Leigh Centurions v Saints
Saints paid the price for a disappointing first half as they went down 24-16 at Leigh Centurions on Friday night.
An Adam Swift try just before the interval gave the visitors a foothold in the game at 18-4 but scores from James Roby and Alex Walmsley couldn’t quite overhaul a significant deficit.
The damage was done following a disappointing start.
Right from the off Saints piled on the pressure but couldn’t break the deadlock – despite forcing a repeat set.
And that was as good as it got as five minutes in Saints’ old boy Atelea Vea busted through the defence.
Two repeat sets for the Centurions followed and Gareth Hock extended the advantage with a bulldozing run.
Ben Reynolds accurate with the boot to make it 12-0 after 11 minutes.
Saints dominated the next period of play, kicking deep to twice force Leigh to come off their own line.
Danny Richardson looked lively with the ball whilst Adam Swift just couldn’t haul in Jonny Lomax’ pass.
And the winger was bundled into touch on the very next play by an important Adam Higson tackle.
It took until the 25th minute for Saints to finally cross the whitewash and it came off the back of a lovely move involving Richardson and Lomax.
Ryan Morgan latched on to the final pass – but it was agonisingly called back for crossing.
Leigh subsequently went up the field, on the back of two penalties, and scored through Jamie Acton.
Reynolds making it three from three with the boot.
Saints hadn’t had an ounce of luck throughout but a penalty with seven minutes remaining gave them the perfect chance to reply.
A strong Lomax run set them up in good field position before Theo Fages linked with Jon Wilkin and Mark Percival to put Swift over acrobatically in the corner.
Saints were buoyed by the try and looked to have reduced the deficit further when James Roby put down on the line.
But he was adjudged to have been held up leaving the visitors with a 16 point gap at the break.
Keiron Cunningham’s men needed a strong start to the second half but an error handed the impetus right to Leigh.
Vea stormed onto a ball and plunged over the line too, but was denied the four points for crossing.
Saints returned down the field at pace with Swift scorching down the left hand side.
Higson’s tackle was perfect once more, but the homesters gave away a penalty that Saints frustratingly couldn’t convert.
And on Saints’ next set a superb passing move was halted by some desperate defence.
You got the feeling a try was coming and it finally did through the club’s tallisman.
Denied in the first half, Roby darted over from close range to make it very much game on.
In the final quarter Richardson went close before Cunningham’s men were held up over the line for the third time in the match.
Leigh then struck to take the game away from their opponents.
Back on for the final 15, Mickey Higham took on the ball from acting half and flew over from 20 metres.
Walmsley pulled one back in the 70th minute – goaled by Percival – but they couldn’t force the issue and snatch an unlikely comeback.
Tries: Vea, Hock, Acton, Higham
Goals: Reynolds (4 from 5)
Tries: Swift, Roby, Walmsley
Goals: Percival (2 from 3)
REF: Ben Thaler
1. Mitch Brown; 2. Adam Higson, 3. Ben Crooks, 4. Willie Tonga, 5. Matthew Dawson; 20. Ben Reynolds,7. Joshua Drinkwater; 8. Gareth Hock, 9. Mickey Higham, 22. James Green, 11. Cory Paterson, 17. Atelea Vea, 13. Harrison Hansen.
Subs: 14. Eloi Pelissier, 15. Danny Tickle, 23. Sam Hopkins, 24. Jamie Acton.
1. Jonny Lomax; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Theo Fages, 24. Danny Richardson; 10. Kyle Amor, 17. Tommy Lee, 14. Luke Douglas, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 12. Jon Wilkin.
Subs: 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 16. Luke Thompson, 20. Morgan Knowles.
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Saints Line up
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Last updated 26 May 19 19:49:35
Saints have to drop out… they get the ball into touch but they have to drop out again.
Walmsley attempts an impossible offload and Leigh snaffle up the ball.
Penalty central here, Saints get another
Strong line… is there life in this one?
Short kick off, Saints ball.
Lighting from dummy half.
Saints over the line again, but their held up.
Penalty to Saints
Ball to ground as Peyroux pushes the pass.
Kick on the last and Higson makes a massive error. Big set for the boys here.
Saints continue to come forward – Leigh’s defence just about holding firm at the moment…
Saints close again off strong Amor and Knowles runs.. and a high Fages’ kick.
Leigh fire kick that gets them a repeat set. They then lose the ball and Saints all come away from their half. It’s all go this one.
Saints finally score! It’s been all the visitors in the second half and Roby goes through under the posts.
Penalty to Saints… they need points.
Makinson bringing the ball away from his own line. Gets tackled, and then flopped on. No penalty.
Saints just need to find the final pass as they are cutting through Leigh at will now.
Saints flying at this Leigh side – down the left hand side again through Percival but on the other side Morgan elects to go himself instead of sticking Makinson over.
Swift down the left – what a break. He has hauled down and a penalty follows.
Tils over for another try for Leigh – he is called back for crossing. Like Ryan’s there was nothing in that!
Lomax loses the ball on Saints second set.
Leigh will get this one underway.
Lomax makes a break from a high ball – gets hauled down. And then hauled down again stopping a certain Saints break.
Roby is over the line but is held up.
Penalty to Saints… another score before half time and it’s game on.
Acrobatic from Adam Swift after good handling from the Saints
Penalty to Saints in Leigh’s half. BIG set coming up.
Saints struggling to live with the offloads of Leigh here.
From the penalty, Leigh keep it alive and Acton strolls through a massive gap.
Another penalty to Leigh…
Morgan scores, but Saints are penalised for crossing.
Another penalty to Saints as Jon Wilkin is impeded.
Peyroux intercepts Patterson’s pass – is lay all over but nothing comes. On the next carry Saints finally get the penalty.
Penalty to Leigh
Swift released once again down the left – Higson making an important tackle.
Saints try to spin it wide but Lomax’ pass to Swift is too strong.
Attacking set for Saints, right in Leigh’s half.
Another nice kick from Saints. Leigh coming from their own line.
Saints controlling their sets a little better now.
Lovely kick from Danny Richardson relieves the pressure.
Swift takes a high ball and then gets hit late on the floor – nothing offering from the official.
And then the ball goes to the ground.
Error from Leigh – Saints in Leigh’s 30. Points on the offer here.
Powers through the middle off a Higham pass.
Another set for Leigh. After the opening minute or two for Saints it has been all the hosts so far.
High ball into the Saints 20 – knock on and Leigh have a repeat set.
Ball goes to the right and Vea busts through a tackle to score against his own club.
Penalty to Leigh
Saints a little too keen in attack here – not as slick as usual and Leigh will come away from their own line.
Leigh stop the attack but Saints get another set.
Chance for Saints
Saints get us underway!