Wakefield Trinity v Saints
The Saints travelled cross the Pennines full of confidence after last week’s victory over Castleford to play their near neighbours Wakefield, writes Graham Henthorne.
The Wildcats were looking for a double over the Saints after they comfortably beat the Saints at Blackbrook earlier in the season.
It all started fabulously for the Saints as they earned a penalty on their first possession and from the tap put on a set move which worked a treat. Josh Eaves tapped the ball, feinted inside before going blind but then fed it back inside to the supporting Sam Royle. He took it on 20 metres to the full back but then fed it inside again to Elliot Jenkins who outpaced the cover over the final 40 to score.
But then the same problems as have plagued the Saints all year started again and with two penalties and some poor tackling the home side opened their account.
Two tries either side of quarter time only made things worse for the Saints with some woeful tackling making it easy for the Wildcats.
The rot was stopped somewhat with the introduction off the bench of Christian Kellett and, after a long injury lay-off, of Jorge Lewtas.
Both set about upsetting the opposition with strong running and ferocious tacking.
You thought that were the Saints to win then they would have to score first. Well that didn’t happen as an attempt at taking the high bomb from Kev Brown fell straight to the charging Wildcats for the try.
But the Saints, as all season, couldn’t be faulted for their effort and dug deep starting with some punishing defence forcing a knock on and attacking scrum 10 metres out. The ball went right and Brown, operating at full back after Elliot Jenkins’ injury, stood up his opposite number before feeding Cameron Brown who gave Tom Nisbett the chance to go over in the corner.
Some great scrambling defence on the Saints line kept the home side out and their hopes alive and a good exit set took the ball deep into Wildcat territory. Again punishing defence forced the knock on, picked up by Mike Weldon who put Cameron Brown over unopposed.
Billsborough’s conversion brought the Saints back to within one score but, as ever, having got back into it the Saints gifted points and momentum to the hosts, knocking on and then tapping the last tackle grubber straight to the Wildcats over the line for the easiest try yours truly could have scored!
The re-introduction of the best home player hooker Blake, put them in control again and he realistically put the game to bed scoring with 10 minutes to go.
Two tries in the final two minutes for the Saints put a slightly false gloss on the score line. The first was to a charging Matty Lees after a 40 metre break from Paul Nash and the second to Kev Brown supporting Callum Hazzard’s 30 metre break down the left.
Too little too late is the story probably for the Saints at the finish. The usual suspects, Matty Lees, Evan Bullen and Sam Royle put in their usual effort but they were joined this week by Jorge Lewtas and the ever improving Chris Kellett who was uncompromising in his treatment of the Wildcats both with and without the ball.
The Saints remain mid table and find themselves in a similar situation to the first team with some tough games left which need to be won if they are to make the top four play-offs late in August.
Tries: Lewis Wray (7), Shaun Wooffitt (19), Sam Blake (22 & 74), Aaron York (43), Harry Hiddleston (60).
Goals: Luke Hooley 5 from 6.
Tries: Elliott Jenkins (3), Tom Nisbett (50), Cameron Brown (57), Matty Lees (78), Kevin Brown (80).
Goals: Brad Billsborough 4 from 5.
Half Time: 16-6
Full Time: 34-28
1. Luke Hooley; 2. Lee Kershaw, 3. Ciaran Lewis, 4. Tyron Travis, 5. Elliott Caine; 6. Tom Ashen, 7. Christian Ackroyd; 8. Jacob Jones, 9. Sam Blake, 10. Lewis Wray, 11. Shaun Wooffitt, 12. Aaron York, 13. Chris Brown.
Subs: 14. Harry Hiddleston, 15. Robert Jowett, 16. Shaun Jordan, 17. Harvey Hallas.
1. Matty Costello; 5. Tom Nisbett, 4. Cameron Brown, 3. Luke Ward, 2. Kevin Brown; 7. Brad Billsborough, 6 Elliott Jenkins; 19. Matty Lees, 9. Josh Eaves, 22. Evan Bullen, 11. Sam Royle, 12. Mike Weldon, 13. Callum Hazzard.
Subs: 14. Paul Nash, 15. Joe Sharratt, 16. Christian Kellett, 17. Jorge Lewtas.
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