KEIRON Purtill was praised by Royce Simmons following Saints’ 28-12 win over Crusaders on Friday night.The club’s assistant coach was told he is doing a “fantastic job” by his gaffer – because of his continuing work on the side’s defence in recent weeks.“Our defence was good, especially down our end of the field,” Simmons said. “We held out for long periods and came up with good D when it mattered. We have been working on that and that’s down to Keiron who has been doing a great job improving that side of our game.“Crusaders came here with a good attitude and although we scored early you could tell we were in for a tough game. They responded well to that try and played good footy.“But we did enough to get through.”Saints welcomed back five players – Kyle Eastmond, Josh Perry, Andy Dixon, Jonny Lomax and Lee Gaskell – and Simmons was pleased to report all came through the match with no ill effects.“I thought all our returnees did well. Gasky started at stand-off but went to the wing when Ade got injured. He has experience there so it made sense to do that.“Kyle then went into 6 and combined well with Jonny.“Jonny didn’t just dip his toe in did he? He tackled really well and ran well too. It was a strong performance from all the boys that came in.“Ade Gardner doesn’t look too good though. It looks like he’s in trouble and his Achillies has gone. We need to wait for the scan and we will try to be positive but I think we won’t be seeing him for a long time. It’s a severe tear or a snap.”
THE hard work continues for Saints Academy players in preparation for their upcoming seasons.The under 18s and the under 20s were put through their paces at a cold and blustery Sherdley Park last weekend.As soon as the Christmas and New Year celebrations were over the lads were straight into the physically demanding combination of hill runs and other drills which have become part of the usual Saturday morning routine.Under the watchful eye of Player Performance Manager Neil Kilshaw, the lads were set a gruelling programme of hill runs and other sprints throughout the St Helens park.“The hill sessions have become an integral part of the lads pre-season training schedule,” he said “It is really tough for the boys and heavy on the legs, but all of the them are continuing to work hard and I’m sure all of this conditioning work will stand them in good stead for the long season in front of them.”The U20s League fixtures begin, just as the first team do, with an away trip to London Broncos on Saturday February 4.Before that they will face Oldham’s first team in a pre-season friendly at the Whitebank Stadium.The game will kick off at 8pm on Friday January 27.
THE under 19s and 16s capped a superb treble winning weekend for the Saints today.Derek Traynor’s 19s beat the auld enemy Wigan Warriors 44-24 whilst the under 16s hammered Warrington 54-8 on the road.This, of course, comes on the back of the first team’s 32-24 defeat of the Wolves on Thursday.Full match reports are now online – take a read and see how the future of the club is very bright indeed!#oursaints
Crusader Park in Thatto Health will host the derby, which kicks off at 2pm.Saints are top of the table with three games remaining whilst the Warriors are hot on their heels in third, just two points behind.Entry for the game is £3.Saints Squad:Pip Birchall, Leah Burke, Chantelle Crowl, Faye Gaskin, Lizzie Gladman, Zoe Harris, Tara Jones, Sarah Lovejoy, Carys Marsh, Roxy Mura, Chloe Richardson, Rebecca Rotheram, Emily Rudge, Isabelle Rudge, Alex Simpson, Jade Ward, Naomi Williams, Vicky Whitfield.Table:POSTEAMPWLDPFPADIFFPTS1St Helens971127690186152Leeds9720344107237143Wigan861123692144134Castleford842223815484105Bradford9360214268-5466Featherstone9180150375-22527York808038410-3720
Josh Simm scored the opener on the last tackle as Ryan Horne spotted a gap down the short side jumping out of dummy half. He fed it to Sam Royle who made enough of a break to feed Simm who stepped inside the full back to stride under the sticks.From the restart the Saints marched down field again attacking the Thunder down the right on the last. This time a sharp cut-out pass under pressure from fullback Harvey McDaid put Tom Nisbett away. He took it to the full back before feeding captain Royle to go in for the second try.The Thunder had a glorious chance to reply, but knocked on over the line before opening their account with a try from dummy half through Oliver Gowing.Saints extended their lead on the half hour through a Jake Wingfield try. A last tackle grubber from Horne was taken in goal and a great kick chase from the Saints meant the full back remained there.Man of the Match Lewis Dodd went through the line fed it inside to Kye Siyani who in turn fed Wingfield to go under the posts after juggling with the