Paddy McDuell opens Saracens up to lay on Tim Cardall's score © Simon Robinson
Academy News SAINTS U17 33 SARACENS 12 Diggin’s delight at youngsters’ bounce back
Having suffered the disappointment of a first defeat of the season earlier in the week, Academy coach Paul Diggin was impressed with how the Saints Under-17s regrouped and improved to dispatch Saracens with five tries on Friday afternoon.
It was one-way traffic in the opening exchanges and Cameron Ives skipped past his man to open the scoring after strong mauling from the forwards on 10 minutes. Though the game started to even out, the hosts were also looking stern in defence and when the chance came to attack again, the forwards battered out the yards before centre Jamel Hamilton went over.
The lead would be extended to 19-0 on the stroke of half-time, too, Paddy McDuell carving Saracens open and sending Tim Cardall bounding beneath the posts before adding the second of his three conversions.
Saracens replied in kind shortly after the turnaround but it was a score almost immediately cancelled out by Steffan Osman-Wiggins after another effective lineout drive from the pack.
The Saints’ next 20 minutes were spent guarding their own line and having done so brilliantly, turnover ball went right and Owain Collard burned off the remaining Saracens cover for number five – Robbie Povey this time adding the extras.
Saracens would have the final say, another series of attacks close to the Saints line finally causing the hosts’ defence to crack, but Diggin remained happy with a resolve that was present for large parts of the 70 minutes.
“It was a fantastic performance from the boys,” he told SaintsTV. “We only really talked about the simple things from Tuesday – tackling low and carrying hard – and I think they took that into the game.
“They got the same back from Saracens too so it was particularly pleasing that we were able to defend for large periods and keep them out.
“A lot of these boys have been waiting behind the successful Under-18s team we had this year but some of them have come in and really taken their opportunities well.”
SAINTS UNDER-17s v SARACENS
Friday, April 11th, 2014
15 William STRIDE
14 Cameron IVES
13 Jamel HAMILTON
12 Thom FOSTER
11 Dom HAMMOND
10 Paddy McDUELL
9 Tom EMERY
1 Luke PALMER
2 Freddy DAVISON
3 Luc JEANNOT
4 Alex MOON
5 Tim CARDALL
6 Steffan OSMAN-WIGGINS
7 Will ALLMAN
8 John HAWKINS (capt)