Makinson shines in testimonial despite narrow Saints defeat

Tommy Makinson scored two tries in his testimonial match, but Saints were edged out 25-24 after a late Ryan Brierley drop goal gave Leigh Centurions the win.

Saints were missing a number of first teamers including, Lachlan Coote, Regan Grace, Matty Lees and Morgan Knowles, but new signings Joel Thompson and Sione Mata’utia did start before a number of Saints youngsters took to the field for the second period.

The early exchanges saw Leigh come out the blocks the quicker and they took the lead in the 12th minute after a low kick was picked up by Jamie Ellis who kicked on and went over in the right corner. Ellis kicked his own conversion to give the Centurions a 6-0 lead.

Leigh continued to push forward, but against the run of play, Jonny Lomax used his quick feet to create some space before finding the returning Mark Percival and he made a break before releasing Kevin Naiqama who was too powerful for the Leigh defender and he went over in the left corner. Tommy Makinson, on kicking duties, converted to make it 6-6 after 24 minutes.

Saints continued to defend strongly, and we took the lead for the first time. Jack Welsby threaded a brilliant low kick through and new signing Joel Thompson read the play and touched down for a debut try on 35 minutes. Makinson made it two from two with the conversion to make it 12-6.

Saints went over again on the stroke of half time; Makinson scoring the try on his own testimonial after a great pass under pressure from Lomax. Makinson turned one man and powered over in the right corner. He converted his own try, giving Saints a 18-6 lead going into half time.

Saints rung the changes in the second half and it was Leigh who started the second half the better team. They were rewarded in the 48th minute with a good try from Matty Russell who ran from the left touchline across the back line before checking inside to go over. Ellis converted to make it 18-12.

The Centurions were in again in the 58th minute as Adam Sidlow spun the defender on the line to go over. Ellis added the extras to bring the scores level.

Leigh then went in front in the 64th minute through Ryan Brierley after a great high kick over the top from Ellis saw Brierley latch on to the ball to go over. Ellis added the extras to give the visitors a 24-18 lead.

With three minutes to go, Makinson dragged Saints back into the match with his second of the match after young Tom Nisbet had broken through. Makinson converted to square up the game.

Despite Makinson’s impressive display, Brierley kicked the winning drop goal to win it for Leigh Centurions in the last seconds of the game.

Match Summary:

Saints 13: Jack Welsby, Tommy Makinson, Josh Simm, Mark Percival, Kevin Naiqama, Theo Fages, Jonny Lomax, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Joel Thompson, James Bentley, Sione Mata’utia.

Interchanges: Kyle Amor, Agnatius Paasi, Aaron Smith, Lewis Dodd, Jake Wingfield, Josh Eaves, Dan Norman, Tom Nisbet, Matthew Foster, Nico Rizzelli, Ben Davies, Sam Royle.

Tries: Naiqama (22), Thompson (35), Makinson (40, 79)

Conversions: Makinson (4)

Leigh 13: Ryan Brierley, Matty Russell, Iain Thorley, Junior Sa’u, Keanan Brand, Joe Mellor, Jamie Ellis, Liam Hood, Mark Ioane, Nathan Mason, Ben Hellewell, Jordan Thompson, Matty Gee.

Interchanges: Nathaniel Peteru, Adam Sidlow, Alex Gerrard, Tom Spencer, Matty Wildie, Blake Wallace, Craig Mullen.

Tries: Ellis (12), Russell (48), Sidlow (58), Brierley (64)

Conversions: Ellis (4)

Drop Goals: Brierley (80)

Half time: 18-6

Full time: 24-25

Referee: James Child

Saints 21 Man Squad

1 Jack Welsby
2 Tommy Makinson
21 Josh Simm
4 Mark Percival
3 Kevin Naiqama
6 Jonny Lomax
7 Theo Fages
8 Alex Walmsley
James Roby
15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook
11 Joel Thompson
12 James Bentley
11 Sione Mata’utia
18 Kyle Amor
17 Agnatius Paasi
19 Aaron Smith
7 Lewis Dodd
18 Jake Wingfield
24 Josh Eaves
20 Dan Norman
26 Tom Nisbet
28 Matthew Foster
28 Nico Rizzelli
21 Ben Davies
22 Sam Royle
5 Regan Grace
10 Matty Lees
13 Morgan Knowles

