The Saints will face local rivals Wigan Warriors in the 2023 Academy Grand Final this Sunday, 24th September at the Totally Wicked Stadium, with kick-off scheduled for 2pm.
After finishing top of the Academy Under 18’s Championship table, the Saints secured a home Academy Grand Final with a battling 28-8 victory over Hull FC in the Semi-Final this past Sunday, including a hat-trick from England skipper Jonny Vaughan. As league leaders, Saints have home advantage at the Totally Wicked Stadium as we bid to go one better than last year, when our Under 18’s suffered an extra-time defeat against Leeds Rhinos.
Wigan Warriors came from 12-0 down against Warrington Wolves to book their final spot, Lancashire’s Tom Ratchford scoring the winning try during the second half of a bruising encounter at Robin Park.
The Red V and the Warriors have met one another twice in the Academy 2023 season, with Saints handsomely winning 46-18 at Robin Park back in April, but Wigan got one back with a 28-16 win in August and giving Saints their only defeat of the regular season.
DERBY DAY TO DECIDE ACADEMY CHAMPIONS
It’s Saints versus Wigan. The Derby will determine who will be the 2023 Academy Champions, so the place to be on Sunday afternoon is the Totally Wicked Stadium!
- WHEN: Sunday, 24th September at 2pm
- WHERE: Totally Wicked Stadium, WA9 3AL
- HOW: 2023 Members get Academy matches held at the Totally Wicked Stadium as part of their Membership, prices for non-Members are; Adults – £5, Concessions – £3, Under 16’s – £2
Further Match Entry Information
Supporters wishing to attend the Saints’ Grand Final match against Wigan Warriors can enter the stadium by heading to the North Stand/North East section of the stadium and using Turnstiles 21-24 which will be open from 1pm.
THE STORY SO FAR FOR OUR ACADEMY IN 2023…
The season began in style back in March for Traynor’s charges at Ruskin Drive with a dominant victory over London Broncos 80-0 and saw the Saints go top of the table from the very first round. The first away day of the campaign was an early morning game at Laund Hill in Huddersfield, and the hosts were kept try-less with only a penalty the points they would register in a 2-38 win for the Red V.
An Saturday Easter fixture saw Saints go to Robin Park Arena to face Wigan Warriors at the start of April. As always both the Saints and the Warriors have been two sides tipped to do well, with the local bragging rights on the line. In an enthralling match St.Helens saw off the Warriors 18-46 on their own turf to ensure their spot as the table toppers.
The Saints followed the derby win with a convincing performance over Warrington Wolves at home 34-18, and then our Academy headed up to Tyneside for a demolition job, gaining a 4-110 victory over Newcastle Thunder to start May.
A home and away fixture against the Hull sides at the end of May and going into June, with the Red V cruising past the Robins at home first 52-12, before going to the University of Hull to down the Black & Whites 22-42.
Closing out June, the Saints visited The Jungle in Castleford and defeated the Tigers by 58-24. During July two more West Yorkshire sides suffered losses at the hands of the Saints, firstly Bradford 6-64 at Odsal and then Leeds at the Totally Wicked Stadium by 42-24.
Wigan Warriors then came to the home of St.Helens looking for a bit of revenge following the Easter loss, and with some key injuries to our spine they managed to hand the Saints their first loss of the year in the eleventh round.
With St.Helens and Wigan tied on league points, but our Under 18’s with a better points difference, Traynor’s players needed a win over Wakefield in the final match of the regular season to confirm they would finish top of the table. With just a two-point edge at the break, the Saints put in a strong second half to keep the Trin scoreless in the second half, post 22 more points and win 10-34.
In the Semi-Final after falling behind early on, the Saints took command of the fixture posting four tries in the first half, with Vaughan finishing his hat-trick in the second to ensure a win and setup a mouth watering clash for the Academy Title against Wigan.
WATCH EVERY ACADEMY GAME ON DEMAND ON SAINTS TV
All twelve matches from the 2023 Academy regular season are available to watch on Saints TV, with both full match replays and match highlights! The full eighty minutes of match action for all our Saints teams are exclusively available to Saints TV subscribers!
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*Photo credit: Dave Lofthouse