Wigan Warriors v Saints
Saints continued their proud record of not having lost to our nearest and dearest in this version of the Reserve’s with a hard fought 32-12 victory at Robin Park on Saturday, writes Graham Henthorne.
But any Saints fan turning up would have wondered if his side had just gone on a signing spree with four new faces lining up alongside the regulars.
Signings yes but only on a temporary basis. Four to be precise, all from Hull KR which allows them to gain some much needed game time and also allowed the Reserves to complete this fixture.
Four games in a short space of time coupled with the Saints injury list over the whole age range had left the Saints looking for players with yours truly only just being able to get out of a call-up (something nobody would’ve wanted)!
Both sides took while to get used to the unfamiliar surroundings and in the Saints case unfamiliar faces and it was a full 19 minutes before Joe Cator opened the scoring on his Saints debut.
Poor handling, which dogged the Saints all game allowed the home side to equalise quickly.
The Saints regained the lead on 29 minutes as Liam Cooper marked his return from a long injury lay off with a well-deserved try.
He game was taken from the reaches of the home team as the Saints scored twice in as many minutes to streak into an 18 point lead.
Firstly Dave Eccleston crossed before Regan Grace scored with Danny Richardson converting both.
Poor defence allowed the home side to have a sniff of a chance as they scored on the half time whistle.
The first half lead had been built on a solid defensive display and this was again on show after the break as the Saints repelled all borders to keep the homesters at bay for long periods of time.
The gravity of the situation was shown as the Saints chose to let Richardson take a penalty as one appeared. He duly obliged to push the lead out to three scores again before Calvin Wellington put the icing on the cake with the Saints fifth try of the game.
From an attacking point of view the game was best forgotten but the defensive effort from all 17 players was the key to this success.
Tries: Callum Field, Sammy Kibula
Goals: Josh Woods 2
Tries: Joe Cator (19), Liam Cooper (25), Dave Eccleston (35), Regan Grace (36), Calvin Wellington (70).
Goals: Danny Richardson 6.
Half Time: 12-24
Full Time: 12-32
1. Gabriel Fell; 2. Greg Mullen, 14. James Worthington, 4. James Barran, 25. Sam Grant; 6. Grant Gore, 7. Josh Woods; 8. Calum Field, 9. Josh Ganson, 10. Olly Partington, 11. Patrick Casey, 12. Liam Paisley, 13. Sammy Kibula.
Subs: 13. Luke Waterworth, Josh Houghton, 16. Liam Byrne, 20. Joe Brown, 17. Nathan Wilde, 19. Joe Shorrocks, 23. Caine Barnes.
1. Ricky Bailey; 2. Kevin Brown, 3. Dave Eccleston, 4. Calvin Wellington, 5. Regan Grace; 6. Matty Fleming, 7. Danny Richardson; 17. Jack Ashworth, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Greg Richards, 11. Liam Cooper, 12. Joe Cator, 13. Jonah Cunningham.
Subs: 10. Brad Clavering, 15. Will Jubb, 16. George Milton, 19. Jordan Gibbons.