The Saints U16s Scholarship campaign came to an end with a rather sobering 50-4 bump at the hands of a very, very good Rhinos side, writes Graham Henthorne.

Fast mobile forwards who can pass the ball, very intelligent half backs who tease the defensive line and outside backs who run into the holes made for them. That’s quite difficult to deal with at the best of times but couple it with the most miserly of error rates and it becomes nigh on impossible.

Unfortunately that’s what the U16s were presented with and they came up short.

It was a harsh lesson for most of the players but for those who go forward with the club it will be a valuable one.

The only bright spark with the ball came in the 25th minute when Lewis Dodd again showed his class dancing through the defensive line in the left corner. This after a Dodd grubber wonderfully chased by Ellis Keppel had given the Saints their first period of prolonged pressure producing a repeat set.

In a typical show of what happens when things go wrong, the half back then proceeded to knock on from the restart and the Rhinos scored their fifth try of the half.

Dodd wasn’t alone, however, as three of the previous four Rhinos tries had come after uncharacteristic Saints errors in their own 20 metre area.

Four more tries in the opening 20 minutes of the second half brought up the half century and a fracas at the last saw Ben Betts sent from the field for taking his pent up frustration out on the opposition scorer.

What can and must be said about the Saints is that no matter what the score was all 20 of them never stopped trying.

The two centres Evan Jones and especially Theo Robinson bent some ribs as did Jamie Pye with one massive hit towards the end of the game. Zack Lee and Ethan Caine tried hard up the middle and Reece Sumner’s contribution both with and without the ball was immense.

This has been a good campaign on the whole with a game and not untalented group of lads who didn’t deserve to bow out as a team with a score of this magnitude.

But that’s sport. Sometimes you don’t get what you want.

Match Summary:

Leeds U16s:
Tries: Joe Burton (1, 29, 43 & 51), Sam Little (5), Liam Tindall (15), Lewis Delaney (19 & 57), Jacob Gannon (38).
Goals: Tom Barton (7 from 9).

Saints U16s:
Tries: Lewis Dodd (26).
Goals: Lewis Dodd (0 from 1).

Half Time: 26-4
Full Time: 50-4


1. Sam Little; 2. Rhys Greenall, 3. Joe Burton, 4. Tom Barton, 5. Liam Tindall; 6. Harry Anderson, 7. Jack Mallinson; 8. Rian Rowley, 9. Oliver Burton, 10. Ewan Lewis, 11. Lewis Delaney, 12. Jay Haywood-Scriven, 13. Jacob Gannon.
Subs: 14. Dan Attiel, 15. Ninian Donnelly, 16. Tom Nicholson-Watton, 17. Ben Mayhew, 18. Ajhani Wallace.

1. Harvey McDaid; 18. Jack Taylor, 4. Evan Jones, 3. Theo Robinson, 2. Ellis Keppel; 6. Keenan McDaid, 7. Lewis Dodd; 8. Harry Brooks, 9. Paddy Maher, 10. Zack Lee, 11. Benjamin Betts, 12. Joe Woods, 13. Ethan Caine.
Subs: 14. Taylor Pemberton, 15. Reece Sumner, 16. Jamie Pye, 17. Will Toone, 19. George Connelly, 20. Owen Blackwood, 21. Farice Ejimofor-Burnett.

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