Harry Betts was among the Saints Under-19 starters © Getty Images
Academy News TIGERS U19 20 SAINTS U19 7: Tigers prove too strong for young Saints
The Saints Under-19s may have slipped to a three tries to one loss at Oval Park, but Academy coach Mark Hopley refused to be negative about the performance from a squad including several youngsters playing above age in Saints colours.
Harrison Marshall's late score got the Saints on the board, but the hosts had already built up enough of a lead to see the game out having started the stronger of the two sides.
"It was a very physical first ten minutes and a lack of concentration allowed them to score, but then it was pretty even up until half time," Hopley told SaintsTV. "A couple of quick tries from them at the start of the second sort of saw us off. We could have rolled over and laid down but all credit to the boys including the subs that came on. They had a lot of enthusiasm and that showed as a squad towards the end of the game."
"Leicester are exceptionally physical and well organised and I think that is what won them the game. For us, some young players there would have taken a lot from the game and that's what they're here to do, they're learning all the time
"We had Luc Jeannot who's a 16-year-old tight head prop playing today and Rory Hutchinson was a massive positive in the centre playing his first game for the Academy. Putting players in a competitive environment like this will be brilliant moving forward."
Having started the stronger, Tigers went ahead with a penalty and extended the advantage with the afternoon's first try during a sin bin period for both teams - Jordan Onojaife the man missing in Saints colours.
In a scrappy affair both sides were conceding numerous penalties, but it was the hosts who took fullest advantage after the break, crossing twice in a five-minute spell to kill off the contest.
Yet despite seeing Jacob Conner yellow carded as the hour passed, the Saints dug deep and back to a full contingent, Harrison Marshall's 77th minute score provided deserved consolation on an otherwise challenging afternoon.
5mins TIGS Pen 3-0
7mins TIGS Yellow
8mins SAINTS Yellow Onojaife
15mins TIGS Try 8-0
HALF-TIME TIGS 8 SAINTS 0
42mins TIGS Try & Con 15-0
47mins TIGS Try 20-0
66mins SAINTS Yellow Conner
77mins SAINTS Try H Marshall Con Olver 20-7
FULL-TIME TIGS 20 SAINTS 7
SAINTS U19 - Packman; Wacokecoke, Furbank, Hutchinson, Skelcey; Olver, Lee-Everton; Morley, R Marshall, Jeannot, Onojaife, Betts, Conner, Harry, Lyons
Reps - Griffiths, H Marshall, Ludlam, Morris, Sheppard, Bulivant