SAINTS set off on their second long trip in a week this time heading south to play the newly formed South Wales Ironmen in Merthyr Tydfil, writes Graham Henthorne.

The Ironmen had narrowly lost their Inter-Welsh battle against the Crusaders of the North as the Saints were narrowly beating the Thunder last week so all was set up for a great battle.

Jack Owens was again pulling the strings at stand-off this time with Matty Fleming at Scrum half. This allowed Aaron Smith and Jonah Cunningham to revert to their undoubted best positions of hooker and loose forward respectively.

It was Jack Ashworth who opened the scoring for the Saints again starting at prop. Jack Owens provided the extras and when Dave Eccleston went over in the corner on the half hour the Saints found themselves in control.

Regan Grace’s customary try minutes later should have put the Saints out of sight.

But poor defending in first half injury time gave the Ironmen a way back into the game as vastly experienced loose forward Ash Bateman went over. Courtney Davies converted to give the Welshmen a chance.

This chance became a distinct reality as the Ironmen started the second half on fire with the Saints appearing sluggish.

Fifteen minutes in and all their hard work was rewarded with a try to centre Morgan Jeffries. The missed conversion left the Saints six ahead but with a need to turn things around big style.

Cometh the hour cometh the man and Welsh international Ben Morris showed his compatriots exactly what they can expect from him on the International stage later in the year as he extended the Saints lead with a well taken try.

Owens’ conversion pushed the lead out to 12 which was just enough to worry the hosts.

As the game entered its final ten minutes the Saints put the game to be with Grace’s second try and at the hooter a converted effort from Matty Fleming.

Despite the second win is as many days on the road Coaches Ian Talbot and Paul Wellens were less than happy with the display and will be working hard in the days to come to produce a better showing next time out.

Match Summary:

South Wales:
Tries: Ashley Bateman (41), Morgan Jeffries (54).
Goals: Courtney Davies.

Tries: Jack Ashworth (18), Dave Eccleston (29), Regan Grace (33 & 71), Ben Morris (58), Matty Fleming (78).
Goals: Jack Owens 4.

Half Time: 6-16
Full Time: 10-32


South Wales:
1. Andy Gay; 34. Lewis Hughes, 3. Paul Edwards, 18. Morgan Jeffries, 22. Ben Jones; 19. Shaun Owens, 7. Courtney Davies; 8. Christopher Davies, 14. Kristian Baller, 17. Morgan Evans, 24. Connor Parker, 13. Zak Williams, 16. Ashley Bateman.
Subs: 10. Chris Vitalini, 11. Michael Edwards, 12. Lloyd Selby-Smith, 25. Ethan Coombes, 26. Huw Parks, 28. Shane Lee, 30. Rhys Davies.

1. Ricky Bailey; 2. Dave Eccleston, 3. Jake Spedding, 4. Calvin Wellington, 5. Regan Grace; 20. Jack Owens, 6. Matty Fleming; 17. Jack Ashworth, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Greg Richards, 11. Chris Follin, 12. Ben Morris, 19. Jonah Cunningham.
Subs: 14. Jordan Gibbons, 15. John Hutchings, 16. Jorge Lewtas, 17. Sam Royle, 18. Ben Simms.