Saints v City of Hull
A tired Saints finally surrendered their unbeaten league record to a well drilled City of Hull team 29-26 on Friday evening, writes Graham Henthorne.
Whilst the match followed the pattern of recent U19s victories, in that numerous chances were squandered, this time the gap to reel in at the end was just too large.
On the visitor’s first attack it took the combined efforts of Josh Simm, Jack Welsby and Kelvin Ojeaburu, making his first start of the season, to bundle the winger into touch.
Simm was then at hand to open the scoring sprinting 30 metres to finish off a move started by Callum Hazzard’s offload.
The Saints stretched their lead to a point a minute with a converted try from Ojeaburu. A fine grubber from Jake Wingfield was eventually run into touch by the Hull fullback and from the scrum quick hands gave the powerful winger space to go over.
However, as the first quarter had belonged to the Saints, the second most definitely belonged to the visitors.
They opened their account as the scrum half caught the Saints defence napping scooting in from a tap penalty 30 metres out.
Then five minutes before the interval the lively scrum half again broke the defensive line before putting his winger clear.
Two conversions gave the visitors a two-point lead at the break.
The match continued to be played in quarters as the Hull side continued their domination with three tries in the next 20 minutes to take a commanding 18 point lead repeatedly breaking down the Saints right.
Sandwiched in between Tom Nisbett had dropped a crash ball under the sticks but was then part of yet another Saints last quarter fightback scoring twice.
It was left to Callum Hazzard to start the recovery scoring to the side of the posts successfully holding onto a crash ball of his own.
The Saints then stepped up their defensive efforts taking advantage of a tiring Hull side to force error after error in the Hull 20 metre area.
From the first scrum the ball was spread left for Nisbett to step his way over and from the second he took a Joe Sharratt offload from a kneeling position to dive over.
Crucially Hazzard missed the first conversion attempt leaving the Saints two points adrift and having to force the play.
With three minutes to go the visitors girded their loins enough to increase their lead with a drop goal and managed to hang on enough as the time ran out on the Saints.
Cruel though it is this could have happened before with missed chances crippling the Saints efforts in earlier games.
Jack Welsby and Callum Hazzard were probably the pick of the bunch, with Kelvin Ojeaburu making a good fist of standing in for the injured John Hutchings. But too many of the heroes of the previous six games just couldn’t produce the sparkle required to get the Saints over the line.
It’s a short turnaround this week as the Saints next fixture is on Thursday away to the only other team to beat them this season so far, in a pre-season friendly, the Bradford Bulls.
Tries: Josh Simm (6), Kelvin Ojeaburu (10), Callum Hazzard (66), Tom Nisbett (70 & 73).
Goals: Callum Hazzard 3 from 5.
City of Hull U19s:
Tries: Mikey Lewis (25 & 53), Elliot Wallis (35), Cameron Scott (44), Ben Butler (57).
Goals: Mikey Lewis 1 from 1, Owen Harrison 3 from 4.
Drop Goals: Mikey Lewis (77).
Half Time: 10-12
Full Time: 26-29
1. Tom Nisbett; 2. Sean Croston, 3. Cameron Brown, 4. Josh Simm, 5. Kelvin Ojeaburu; 6. Jack Welsby, 7. Elliott Jenkins; 8. Alex Eckley, 9. Jake Wingfield, 10. Callum Hazzard, 11. Matty Foster, 12. Sam Royle, 13. Chris Follin.
Subs: 14. Brandon O’Neill, 15. Joe Sharratt, 16. Jorge Lewtas, 17. Chris Kellett.
City of Hull:
1. Connor Wynne; 2. Josh Atkinson, 3. Cameron Scott, 4. Kieran Buchanan, 5. Elliot Wallis; 6. Harrison Morrow, 7. Mikey Lewis; 8. Ben Butler, 9. Tom Jubb, 10. Jack Brown, 11. Charlie Patterson-Lund, 12. Adam Rooks, 13. Owen Harrison.
Subs: 14. Jordan Webster, 15. Jack Bartlett, 16. Harry Bardle, 17. Rob Branton.
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