SAINTS got their season off to the best possible start with a hard fought 34-24 win over London Broncos at the Stoop.A late score from James Roby sealed a nervy victory in wintry conditions in the Capital after the lead changed hands several times.Saints were down 18-16 down at half time as Broncos took full advantage of the chances that came their way.Tries from Jonny Lomax and Andy Dixon had given Royce Simmons’ men a 14-6 advantage but Olsi Krasniqi and Chris Bailey got the home side in front.In the second half, Jamie Foster put Saints ahead before Francis Meli and Michael Witt traded scores.But James Roby made it safe late on.Lance Hohaia and Anthony Laffranchi both started for the Saints with Mark Flanagan on the bench.Hohaia moved to full back in place of the injured Paul Wellens whilst Lee Gaskell and Jonny Lomax made up the half back partnership.Ade Gardner also returned to action for the first time since May last year as a substitute.It’s all new in London as the Broncos have a new name and fielded no less than seven debutants at the Stoop.Captain Craig Gower was at scrum half, experienced Michael Robertson and Shane Rodney made their bows and Michael Witt also started for his new club.It was a cold start and that showed as both sides failed to control the ball on their first sets.But after just five minutes, James Roby split open the Broncos’ defence to feed Jonny Lomax.Jamie Foster with the conversion.The lead was short-lived though as on the last tackle, Michael Witt saw space on the outside and sent over a perfect kick to Michael Robertson.The winger then used his pace and momentum to cut through Saints’ defence.Witt converting.Saints hit back when Lee Gaskell found Andy Dixon running an excellent line and the youngster made no mistake, twisting and turning out of a couple of tackles to race in from 50 yards.Foster adding his second of the afternoon and then making it 14-6 with a penalty.But the Broncos weren’t done and Olsi Krasniqi bulldozed his way through the defence.Foster notched another penalty but London scored again straight afterwards, winning a repeat set and then slicing through the would be tacklers to lead – thanks to Chris Bailey.In the second half, Saints went ahead once again and it was that man Roby who set it all up. He found a gap down the middle, passed to Gaskell who was just ankle tapped by the covering defence.But he managed to get the ball out and Francis Meli fed Foster for his first of the year.Meli then clocked one of his own but London came back once again through Michael Witt.Saints could have made it safe at the end after they forced two drop outs, and they eventually did through the irrepressible Roby.Match Summary:London:Tries: Robertson, Krasniqi, Bailey, WittGoals: Witt (4 from 4)Saints:Tries: Lomax, Dixon, Foster, Meli, RobyGoals: Foster (7 from 7)Penalties:London: 8Saints: 6HT: 16-18FT: 34-24REF: R HicksATT: 4924Teams:London:1. Luke Dorn; 5. Michael Robertson, 2. Liam Colbon, 3. Jamie O’Callaghan, 21. Kieran Dixon; 6. Michael Witt, 7. Craig Gower; 8. Antonio Kaufusi, 9. Chad Randall, 13. Tony Clubb, 12. Chris Bailey, 11. Shane Rodney, 17. Jason Golden,Subs: 10. Mark Bryant, 14. Julien Rinaldi, 16. Chris Melling, 18. Olsi Krasniqi.Saints:6. Lance Hohaia; 21. Tommy Makinson, 17. Gary Wheeler, 5. Francis Meli, 22. Jamie Foster; 20. Lee Gaskell, 7. Jonny Lomax; 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 9. James Roby, 10. Louie McCarthy Scarsbrook, 4. Sia Soliola, 19. Andy Dixon, 12. Jon Wilkin.Subs: 2. Ade Gardner, 8. Josh Perry, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Paul Clough.A short audio match report of this game can be downloaded here.
