HAVING waited three weeks for their first match of the new season the Reserves definitely blew the cobwebs away with a great 20-10 victory against a Rovers outfit at the unfamiliar, and very windy, confines of West Hull ARLFC writes Graham Henthorne.The victory was based on a solid defensive display which foiled everything that the home side could throw at it.With the wind in their favour in the opening stanza the Saints continually put themselves under pressure with silly handling errors in their own half. Five or six times a stray pass or knock on forcing a silly pass down the left side gifted possession to the home side in good field position. It is a testament to the scrambling defence on show from the Saints that Rovers only managed to pierce the Saints defensive line once in the first half, and that way out of the left touchline.Having conceded the opening score the Saints finally managed to get into Rovers territory at quarter time on the back of a penalty. First Nathan Ashe probed down the right before the ball was spread left eventually ending up with Carl Forster who dummied a kick out wide before plunging over himself at the side of the posts. Dom Speakman converted to give the Saints the lead.Despite having a gale at their backs the Saints never managed to get good enough field position to use the wind continually being forced onto the back foot by poor handling.On the half hour another penalty saw the Saints again in Rovers half of the pitch only for Speakman to be denied at the line on the last when there was an overlap out wide if only he’d looked up.Coach Talbot reminded the team at half time that despite a 55% completion rate they were still ahead, although the wind would be a difficult obstacle to overcome.The home side should have gone ahead immediately on the restart as a high bomb had Jaydon Sandford in a spin only for the Rovers winger to knock on with the line at his mercy.Sandford mad amends with a weaving run deep into Rovers ground only to see the ball go to ground two tackles later. And when Corey Lee broke free around the Rovers winger only to kick ahead to their full back, there was a sense that this might not be Saint’s day, especially when Rovers took the lead minutes laterHowever, the Saints drew on their reserves of strength and fitness and took the fight to the home side in the final quarter.A cross kick on the last from Ashe found Corey Lee in acres of space having replaced the injured Sandford on the wing and he scampered in for the try, improving it enough for Jordan Case to be able to just convert against the howling gale.Yet more desperate defence kept Rovers out and a relieving penalty saw the Saints in the opposition half. Speakman darted out of dummy half and quick hands to the left corner from Scott Hale and Josh Jones saw Lee in for his second.Case couldn’t convert leaving the Saints hanging onto a six point lead but the home side, having thrown everything at the Saints in vain, were a spent force. Carl Forster was held up over the line but from the resultant play the ball Danny Yates shot through the line to seal the win.As Coach Talbot said, last year the Reserves may have buckled in the second half but this side showed great character to come back and win.Forster, Ant Walker, Hale and Joe Greenwood took the team forward in a hard fought win for the Reserves against an experienced Rovers outfit.Match SummaryHull KR:T: Scott, Taylor (C.)G: BeharrellSt Helens:T: Lee 2, Forster, YatesG: Speakman, CaseHT: 4-6Teams:Hull KR: Luke Hardcastle; David Scott, Chris Heil, Curtis Pullen, James Beaumont; Kristian Bell, Matthew Beharrell; Loyd Ofori, Keil Carlile, Jason Nethrton, George Griffin, Aaron Ollett, Tyler Hepi.Subs: Joe Gay, Callum Tayloy, Sam Jowsey, Sonny Esslemont.St. Helens: Corey Lee; Greg Wilde, Adam Swift, Josh Jones, Jayden Sandford; Nathan Ashe, Danny Yates; Jordan Hand, Dominic Speakman, Karl Forster, Scott Hale, Joe Greenwood, Danny Jones.Subs: Marcus Baines, Anthony Walker, Jordan Case, Joe Bate.
SAINTS have announced their squad for Friday’s Stobart Super League Round 26 game with London Broncos at Langtree Park.Michael Shenton and Chris Flannery miss out but Jon Wilkin, Josh Jones and Ade Gardner are recalled.The squad is:1. Paul Wellens, 2. Ade Gardner, 4. Sia Soliola, 5. Francis Meli, 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Jonny Lomax, 8. Josh Perry, 9. James Roby, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Tony Puletua, 12. Jon Wilkin, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Paul Clough, 17. Gary Wheeler, 19. Andy Dixon, 20. Lee Gaskell, 21. Tommy Makinson, 26. Josh Jones.Tony Rea will choose his London side from:1. Luke Dorn, 3. Jamie O’Callaghan, 4. David Howell, 5. Michael Robertson, 7. Craig Gower, 8. Antonio Kaufusi, 9. Chad Randall, 10. Mark Bryant, 13. Tony Clubb, 14. Julien Rinaldi, 18. Olsi Krasniqi, 19. Daniel Sarginson, 21. Kieran Dixon, 22. Ben Bolger, 23. Omari Caro, 28. Michael Channing, 30. Scott Wheeldon, 31. Will Lovell, 32. Mike McMeeken.The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee is Richard Silverwood.Tickets are on sale for the game too and details are here.Stat Pack:2012 Meeting:London Broncos 24, St Helens 34 (SLR1, 4/2/12)Super League Summary:St Helens won 34 (includes win in 2003 play-offs)London Broncos won 52 drawsUps and Downs:St Helens highest score: 62-16 (H, 2003) (Widest margin: 54-0, A, 2008)London Broncos highest score: 40-6 (H, 2002) (also widest margin)
Saints went ahead early in the first half and it was nip and tuck until we scored in the last 30 seconds of the game to win 40-36.Gareth Foster, Head Coach of the Saints LDRL, mentioned: “I’m incredibly proud of the boys tonight. They got stuck in, worked together and really made their club proud. Both teams were absolutely fantastic.”Assistant Coach Gareth Friar added: “It was brilliant seeing all the smiling faces at the end of the game by both teams. It shows that everyone loved playing the sport win or lose. I’m so proud of our team and what we have achieved in a small amount of time.”Saints:2. Chris Foster, 3. Josh Bold, 5. Jordon Derbyshire, 6. Faye Gaskin, 7. Jamie Cross, 8. Connor Harrison, 9. Michael Thompson (C), 10. Mathew Hanley, 11. Luke Evans, 12. Jamie Leatherbarrow, 13. Gareth Friar, 14. Tom Blanthorne, 15. Adam McGrath.
Matty Smith and Matty Costello have been recalled to the side with both Dom Peyroux and Ryan Morgan ruled out through injury.Justin Holbrook will select his 17 from:1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Luke Thompson, 18. Danny Richardson, 19. Regan Grace, 20. Matty Lees, 23. Ben Barba, 30. Matty Costello.Steve McNamara will choose his Dragons side from:1. David Mead, 4. Brayden Wiliame, 5. Fouad Yaha, 6. Samisoni Langi, 8. Rémi Casty, 10. Sam Moa, 11. Louis Anderson, 12. Benjamin Garcia, 14. Julian Bousquet, 15. Mikael Simon, 17. Jason Baitieri, 19. Michael McIlorum, 20. Lewis Tierney, 21. Benjamin Jullien, 22. Lucas Albert, 31. Tony Gigot, 32. Mickael Goudemand, 33. Josh Drinkwater, 34. Kenny Edwards.The game kicks off at 12:30pm and the referee is Robert Hicks.The game is now sold out.