FOR a time there was a feeling of Groundhog Day around this match. The opposition were held up in traffic and only arrived 12 minutes before the original kick off time, Saints had to make a late change due to injury in the warm-up and then couldn’t complete a set of six in the opening 20 minutes, writes Graham Henthorne.Thankfully after that the comparisons ended and the Saints ran out comfortable 44-8 winners.But, inevitably it seems, the Saints allowed their opponents to open the scoring having bombed two chances themselves.However, as soon as they hung onto the ball the match swung in the Saints favour.Joe Greenwood scored the opening try taking Dom Speakman’s short pass and crashing over. Lee Gaskell’s first conversion of the evening gave the Saints a lead they never relinquished.Greg Wilde extended the lead taking Mark Percival’s pass after the centre had cashed in on a Broncos error.The centre scored his first of the evening minutes later from a repeat set. Another pinpoint Danny Yates kick was grounded in goal by the Broncos after a great chase from the returning Ade Gardner. Gaskell grubbered through the line on the last and Percival touched down.Saints fourth try came after good kick pressure from the Saints forced the last tackle kick out on the full. From the restart Greenwood and Ant Walker both went close before quick hands saw Gaskell put Adam Swift in the right corner.The Saints then showed exactly what controlled rugby league can do to a side as they upped the completion rate from 60% to 88% and completely dominated the Broncos.Apart from a blip on the hour when poor defence let big second row Jack Dillon through on a 60 metre run, the Saints were squeaky clean.Percival’s second try six minutes into the half effectively put the game to bed. Adam Hesketh, a late replacement for Danny Jones was stopped short only for Gaskell to again grubber the ball behind the line for his centre to touch down.Ade Gardner got on the score sheet leaping high to pluck Yates’ cross kick out of the grasp of his opposite number for a trademark try before leaving the field, his work done for the night.Percival completed his hat-trick with a well taken try in the corner after Scott Hale and Brad Ashurst had driven the Saints downfield.Hale scored the Saints final try scorching through the line from Walker’s short ball and rounding the full back for a fine individual try.The good and the bad of the Saints was again on show tonight but they can take heart from the performance and know that if they put it together for 80 minutes they can be a match for anyone, namely the Wolves next weekend in the playoffs.There was a notable debut off the bench for Brad Ashurst who carried the ball well as did Adam Hesketh but the kicking from the trio of Nathan Ashe, Danny Yates and Lee Gaskell was the cornerstone of the victory.Match Summary:St Helens U20s:Tries: Ade Gardner, Adam Swift, Mark Percival 3, Greg Wilde, Scott Hale, Joe Greenwood.Goals: Lee Gaskell 6.London U20s:Tries: Michael Channing, Jack Dillon.Goals:Half Time: 22-4Full Time: 44-8Teams:Saints:1. Lee Gaskell; 5. Ade Gardner, 4. Adam Swift, 3. Mark Percival, 2. Greg Wilde; 6.Nathan Ashe, 7. Danny Yates; 8.Jordan Hand, 9. Dom Speakman, 10. Anthony Walker, 11. Scott Hale, 12. Joe Greenwood, 18. Jordan Case.Subs: 14. Marcus Baines, 15. Alex Trumper, 16. Adam Hesketh, 17. Brad Ashurst.London:1. Oscar Thomas; 5. James Morgan, 3. Illiess Macani, 4. Michael Channing, 2. Harvey Burnett; 6. Dan Sarginson, 7. James Woodburn-Hall; 18. Ash Smith, 9. Mikey Bishay, 10. Paddy Mooney, 11. Jack Dillon, 12. Angus Peters, 13. Alex Ingarfield.Subs: 14. Jack Molloy, 15. Alex Calvert, 16. Sam Bolger, 17. Ryan Dowsett.
OUR Official Travel Partner and sponsor of the Sponsors’ Lounge at Langtree Park, Hatton’s Travel, is offering a great package to our game in Catalan next season.Catalans TourMay 6 – 12 2015Half Board Overnight Accommodation Outbound & ReturnAt Novotel Dijon Sud / Marsannay La Cote4 Nights All Inclusive & Santa Susanna Resort, SpainCrossing by Eurotunnel Folkestone – CalaisTickets NOT Included for the Game £499.00 pp based on 2 sharingYou can find out more information and book on this trips by contacting Hatton’s on 01744 811818 or by logging on to www.hattonstravel.co.uk
It’s a crunch derby as both teams chase a top four spot and the former Cronulla Shark admits there isn’t any room for error.“We would like to be sitting in a better position on the ladder but that is rugby league,” he said. ”Whoever wins this game puts themselves in good stead for the games ahead.“But we know as a group that everything from here on in is business and I don’t think we can afford to lose another game.“Friday’s game is important especially with Wigan and Huddersfield winning games and closing the gap.“All we can do is work hard and learn from the last two weeks, and find that edge to get over the top of teams.”Much has been said about Barba’s introduction to the Saints and where the star is going to fit in.Cards are currently being played close to chests – but Ben is happy wherever Justin Holbrook slots him in.“Wherever Justin puts me I will do a job for the team,” he added. “I feel more comfortable at full back and that is where I have had all my successes in the past, but I know Jonny (Lomax) has played for his country and has done a good job for a long time.“I am sure we will work pretty well together wherever we play.“There is a real competition for places and that is a good headache to have.“All we can do is work hard and get back on that winning trail.”Saints beat Wigan the last time the two sides met at the Totally Wicked Stadium but Friday’s game will have even more riding on it because of league position.An ideal time for Barba to make his debut!“I know what this rivalry is all about – I did my homework and watched some You Tube clips of clashes in the past,” he added. “I am not sure if it is that wild now, but I am definitely looking forward to it.“It is like it has been set up but I am just glad it is at our stadium and not their ground.“As a player you want to play in the big games and against the best and there is no better game to do it than a Saints v Wigan match.”Tickets for the game are on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or logging on here.