SAINTS U19s produced probably their best 40 minutes of the season to completely beat Hull FC 50-20 on the road.The game was certainly over as a contest by the break with Saints 32 points to the good but their point a minute scoring meant that FC were staring down the barrel of an extremely large gun by quarter time.David Eccleston opened the scoring finishing a flowing move well diving over in the corner. It came from a neat grubber down the left by Dave Hewitt which earned a repeat set. From the restart Lewis Fairhurst sent a great miss pass to Matty Fleming who committed his defenders before feeding Eccleston who stepped inside before reaching out to score.The Saints pack led by a rampant Greg Richards and Phil Atherton were making huge yards down the middle giving the backs acres of space in which to play and prompting their big name opposite numbers to call to be substituted to get out of the way.Another deft grubber from Hewitt was too hot for the hosts to handle giving a scrum on the 10 metre line. Jake Spedding was held short on the first play but André Savelio didn’t suffer the same fate as he took three over with him from short range.FC were contributing to their own downfall with some poor handling gifting Saints position and possession. The Saints third try came from such largesse with a scrum on the FC 40 metre line. Matty Fleming took the ball, ran to the left before sending a great ball out to the rampaging Spedding who shot through untouched on a 50 metre run to the sticks.FC’s first attack on the Saints line led to another knock on. From the restart the Saints punished their mistake in the most professional fashion going 80 metres to score. Big drives from Lewis Galbraith and Atherton put the Saints on the front foot and on the last Hewitt chipped the ball to the right corner. The home winger thought he had time aplenty to diffuse the kick but he reckoned without Eccleston who jumped, knocked the ball out of the air back to the supporting Fleming who took it around to the posts for the score.It was Fleming who scored Saints fifth try again profiting from some Eccleston magic. The young winger burst down the middle taking on the full back on a 70 metre run before finally being pulled down inches short in the left corner. Quick hands from the play the ball and a miss pass found Fleming in acres of space to again go around to the sticks.The icing on the first half cake was provided by Jonah Cunningham who dove over from short range after a big hit by Richards and Joe Ryan had coughed up possession in FC territory.Having played the entire first half in blazing sunshine the second started with driving rain and a thunderstorm and the change was evident on the pitch as well as off as the home side came out and scored in the first minute.Both teams were finding it difficult to hold on to possession and pressure from the Saints forced an error on half way. It fell into the hands of Galbraith who sped away to the posts for the score.The seesaw scoring continued with another, suspiciously forward pass try from the hosts down the left replied to by a jinking 10 metre run from Lewis Charnock after another knock on under the sticks.The score was given a slightly false look with two more home tries but the Saints brought up the half century as Charnock again scored under the posts from another repeat set.The hosts couldn’t deal with the short kicking game of Fairhurst and Hewitt and the pressure of the chase led by the pack down the middle forced error after error which the Saints pounced on with glee. This win keeps the race for the title open and the Saints in with more than a shout.Match Summary: Hull FC U19s:Tries: Callum Lancaster 4.Goals: Harry Tyson-Wilson 2.Saints U19s:Tries: David Eccleston, Matty Fleming 2, Jake Spedding, Lewis Galbraith, Lewis Charnock 2, André Savelio, Jonah Cunningham.Goals: Lewis Charnock 4, Lewis Fairhurst, Dave Hewitt 2.Half Time: 32-0Full Time: 50-20Hull FC: 1. Josh Nicklin; 2. Josh Poskitt, 3. Tom Stark, 4. Jack Logan, 5. Callum Lancaster; 6. Harry Tyson-Wilson, 7. Reece Dean; 8. Masim Baashe-Matoongo, 9. Alex Sheperdson, 10. Bobby Tyson-Wilson, 11. Jansen Turgit, 12. Ash Bastiman, 13. Ryan Langton.Subs: 14. Josh Wood, 15. Brad Spriggs, 16. Charlie Johnson, 17. Ryan Smith.Saints:1. Ricky Bailey; 2. David Eccleston, 4. Matty Fleming, 3. Jake Spedding, 5. Lewis Galbraith; 6. Lewis Fairhurst, 7. Dave Hewitt; 8. Greg Richards, 9. Lewis Charnock, 10. Phil Atherton, 11. Olly Davies, 12. André Savelio, 13. Matty Fozard.Subs: 14. Jonah Cunningham, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Liam Cooper, 17. Joe Ryan.
