Rosebridge Sports & Community Club!
SAINTS TV – SCHOLARSHIP HIGHLIGHTS: WIGAN WARRIORS 12-32 ST HELENS
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The Saints got off to a great start right from the opening set, forcing a goal-line dropout after Wigan’s winger couldn’t keep hold in the in-goal area and saw the ball bounce go out dead. In the following set, the ball was played left with some nice shape, where Keagan Allibone went over in the corner to get score the first points of the game. Kian McGann converted from the side-line with a pin-point kick to set the Saints away with a 0-6 lead.
After Nathan Stafford was sin-binned on the 10-minute mark for allegedly kicking the ball away as the Warriors tried to restart the game quickly, the Saints had to fight the adversity and defended multiple sets on their own line, keeping the Wigan attack at bay.
Just as the game entered the 34th minute, the Saints were rewarded for their defence after a great carry from Reilly Cosgrove set the Saints moving downfield. The ball was shifted to the right, where McGann dummied the ball and went past the Wigan line to go over next to the right post, and after converting his own try for 0-12.
The Warriors, however, got the final say of the first half after a kick through the Saints’ defence to the right corner from Wigan saw Jaiden Drachenberg score in the corner. Nathan Benson couldn’t convert, sending the Saints into the break eight ahead, 4-12.
The Saints started the second half on top, breaking down the field as McGann collected the ball on his own try line following a charge down and broke up the field to the halfway line. The following play saw Michael Porter sin-binned for a tip tackle and presented the Saints with a brilliant opportunity to score, and they did just that with William Keeley going over on the last tackle after a short ball on the line saw him crash over. McGann converted pushing the score to 4-18.
In the 54th minute, the Saints were in to score again after some lovely ball movement from left to right saw Stafford break down the right wing, and after juggling the ball he found supporting centre Reece Holliday back on the inside to score an unconverted try, 4-22.
The points continued to roll in as the Saints were in again the next set after working their way downfield. A kick from McGann along the floor towards the Wigan line was fumbled by Wigan and touched down over the line by Keeley. McGann converted, leaving the score at 4-28.
Austin Daniels would be the final Saint to score after he found himself in acres of space out the back, and went through to score. McGann missed his conversion attempt, 4-32.
The Warriors would get themselves over the Saints’ line again, they exposed some space to the left to go over and score with Vincent Arthurs. Benson couldn’t convert, 8-32.
After the Red V shifted their back line with the final minutes remaining due to a few of the young Saints suffering with cramps, Wigan took advantage of the disruption to score late on in the right corner with Tobias Rich getting the final points of the game.
A solid performance from the young St Helens Scholarship side, winning 12-32 over Wigan Warrior in The Derby!
Despite two Wigan tries late on, the Saints hold on to wrap up a Derby Win to start the season!
— St.Helens R.F.C. (@Saints1890) March 22, 2023
Wigan Warriors Team: Nathaniel Twiss, Tobias Rich, Harlen Smith, Thomas Bridge, Jaiden Drachenberg, Finlay Yeomans, Nathan Benson, Michael Porter, Lewis Owens, John Perry, Joshua Swindley, Cameron Bate, Leo Wadsworth.
Bench: Lucas Hendry, Vincent Arthurs, Robert Bentham, George Marsden.
18th Player: Shea O’Connor.
Tries: Jaiden Drachenberg, Robert Bentham, Nathaniel Twiss.
Goals: Nathan Benson (0 from 3)
Saints Team: 1. Austin Daniel, 2. Nathan Stafford, 3. Rory Holliday, 4. Reilly Cosgrove, 5. Keagan Allibone, 6. Kian McGann, 7. Thomas Humphreys, 8. Alfie Shearer, 9. Reece Robinson, 10. Alfie Tate, 11. William Keeley, 12. Oliver Garmston, 13. Matthew Evans.
Bench: 14. Elliot Jamieson, 15. Oliver Polec, 16. Oliver Stankevitch, 18. Matthew Penketh.
Tries: William Keeley (2), Keagan Allibone, Kian McGann, Rory Holliday, Austin Daniel
Goals: Kian McGann (4 from 6)