City of Hull v Saints
Why do we do it? Are we too nice? What you may ask am I talking about? It seems that whichever side we play against we have to give them a sizeable lead before we switch on and start playing ourselves?
In almost a mirror image of last night’s Reserves game the U19’s handed their hosts a 16 point start in the first quarter. And again it was down to poor ball security and tackling, writes Graham Henthorne.
But had Elliott Jenkins’ inside pass to Kev Brown been slightly higher the full back would have evened up the scores in the first ten minutes and all could have been different.
As it was the pass was too low, Brown dropped it, the chance was lost and the home side went down the other end and increased their lead.
The second quarter was a much more even affair with the Saints defence cancelling out the Hull attack and restricting their yardage.
The trouble is that with a ball control of 30% you’ve little chance of doing anything constructive and to be truthful it was a testament to their defensive quality that they were still behind by the same score at the break.
The second half started better with the Saints actually holding onto the ball and putting the home side under pressure.
Brown could and maybe should have opened their account 10 minutes in as he cut back off his left foot only to knock on over the line under the ministrations of three defenders. Had he dove low straight away he may have evaded their cover.
The match turned on an incident just before the hour mark which resulted in Saints scrum half Jenkin’s being stretchered from the field
He had just made an arcing 40 metre break through the middle of the Hull line when, in looking for his support, he started to slip but was then hit with the full force of the full back’s shoulder in a shoulder charge. The game was held up for 25 minutes whilst he was taken care of and on resumption the full back was rightly sent off.
As is so often the case when a serious injury has occurred the Saints were galvanised and with Josh Eaves operating in Jenkin’s position continued the set which finished with Eaves jinking over on the last.
Callum Hazzard showed his versatility banging over the goal with aplomb.
The Saints continued to press and were rewarded with 10 to go. A very good five tackles had seen them go 50 metres and when, on the last, Eaves put in a viciously bouncing grubber from left to right to the posts, Matty Lees was on hand to grasp the ball as it fell over the line. Hazzard’s second meant a four point margin with time enough to go.
The home side were still a threat, however, and it took a great try saving tackle from Nash 30 metres out when he not only stopped the man by hanging on to his shorts for grim death, but in the process of divesting him of said shorts he forced the knock on.
The game should have been won from the scrum as the Saints drove down field but an error from Matty Lees cost field position and time ran out for the Saints in the end.
This was a young side which travelled to Hull and for large parts of the game were the better team but the start killed them.
The usual suspects of Lees, Eaves and Jorge Lewtas gave their all but Callum Hazzard showed a little of what has been missing with his enforced lay off.
Unfortunately there will have to be yet another half back pairing found for Friday night’s curtain raiser when the team will be hoping to play for the full 80 and maybe score first for a change.
City of Hull:
Tries: Tom Jubb (6), Tom Burke (15), Josh Atkinson (21).
Goals: Owen Harrison 2 from 3.
Tries: Josh Eaves (59), Matty Lees (71).
Goals: Callum Hazzard 2 from 2.
Half Time: 16-0
Full Time: 16-12
City of Hull:
1. Lochlan Fitzgerald; 2. Sam Brown, 3. Cameron Scott, 4. Kieran Buchanon, 5. Josh Atkinson; 7. Harry Hutchinson, 6. Harrison Morrow; 8. Jack Brown, 9. Tom Jubb, 10. Osh Jarvis, 11. Max Riseham, 12. Owen Harrison, **. Zeus Silk (C).
Subs: 14. Jack Bartlett, **. Tom Burke, 16. Rob Branton, 18. Jordan Webster.
1. Kevin Brown; 2. Tom Nisbett, 3. Cameron Brown, 4. Sean Croston, 5. Luke Ward; 6. Elliott Jenkins, 7. Ryan Horne; 8. Matty Lees, 9. Josh Eaves, 19. Alex Eckley, 11. Chris Follin, 12. Mike Weldon (C), 13. Callum Hazzard.
Subs: 14. Paul Nash, 15. Ben Sims, 16. Evan Bullen, 17. Jorge Lewtas.
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