It carries the traditional Red Vee rising from waist height up to the shoulders on a solid white background.The Vee, neck and sleeve trims of the shirt have a red Marl-effect finish giving a fashionable touch whilst the lower hem carries an imprint of the Club Crest which adds extra detail to the shirt.Our Principal Partner for 2017, the RCMA Group, will take pride of place on the chest; to the right are RCL with collar sponsor St.Helens College.Sleeve sponsors are once again Totally Wicked, who are also on the back of the shirt, and MyProtein – and on the reverse are Hattons Solicitors and A-Star Recruitment.Short sponsors are AFEX and ESRG and AFEX also feature on the socks.Saints Replica version shirts are produced in the UK by O’Neills using a fabric called Koolite.This is breathable, cool and offers high wicking properties for enhanced wearer comfort. It also compromises anti-bacterial properties with good shape retention after multiple washing.Saints Merchandising Manager Steve Law said: “We are delighted to launch the 2017 Home shirt for pre-ordering. Taking on board feedback from the fans we have a deep red vee and this year it has a marl effect to link in with the 2017 Away Kit and Trainingwear range.“The shirt will combine with red shorts – for the first time in more than 10 years – and white socks to give it a fresh look when the players take to the field in the 2017 season.“Those players who helped us with the launch were delighted with the look and feel of the new kit and they are already looking forward to wearing it with pride as they represent Saints and our loyal fans in 2017.”Availability and Sizes: Shirts are now available for pre-order with stock of home shirts due to land week beginning December 12 2016.They are available in Adult Sizes XS to 7XL, Ladies Sizes 8 to 18, Kids sizes 5-6 to age 13, and Infant Sizes.A player version shirt will also be available in sizes XS to 3XL, in limited quantities.Shirt Prices have been frozen! Adult & Ladies Shirts are £48. Player Version £70. Kids £35. Infant Shirts £30.Infant Kits comprising Shirt, Shorts and Socks in sizes Age 1-2 and 3-4 are available in limited quantities for £40.Matching Shorts and socks are also available.Member Offer: 2017 Members get 10 per cent off the home and away kit in November and December if they call into the Superstore.Visit Saints Superstore, or shop online at www.saintssuperstore.com to secure your shirt.
The writing was on the wall as early as the third minute as the Vikings had a try disallowed for obstruction.The Saints had a try of their own chalked off after ten minutes as the referee ruled that Mike Weldon’s pass to Matty Costello was forward as the stand-off was touching down.Costello’s return from injury was one of the few bright spots in a poor performance.Admittedly the Saints lost Alex Eckley to a long standing back problem and Josh Eaves to concussion midway through the first half but the remaining players are fit enough to cope.The Vikings opened the scoring immediately after Eaves had been escorted from the field rolling over the defensive tackle.Another poor missed tackle from a high bomb allowed the visitors to make easy yards down field and was contributable to Kevin Brown’s yellow card for delaying the play the ball.Minutes later, in an effort to run down the clock, Brad Billsborough summed up the Saints season so far as he lined up a penalty from just to the left of the sticks. Normally you’d put your mortgage on him but inexplicably he hit the post.The Vikings finally made their numerical advantage pay as they scored just before the interval.As always the talk was positive at the break and it seemed to have worked as the Saints were the first on the board in the second period.A Rob Fairclough high bomb was dropped by the Vikings right winger and from the resultant scrum quick hands along the line saw Costello put Tom Nisbett away beating three men on a tiptoe run down the right touchline.However, from the kick off the normally reliable Brown knocked on and the confidence washed away in an instant.Five tries later and the score was getting more embarrassing by the minute before Brad Billsborough jumped out of dummy half to spare some of the Saints blushes.This was not a performance to remember for the vast majority of players out there today.Only Chris Kellett, Kev Brown and the outstanding Evan Bullen, whose 70 minute stint to cover for the injured, was crucial and can hold their heads up high. As for the others? That is between them and their consciences.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Tom Nisbett (45), Brad Billsborough (77).Goals: Brad Billsborough 1 from 3.Widnes:Tries: Danny Walker (22), Brad Walker (38), Keanan Brand (50), Sam Freeman (54), Owen Buckley (59), Tyler Jones (64), Chris Wilson (72).Goals: Brad Walker 3 from 7.Half Time: 0-12Full Time: 10-34Teams:Saints:1. Kevin Brown; 5. Tom Nisbett, 3. Sean Croston, 4. Chris Follin, 2. Luke Ward; 6. Matty Costello, 7. Rob Fairclough; 8. Evan Bullen, 9. Josh Eaves, 16. Alex Eckley, 11. Sam Royle, 12. Mike Weldon (C), 13. Callum Hazzard.Subs: 10. Jordan Olmez, 14. Brad Billsborough, 15. Chris Kellett, 17. Joe Sharratt.Widnes:1. Lloyd Roby; 2. Tyler Jones, 3. Owen Buckley, 4. Keanan Brand, 5. Sam Freeman; 6. Chris Wilson, 7. Joseph Lyons (C); 8. Owen Farnworth, 9. Danny Walker, 10. Patrick McConnell, 11. Danny Norman, 12. Brad Walker, 13. Louis Glover.Subs: 14. Jake Burns, 15. James Rutledge, 16. Daniel King, 17. Luke Draper.