Saints beat Panthers to reach Betfred Challenge Cup Quarter Finals

Saints beat Halifax Panthers 6-26 at The MBi Shay Stadium on Friday evening over in West Yorkshire!

The video referee was called upon seven minutes in. Alex Walmsley offloaded the ball to James Bell who picked it up and drove over the try-line. However, despite the on-field call of try, the video referee ruled no try so the scores remained level.

Seconds later, another decision went upstairs. Joey Lussick went for one from dummy half as he tried to burrow under some defenders, but it was sent upstairs as a no try. The video referee disagreed with the referee again, awarding Lussick the try to give the visitors an early lead in the left corner. Tommy Makinson was unable to convert, 0-4 Saints led.

The Red V had a great chance to increase that lead 14 minutes in. Jonny Lomax found Sione Mata’utia who broke a tackle and looked to fall over the try-line, but some good last ditch defending from the Panthers knocked the ball loose, and they received the ball back on their own line.

The video referee was called into action again in the 25th minute. Saints were awarded a penalty and marched downfield, off the back of it, try-scorer Lussick fed Jake Wingfield the ball and he crashed over from close range for his first Saints try. The referee’s on-field decision of try was confirmed. Makinson added the two from in front of the sticks, 0-10 Saints led.

Another followed two minutes later. Off the back of a break downfield from the returning Morgan Knowles, Saints moved the ball right and Jack Welsby threw a cut-out pass to Makinson on the wing and he cut inside before planting the ball over the line. Makinson added the two, 0-16.

The Panthers’ best chance came as we entered the final ten minutes of the first period. An early kick by Louis Jouffret landed in acres of space, but the ball bounced in Saints’ favour which allowed Ben Davies to complete a tackle, before the referee ruled a knock on following the play the ball.

Halifax thought they had grabbed a score just before the break. A move down their right edge saw James Saltonstall kick inside on the last, the ball bounced favourably this time which allowed James Woodburn-Hall to grab it and head towards the try-line. The video referee agreed with the on-field referee’s decision of no try though, 0-16 the score remained at the break.

It took just four second half minutes for try number four for the Saints. Welsby ran across the Panthers line from left to right and threw a dummy to stroll over in the right corner. Makinson missed the conversion, 0-20 the Red V led.

Halifax had a great chance to reduce the deficit close to the mid-point of the second half. Ben Tibbs tried to find Lachlan Walmsley on their left edge but the pass was too low and bobbled into touch with just grass ahead of the Fax winger as Saints tried to scramble. Another chance followed with less than 16 minutes to play. A cut-out pass found Walmsley on the left wing but he was held up over the try-line, the referee had already dragged the play back though for a forward pass.

Try number five came 12 minutes from time. Saints camped of the Panthers line and, just like he did in the first half, Lussick spotted a gap from dummy half and pounced to grab his second try from close range. Makinson converted, 0-26 Saints led.

Halifax did grab a response with six minutes to go. A break down the middle by Ryan Lannon saw him find the supporting Jacob Fairbank on his inside who scored under the sticks. Jouffret converted, 6-26 Saints led.

Saints were reduced to twelve as we entered the final minute, as Knowles was sent off for a high tackle.

Saints progressed to the Quarter Finals of the Betfred Challenge Cup with a 6-26 victory over Halifax Panthers over in West Yorkshire!

Match Summary

Halifax Panthers Team: James Woodburn-Hall, Lachlan Walmsley, Ben Tibbs, Zack McComb, James Saltonstall, Louis Jouffret, Joe Keyes, Will Calcott, Brandon Moore, Dan Murray, Ryan Lannon, Matty Gee, Jacob Fairbank.

Interchanges: Tom Inman, Eribe Doro, Adam Tangata, Kevin Larroyer.

18th Man: Jake Maizen.

Tries: Ryan Lannon (74)

Conversions: Louis Jouffret (1 from 1)

Saints Team: Jack Welsby, Tommy Makinson, Will Hopoate, Ben Davies, Tee Ritson, Jonny Lomax, Lewis Dodd, Alex Walmsley, Joey Lussick, Morgan Knowles, Sione Mata’utia, Joe Batchelor, James Bell.

Interchanges: Jon Bennison, Agnatius Paasi, Jake Wingfield, George Delaney.

18th Man: Sam Royle.

Tries: Joey Lussick (8, 68), Jake Wingfield (25), Tommy Makinson (27), Jack Welsby (44)

Conversions: Tommy Makinson (3 from 5)

Red Card: Morgan Knowles (79)

HT: 0-16

FT: 6-26

Attendance: 4,693

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