Saints v Wakefield Trinity
With no disrespect to our Wildcat visitors I feel the need to stress that the scoreline 12-36 is in fact the right way round. Mainly because that is the sort of score that the Saints have posted both here and at Belle Vue often, writes Graham Henthorne.
But not tonight as a competent, enthusiastic Wakefield side, in the end, comprehensively dismantled the Saints.
The evening didn’t start too well as the Saints conceded after just four minutes. This despite a very good scrambling defence in their own 20 for five tackles but in the last a straight run found the yawning gap under the posts.
For the next 20 minutes the Saints were at least competitive and should have taken the lead but bombed two try scoring chances.
The first as Sean Croston was bundled into touch in the act of touching down from Mike Weldon’s miss pass.
The second saw Croston cross the whitewash only to be pulled back for a forward pass from Kevin Brown.
Third time lucky did see them draw level on the half hour as Jordan Olmez, having his best game for a long time, charged over to the right of the posts.
But as has been their Achilles heel all year, just get back into it and from the restart make an error to put yourself under pressure again, has been the mantra. And it was again today.
The Saints piggybacked the visitors downfield with two penalties then succumbed to a chip over the line picked up by a suspiciously offside player to score and regain the lead which they never lost.
The second half started brightly with a good defensive set but all too quickly the visitors had marched downfield and scored under the posts despite having three players on his back.
Rob Fairclough marked his return from a long term injury with a try, jinking his way over.
But from the restart Croston knocked on first tackle and the Wildcats made him pay as the impressive full back walked through some pitiful defence.
He kicked a penalty minutes later for mouthing off to the referee from Josh Eaves and then scored his second try finishing off a 60 metre break from their own try line supporting the equally impressive loose forward from the quick play the ball.
Insult was well and truly added to injury as the Saints defending with 12 men without the sinbinned Eaves were caught out wide in the last minute.
If I sound demoralised, unfortunately I am as that was one of the worst displays the Saints have produced for a long time.
Major soul searching will have to be done over the next few weeks from all the squad to turn the season around from what could easily become a downward spiral.
Matty Lees and Olmez tried their best but with little support.
Tries: Jordan Olmez (30), Rob Fairclough (51).
Goals: Brad Billsborough 2 from 2.
Tries: Aaron York (4), Shaun Wooffitt (36), Thomas Sowerby (48), Luke Hooley (53 & 67), Elliott Caine (78).
Goals: Luke Hooley 6 from 7.
Half Time: 6-12
Full Time: 12-36
1. Kevin Brown; 5. Sean Croston, 3. Cameron Brown, 4. Owen Smith, 2. Luke Ward; 6. Brad Billsborough, 7. Rob Fairclough; 8. Matty Lees, 9. Josh Eaves, 19. Alex Eckley, 11. Chris Follin, 12. Mike Weldon (C), 13. Callum Hazzard.
Subs: 10. Jordan Olmez, 14. Paul Nash, 16. Evan Bullen, 17. Sam Royle.
1. Luke Hooley; 2. Elliott Caine, 3. Zayne Cloete, 4. Tyron Travis, 5. Lee Kershaw; 6. Tom Ashen, 7. Christian Ackroyd; 8. Jacob Jones, 9. Sam Blake, 10. Lewis Wray, 11. Nathan Newbould, 12. Shaun Wooffitt, 13. Aaron York.
Subs: 14. Thomas Sowerby, 15. Robert Jowett, 16. Aaron Gledhill, 17. Harvey Hallas.
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