ball.But the thunder scored twice in the final five minutes of the half to go in only two points behind thanks to tries from Jack Allen and Thomas Wilcox.Saints Head Coach Traynor brought Harry Brooks off the bench to stiffen up the middle and boy did he do so with the Thunder finding it much harder to go forward.A good run from his own line by Harvey McDaid coupled with drives from Jamie Pye and yet another from powerhouse winger John Hutchings put the Saints deep into Thunder territory.On the last the ball found its way to the impressive Dodd whose weaving run towards the centre of the field gave him the chance to step through a chink of a gap before taking on and beating the full back to the side of the posts.His fourth conversion gave the Saints an eight point cushion, but on the hour mark several Thunder offloads culminated in a try down the left before the game was finally made safe with two tries in a five minute period.On the last a fabulous grubber from Wingfield was grasped out of the air by Dodd again to score his second of the game under the posts. Dodd then showed his class, carving out an opportunity for Simm to put the game to bed.A pass from Siyani was swept up by Dodd who side-stepped inside three would be tacklers before committing the full back, getting a whack for his troubles, in the process of putting Simm away. With Dodd receiving treatment Simm converted.There was just time at the end for the hosts to score a last gasp consolation try but Saints were home and dry.Next up, a tasty derby vs Wigan Warriors at Robin Park Arena on Saturday, 2pm kick off.Newcastle Thunder U19’s:Team: Anthony Dyne; Jack Allen, Isaac Nokes, Sean Croston, Callum Piert; Fergus Simpson, Thomas Wilcox; Rory Nettleton (C), Oliver Gowing, James McGurk, Nathan Clemmitt, Malik Steele, Lewis Howe.Interchanges: Mark Roberts, Tyler Walton, Cai Ellis, George Robinson .Tries: Oliver Gowing (23), Jack Allen (35), Thomas Wilcox (38), George Robinson (59), Isaac Nokes (78).Goals: Anthony Dyne 2 from 5.Saints U19’s Team:Team: Harvey McDaid; Tom Nisbett, Josh Simm, Jumah Sambou, John Hutchings; Ryan Horne, Lewis Dodd; Jamie Pye, Keenan McDaid, Warren Smith, Lewis Baxter, Sam Royle (C), Jake Wingfield.Interchanges: Joe Sharratt, Harry Brooks, Zac Lee, Kye Siyani.Tries: Josh Simm (6 & 72), Sam Royle (9), Jake Wingfield (28), Lewis Dodd (52 & 67).Goals: Lewis Dodd 5 from 5, Josh Simm 1 from 1.HT: 16-18FT: 24-36
Team News and Match Preview:It is 3rd vs 1st in the Betfred Super League and both sides have named their 19-man squad for the match.Head Coach Justin Holbrook believes tonight’s clash will be another “massive challenge” and he has previewed the clash here.We also caught up with James Bentley who is expected to feature in at hooker tonight given the injury to Aaron Smith and ‘Bentos’ is enjoying life in the Saints first team.The Man in the middle:The referee for our clash with Hull FC will be Chris Kendall.Travelling to the KCOM Stadium:Address: Kingston Communications Stadium, West Park, Hull, HU3 6JU. For more information on how to get to the KCOM Stadium, click here. If you’re the designated driver, supporter parking is available on Walton Street car park adjacent to the stadium for £5 per vehicle.For a cheaper alternative, fans can also park at St. Stephen’s Shopping Centre on match nights for just £1, which is just a short 10-minute walk from the stadium via Londesbrough Street and the stadium footpaths.Turnstiles:The turnstiles open an hour before kick off so you can get into the ground early and find your seats. Toilets are also available on the concourses. Your tickets will include the relevant turnstile number that you can enter through and stewards will be on hand to guide you to your seats.Ticket Information:Tickets can also be bought on the gate at the KCOM Stadium Ticket Office, which is open until kick-off tonight and tickets are priced at £26 for adults, £23 for concessions and £12 for juniors.In the ground:There is plenty to look forward to at the ground, as well as 80-minutes of Super League action. The KCOM Stadium big screen will include fan pictures and tweets, as well as recent highlights and videos. Hull FC’s cheerleaders will be in action, as well as special pre-match build up before the teams come out!At half-time one fan will get the chance to take on the Black and Whites’ popular half-time challenge, ‘Boot It’, plus plenty more.Hot and cold food, snacks, drinks and alcoholic beverages are also available from the stadium concourses.How to follow the action:Supporters not making the trip to Hull can follow live score updates and behind-the-scenes coverage on our social media channels and minute by minute updates from 7:45pm here on Saintsrlfc.com. Just head to the homepage and click on the match centre image.