Leigh Centurions 21 Man Squad

1Ryan Brierley
2Matty Russell
3Iain Thornley
4Junior Sa’u
5Keanan Brand
6Jamie Ellis
7Joseph Mellor
8Nathan Mason
9Liam Hood
10Mark Ioane
11Ben Hellewell
12Matthew Gee
13Jordan Thompson
14Matthew Wildie
15Alex Gerrard
16Nathaniel Peteru
17Adam Sidlow
18Craig Mullen
19Thomas Spencer

Last updated 13 Mar 21 23:03:43

This is how we will line up today…

Head over to our homepage for all the post-match reaction. Thanks for joining us and we will see you in Round 1 against Salford!

FT: 🔴⚪ Saints 24-25 Leigh ⚫🟡

Leigh snatch it late as a much changed Saints narrowly lose out in Makinson’s Testimonial.

Drop Goal
Ryan Brierley for Leigh Centurions

Brierley kicks a drop goal for Leigh with 30 seconds to go…

🔴⚪ Saints 24-25 Leigh ⚫🟡

Tommy Makinson for Saints

T Mak levels it up….3 minutes to go. We love late DRAMA here at Saints! 😜

🔴⚪ Saints 24-24 Leigh ⚫🟡

Tommy Makinson for Saints

MAKINSONNNNNNNN!! It just had to be that man! A brilliant break from Nisbet sees the youngster feed the supporting Makinson who goes over. Kick to come…

🔴⚪ Saints 22-24 Leigh ⚫🟡


Both sides have exchange a fair few sets, but it’s Leigh who still lead. 7 minutes to go…

🔴⚪ Saints 18-24 Leigh ⚫🟡

A good contest so far! Tommy Makinson is back on at full back…Can he come up with some magic?

📸 @plattyphoto

🔴⚪ Saints 18-24 Leigh ⚫🟡

Ryan Brierley for Leigh Centurions

Leigh take the lead after Ellis’ kick is caught on the run by Brierley who touches down. Ellis adds the two.

🔴⚪ Saints 18-24 Leigh ⚫🟡

Doddy getting some minutes in the legs…

📸 @plattyphoto

🔴⚪ Saints 18-18 Leigh ⚫🟡

Adam Sidlow for Leigh Centurions

Leigh have another. Adam Sidlow powering over from close range. Ellis converts and we are all square.

🔴⚪ Saints 18-18 Leigh ⚫🟡


Lomax takes a breather as Fages is on alongside Dodd in the halves. Saints being made to work in this second half…Josh Eaves is about to come on…

🔴⚪ Saints 18-12 Leigh ⚫🟡


BIG Dan Norman is on for his first run out in Saints colours. Iggy Paasi makes way for him…

🔴⚪ Saints 18-12 Leigh ⚫🟡

Matty Russell for Leigh Centurions

Leigh have started strongly again and get the first score of the second half against this much changed Saints outfit as Matty Russell goes over in the corner. Ellis converts.

🔴⚪ Saints 18-12 Leigh ⚫🟡


In fact Makinson has just made way and it looks like Welsby is still at full back. Kyle Amor is another to get some minutes whilst talented half Lewis Dodd also gets a chance…

🔴⚪ Saints 18-6 Leigh ⚫🟡


We are back underway in the second half and a number of youngsters are on including Rizzelli, Davies, Foster and Wingfield are all on. Makinson is at full back.

🔴⚪ Saints 18-6 Leigh ⚫🟡


HT: 🔴⚪ Saints 18-6 Leigh ⚫🟡

We come from behind to lead at the break!


Tommy Makinson for Saints

Makinson again converts in some style to keep his 100% kicking record up!

🔴⚪ Saints 18-6 Leigh ⚫🟡

Tommy Makinson for Saints

ON THE HOOTER! A lovely cut-out pass from Lomax finds THAT man @tommymak21 who goes over on his big day!!

