Reserves hit 50 in win over Wakefield

St Helens made it two wins out of two to the start of the 2023 Reserves season with a strong win over Wakefield Trinity on Saturday.

Derek Hardman’s men looked controlled from the start and set their stall out early with Wesley Bruines and Tee Ritson combining to get the opening points. Bruines offloaded with three men around him in the right corner offloaded and a grateful Ritson didn’t ask twice to dive and go into the corner. Will Roberts kicked his first of ___ conversions, this one was terrific and straight through the middle from the edge of the pitch, 6-0.

Ritson almost got off to a dream start with a brace, his pace opened up the Wakefield defence and he aimed to sprint to the corner, but a terrific tackle from the Trinity fullback just managed to push Tee into touch.

Saints followed it strongly though, holding up a Wakefield forward and forcing him back and beyond his own in-goal line to win the ball back. A short pass from Taylor Pemberton allowed Eliot Peposhi to crash over for the second converted try, 12-0.

Keeping the strong start going, the Red V kept Wakefield retreating close to their own line working the ball to the right edge. Bruines fended Kobe Poching and put him on the floor before besting another Wakefield player and burrowing down for try number three, but Roberts missed his kick for the first time to make it 16-0 with 20 minutes gone.

The game then moved into more of an arm wrestle with Wakefield welcomed to have their first major attack on the back of a penalty. William Brough received an offload pass as Saints tried to stop an attacker but the ball got to him for Trinity’s first try of the game. Brough was also on kicking duties for the Trin but he couldn’t convert, making it 16-4.

Brough got his second shortly after a big 30-metre evading run by a Wakefield back-rower, which set the visitors up to throw out a big pass to the winger for his brace, but again unconverted, 16-8.

Just after the half-hour mark, Wakefield went down to 12 men following a spear tackle by Charlie Abraham. The Red V didn’t take long to make the advantage pay with fullback Keane Gilford getting on the end of a quick play of the ball near the line and juked his way over from close range for the final points of the opening half, with Roberts missing the kick.

Trinity began the second half brighter, Saints knocking on inside their own 30 didn’t help and from the scrum, the visitors broke through with Abraham back on the field and he passed on to Oliver Pratt for a try. Brough added his first kick of the game to make it 20-14.

Following some error-strewn play between both sides, Saints grabbed their control back in the match, with two close calls by winger Alfie Whittle but halfback Daniel Moss, who grew in confidence as the game went on, put on a spin near the line and grabbed a try. Roberts tacked on two more points, 26-14.

Hardman’s Reserves began getting into their pomp by consistently pushing Wakefield back onto their own line. Dan Hill hit a perfect line to find space and ran in closer to the posts for an easier Roberts conversion, 32-14.

The Saints went back-to-back with Dan Hill finding gaps again in the Trin defence, he had Jonathon Vaughan in support and he fed him the pass for a converted score. 38-14.

Our Reserves’ in the middle of their purple patch continued with a beauty of a score by Taylor Pemberton. The hooker took the ball from dummy half, dummied a pass to break the line, and then beat the Wakefield fullback to score next to the posts. Roberts made no mistake to add his fifth conversion, 44-14.

Daniel Moss scored the try of the match with around eight minutes remaining, showing a clean pair of heels from 60m out and breaking the line, he rounded the Trinity fullback to score a beauty. Will Roberts added his sixth and final conversion to bring the Red V’s points up to fifty.

Wakefield would get the final points of the match, however, after Saints forced a GLDO we lost the ball. Trinity got a line break and Robbie Butterworth supported well to score, with Brough kicking the conversion.

An impressive attacking second half secured a second win of the season for St Helens Reserves, beating Wakefield Trinity by 50 points to 20.

St Helens Reserves team: Keane Gilford, Tee Ritson, Wesley Bruines, Dan Hill, Daniel Moss, Will Roberts, Brett Bailey, Taylor Pemberton, Kalan Devine, Nathan Bannerman, McKenzie Buckley, Eliot Peposhi

Interchanges: Jake Burns, Alfie Whittle, Samuel Oakes, Jonathon Vaughan (18th player – Max McGucken)

Tries: Ritson, Peposhi, Bruines, Moss, Hill, Vaughan, Pemberton

Conversions: Roberts 5/7

Wakefield Trinity Reserves team: Robbie Butterworth, William Brough, Oliver Pratt, Oliver Farrar, Tom Lineham, Charlie Abraham, Kobe Poching, Jordan Schofield, Jake Camplin, Ellis Roberts, Joe Law, Luke Mearns, Jack Toulson

Interchanges: Harvey Smith, Ethan Wood, Tommy-Lee Corke, Charles Tetley, (18th player – Samuel Kavanagh)

Tries: Brough (2), Pratt

Conversions: Brough 2/4

Sin Bin: Abraham

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