The U19s failed to live up to the high standards set by the first team on Thursday by losing 26-18 to Castleford, writes Graham Henthorne.

For a 20 minute spell before half time the Saints were great but for the other 60 the same old failings of penalties dropped ball and poor decision making cost them dear.

On the fourth tackle from the kick off Alex Eckley went 60 yards up the right edge and everything looked good. But an unopposed walk-in from a dropped pass on our 40, a last ditch try saver from Ryan Horne and a simple through the hands overlap try later and the Saints found themselves 10 points in arrears.

But then the Saints turned things around.

The introduction of Callum Hazzard and Jorge Lewtas off the bench gave fresh impetus to the attack and holes started appearing up the middle of the Tigers defence.

It was Hazzard who almost opened the Saints account as he chased Rob Fairclough’s delicate chip. He got his fingertips to it but the ball fell free.

Not to worry as the referee gave a penalty, the Saints first, for a shoulder charge on the scrum half. Three tackles later and he was putting Ben Sims into a yawning gap for the Saints first try.

From the restart Chris Follin went on a 40 metre gallop and on the last Fairclough again put a chip over the defensive line. Ben Sims chased it and hacked it onto the full back. The ball bounced into the following Fairclough’s hands who if he had gone straight arguably would have scored but was tackled as he tried to go around the cover.

Minutes later and the Saints pressure produced a repeat set. Matty Lees and then Horne were stopped short but from the play the ball Cameron Brown shot right. As he was tackled he got an overhead pass out to John Hutchings who marked his comeback from shoulder surgery with a try in the corner.

Hazzard’s kick was on target but dropped short leaving the scores level.

The Saints purple patch continued, however, as Fairclough picked up a loose ball and scooted in from 40 out.

Hazzard converted and then put a penalty over on the stroke of the interval after the Tigers had kicked the restart out on the full.

But, frustratingly, that was as good as it got.

The Tigers got straight back into it with a try after yet another penalty piggyback up field.

The turning point was the sin-binning of Jorge Lewtas. The Saints managed to only concede once during the 10 minutes but it sapped just enough energy to make it difficult to mount the recovery that they had done in the first half.

Luke Ward was stopped inches short after a Kev Brown tap back of another Fairclough cross kick. And the centre completed a bit of a nightmare match as he dropped a simple pass 40 metres out with the line at his mercy.

In between times the Tigers had made it safe with their fifth try.

One match to go in what has been a frustrating season will see if the Saints can gain a bit of revenge on the Vikings and finish the season on a high note in the bargain.

Match Summary:

Tries: Jake Trueman (4), Lewis Carr (18), Callum McLelland (46), Robbie Storey (59), Pat Diskin (72).
Goals: Jack Render 2 from 4, Pat Diskin 1 from 1.

Tries: Ben Sims (25), John Hutchings (32), Rob Fairclough (37), .
Goals: Callum Hazzard 3 from 4.

Half Time: 10-18
Full Time: 26-18


1. Pat Diskin; 2. Lewis Carr, 3. Robbie Storey, 4. Nathan Waring, 5. Jack Render; 6. Callum McLelland, 7. Jake Trueman; 8. Rory Dixon, 9. Jacques O’Neill, 10. Jamal Goodall, 11. Joe Summers, 12. Luis Johnson, 13. Paddy Burns.
Subs: 14. Luke Million, 15. Jack Ray, 16. Evan Morris, 17. Jake Sweeting.

1. Matty Costello (C); 2. John Hutchings, 3. Cameron Brown, 4. Luke Ward, 5. Kevin Brown; 6. Ryan Horne, 7. Rob Fairclough; 17. Matty Lees, 9. Josh Eaves, 19. Evan Bullen, 11. Ben Sims, 12. Alex Eckley, 13. Mike Weldon.
Subs: 14. Paul Nash, 15. Jorge Lewtas, 16. Callum Hazzard, 18. Chris Follin.

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