🔴⚪ Saints 16-6 Leigh ⚫🟡

IGGY on the charge!

📸 @plattyphoto

🔴⚪ Saints 12-6 Leigh ⚫🟡

Tommy Makinson for Saints

Tommy Mak again converts impressively and we lead!

🔴⚪ Saints 12-6 Leigh ⚫🟡

Joel Thompson for Saints

It’s a first TRY in Saints colours for JT as he meets the Saints grubber to touch down!!

🔴⚪ Saints 10-6 Leigh ⚫🟡


More Leigh pressure, but again Saints defend well and we have it back. Can we go into the break in front?

🔴⚪ Saints 6-6 Leigh ⚫🟡


It doesn’t look like Roby will be back on tonight, but Tom Nisbet is on out wide with Josh Simm taking a breather.

🔴⚪ Saints 6-6 Leigh ⚫🟡

Percy with the break for that opening Saints score!

📸 @plattyphoto

🔴⚪ Saints 6-6 Leigh ⚫🟡

Tommy Makinson for Saints

It’s THAT man @TommyMak21 on kicking duties and he does the business, converting the two from out wide!! LMS is off and Iggy Paasi is on!

🔴⚪ Saints 6-6 Leigh ⚫🟡

Kevin Naiqama for Saints

We are BACK! Mark Percvial makes a break – (how good is it to see him back!) – and he feeds the supporting Kev Naiqama on the wing who strides over!

🔴⚪ Saints 4-6 Leigh ⚫🟡


Leigh have forced back-to-back sets and we are being made to do a lot of defending early on here…

🔴⚪ Saints 0-6 Leigh ⚫🟡

A lovely touch pre-match as his Saints teammates formed a Guard of Honour for Tommy Makinson…💂‍♂️


Jamie Ellis for Leigh Centurions

Ellis converts his own try and it’s Leigh who take an early lead…

🔴⚪ Saints 0-6 Leigh ⚫🟡

Jamie Ellis for Leigh Centurions

Sione Mata’utia puts in a big hit before the ball rebounds into the path of Jamie Ellis who touches down for the first try of the game.

🔴⚪ Saints 0-4 Leigh ⚫🟡


LMS thinks he has scored after latching onto a lovely Jonny Lomax kick over the top, but referee James Child says the ball ran dead…

🔴⚪ Saints 0-0 Leigh ⚫🟡


Good defence from the Saints forces a forward pass and we are on the attack through Josh Simm who is in at centre today…

🔴⚪ Saints 0-0 Leigh ⚫🟡


Penalty to Leigh as Saints are caught offside and the visitors will have a set in our half…

🔴⚪ Saints 0-0 Leigh ⚫🟡


Captain James Roby is down receiving treatment early here after a nasty looking clash. Aaron Smith is on as Robes goes for a head assessment…

🔴⚪ Saints 0-0 Leigh ⚫🟡

We are off and underway here at our Totally Wicked Stadium home! Let’s start the year off right, Saints!

🔴⚪ Saints 0-0 Leigh ⚫🟡

Head over to our social media accounts to hear from the Boss who gives us an insight into his team selection for today’s first run out of 2021…

We have some new faces in our line-up this evening as Joel Thompson, Sione Mata’utia and Iggy Paasi will all make their first appearances in a Saints shirt…

This is how we will line up today…

With Covid restrictions still in place, our changing room for the day is a little different! But everything is in place with the boys wearing Tommy’s Testimonial shirt in the warm up!

The man himself…Team news will be with you at around 4:30pm!

With Covid restrictions still in place, our changing room for the day is a little different! But everything is in place with the boys wearing Tommy’s Testimonial shirt in the warm up!

A reminder that today’s game will be streamed live on the Our League App. Head over to our homepage and click on the ‘Match Preview’ story to find out how you can watch it ‘live’!

Welcome back to our Live Match Centre for today’s first encounter of 2021 in Tommy Makinson’s Testimonial match which will see Saints host Leigh Centurions! It’s sooooo good to be back!