U19s head into Semi Final in winning form

The Saints U19s concluded their regular season fixtures with a hard fought win over the Bradford Bulls with Leeds Rhinos up next in the Academy Semi Final on Thursday at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

John Hutchings opened the Saints account in the second minute scoring on the back of a great kick chase forcing the Bulls fullback into an error. From the scrum quick hands gave the big winger the opportunity in the corner.

He should have had a double on 10 minutes, but Jack Welsby’s cut-out pass was ruled to be forward.

However, two minutes later Nico Rizzelli did extend the lead again benefiting from a Bulls knock on in their own in-goal area under pressure from the grubber chasers.

Brad Holroyd uncharacteristically dropped a clearance kick which led to the Bulls scoring their first try.

But Saints responded as great inter-passing down the right from Welsby and Lewis Baxter saw Welsby on a run to the line before he was eventually brought down short of the line, albeit illegally. But the resulting penalty saw the ball hit the deck.

Hutchings then saw another try disallowed this time for a foot in touch as the Saints wondered how we were not further in front.

Half time was a chance to reset and come out firing which is exactly what we did gaining a repeat set from Dodd’s grubber then scoring from it as Sam Royle expertly put Kye Siyani through a yawning gap.

Dodd took the game away from the Bulls with a great show and go which saw him stroll over unopposed.

To their credit, the Bulls responded again and scored a soft try from dummy half, but normal service was resumed, however, with two Saints tries in the final 10 minutes.

Matty Foster scored his now customary try charging over after good work from Welsby, Hutchings and Harvey McDaid.

The last word went to the latter, McDaid as he took Dodd’s overhead pass to go over in the left corner.

Next up is the Semi Final against Leeds Rhinos at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Thursday evening (kick off 7:30pm).

Saints U19’s Team: Harvey McDaid; Brad Holroyd, Jumah Sambou, Nico Rizzelli, John Hutchings; Jack Welsby, Lewis Dodd; Jamie Pye, Keenan McDaid, Zack Lee, Matty Foster, Lewis Baxter, Sam Royle (C).

Interchanges: Paul Nash, Harry Brooks, Owain Abel, Kye Siyani.

Tries: John Hutchings (2), Nico Rizzelli (12), Kye Siyani (43), Lewis Dodd (53), Matty Foster (72), Harvey McDaid (77).

Goals: Lewis Dodd 4 from 6.

Bradford Bulls U19’s Team: Ryan Leadbeater; Murphy Smith, Ryan Butterworth, Kieran Brining, Alfie Goddard; Matthew Race, Luke Littlewood; Anesu Mudoti, Lochlan McGill (C), Keelan Foster, Bradley Gallagher, Sam Smith, Kian Oldroyd.

Interchanges: Cameron Berry, Isaac Coleman, Bradley Ho, Ethan O’Hanlon.

Tries: Alfie Goddard (20), Cameron Berry (57).

Goals: Matthew Race 0 from 1, Luke Littlewood 1 from 1.

HT: 10-4

FT: 32-10