MICHAEL Shenton should have been running out at Wembley to face the Australians on Saturday – but instead he will be watching it on the television as he recovers from the dislocated elbow that wrecked both his and Saints’ Grand Final.Speaking to the St Helens Star he talks about the injury and how strong the Saints will be in 2012.Shenton said: “It as amazing getting to the Grand Final and we were right in the mix and then the injuries happened.“I went back in the changing rooms and it was on the telly there as they were putting my elbow back in. Just to watch it was heartbreaking.“I felt so sorry for the boys – it is not nice to think about the way it all ended, but we can take a lot out of the year, especially the young guys coming through.”Read the rest of the articles by clicking on the links above.
ENGLAND Youth fell to a 34-26 defeat against France in the first Test at Stobart Stadium, Widnes on Friday.In a closely contested game from start to finish, it was France who left victorious thanks largely to a spell of domination in the second half which saw them score three tries in 15 minutes to overturn a 14-12 half-time deficit.Nerves were evident from both sides in the early stages of the game and it was France who seemed to have settled into the occasion first when they opened the scoring trough prop Dorian Denat.But a French knock-on from the following kick-off gave England promising field position and they wasted no time in responding through winger Isaac Noi.Just two minutes later England added to their tally when Morgan Smith’s perfectly timed short ball put a stampeding Jake Moore through a gap to power his way over the French line before scrum-half Houghton added the extras to make it 10-6.That lead was extended further when Brad Parker managed to force his way over from dummy-half. Houghton failed with the extras to keep the score at 14-6.Winger Max Jowitt looked to have added his name to the score sheet when he dived for the line only to touch the ball down inches short of the whitewash as half-time approached.French interchange Carly Bey pulled the scores back to 14-10 when he forced his way over from close range before Albert landed his second conversion to make it 14-12 as the half-time whistle blew.England began the second half in promising fashion and it took just three minutes for the home side to get back on the scoreboard.Sam Hallas showed strength and speed to break the first line of defence and from inside his own half and Hallas was on hand to finish the move underneath the posts moments later.Houghton added the extras to make it 20-12.However it was France who dominated from then on and three tries in 15 minutes put them in a commanding position going into the final 10 minutes.First scrum-half Marvin Merbah put centre Yaha over in the corner before a bruising run by French loose forward and man of the match Mohamed Zentri allowed Jonathan Has to exploit a gap in the retreating defence to score from short range to put the visiting team ahead by 22-20That lead was further extended when prop Nicolas Pomie barged over underneath the posts with Albert making it 28-20.England captain Liam Johnson looked to have reduced the gap only for the referee to disallow his try but hope of a late comeback was raised when Jake Moore scored his second of the day after he ran another superb line to give the defence no chance of stopping him from five meters out.But it was France who had the final say when hooker Yoan Veve crossed over on the final whistle to make it 34-26.Match Summary:England:Tries: Noi, Moore 2, Parker, Hallas Goals: Houghton 3France:Tries: Denat, Bey, Yaha, Has, Pomie, VeveGoals: Albert 5Half-time: 12-14Full-time: 26-34Teams:England:1. Ash Golding; 2. Issac Noi, 3. Kameron Pearce Paul, 4. Harvey Livett, 5. Max Jowitt; 6. Morgan Smith, 7. Ryan Houghton; 8. Daniel Douglas, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Frazer Morris, 11. Jake Moore, 12. Liam Cooper, 13. Liam Johnson. Subs: 14. Brad Parker, 15. Jake Campbell, 16. Sam Hallas, 17. Jack Rush.France: 1. Etienne Ferret; 2. Yoann Rahirez, 3. Vincent Albert, 4. Fouad Yaha, 5. Dorian Munoz; 6. Evan Albert, 7. Marvin Merbah; 8. Dorian Denat, 9. Yoan Veve, 10. Nicolas Pomie, 11. Olivier Ruiz, 12. Mickail Goudemand, 13. Mohamed Zentri. Subs: 14. Charly Bey, 15. Georges Mingaud, 16. Sebastien Nietche, 17. Jonathan Has.
SAINTS set off on their second long trip in a week this time heading south to play the newly formed South Wales Ironmen in Merthyr Tydfil, writes Graham Henthorne.The Ironmen had narrowly lost their Inter-Welsh battle against the Crusaders of the North as the Saints were narrowly beating the Thunder last week so all was set up for a great battle.Jack Owens was again pulling the strings at stand-off this time with Matty Fleming at scrum half. This allowed Aaron Smith and Jonah Cunningham to revert to their undoubted best positions of hooker and loose forward respectively.It was Jack Ashworth who opened the scoring for the Saints again starting at prop. Jack Owens provided the extras and when Dave Eccleston went over in the corner on the half hour the Saints found themselves in control.Regan Grace’s customary try minutes later should have put the Saints out of sight.But poor defending in first half injury time gave the Ironmen a way back into the game as vastly experienced loose forward Ash Bateman went over. Courtney Davies converted to give the Welshmen a chance.This chance became a distinct reality as the Ironmen started the second half on fire with the Saints appearing sluggish.Fifteen minutes in and all their hard work was rewarded with a try to centre Morgan Jeffries. The missed conversion left the Saints six ahead but with a need to turn things around big style.Cometh the hour cometh the man and Welsh international Ben Morris showed his compatriots exactly what they can expect from him on the International stage later in the year as he extended the Saints lead with a well taken try.Owens’ conversion pushed the lead out to 12 which was just enough to worry the hosts.As the game entered its final ten minutes the Saints put the game to be with Grace’s second try and at the hooter a converted effort from Matty Fleming.Despite the second win is as many days on the road Coaches Ian Talbot and Paul Wellens were less than happy with the display and will be working hard in the days to come to produce a better showing next time out.Match Summary:South Wales:Tries: Ashley Bateman (41), Morgan Jeffries (54).Goals: Courtney Davies.Saints:Tries: Jack Ashworth (18), Dave Eccleston (29), Regan Grace (33 & 71), Ben Morris (58), Matty Fleming (78).Goals: Jack Owens 4.Half Time: 6-16Full Time: 10-32Teams:South Wales:1. Andy Gay; 34. Lewis Hughes, 3. Paul Edwards, 18. Morgan Jeffries, 22. Ben Jones; 19. Shaun Owens, 7. Courtney Davies; 8. Christopher Davies, 14. Kristian Baller, 17. Morgan Evans, 24. Connor Parker, 13. Zak Williams, 16. Ashley Bateman. Subs: 10. Chris Vitalini, 11. Michael Edwards, 12. Lloyd Selby-Smith, 25. Ethan Coombes, 26. Huw Parks, 28. Shane Lee, 30. Rhys Davies.Saints:1. Ricky Bailey; 2. Dave Eccleston, 3. Jake Spedding, 4. Calvin Wellington, 5. Regan Grace; 20. Jack Owens, 6. Matty Fleming; 17. Jack Ashworth, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Greg Richards, 11. Chris Follin, 12. Ben Morris, 19. Jonah Cunningham. Subs: 14. Jordan Gibbons, 15. John Hutchings, 16. Jorge Lewtas, 17. Sam Royle, 18. Ben Simms.
The youngster dummied his way over the line with just minutes to spare after Leeds came back from a six point deficit.Saints had the better of the first half to take the lead but couldn’t create enough chances in the second.They were in front through a Mark Percival penalty in the tenth minute after Kyle Amor was held down in front of the sticks.Kallum Watkins replied with a two pointer of his own before Percival missed the chance to put Saints back in front with another penalty attempt.Both sides struggled to keep hold of the ball on a fine night, but that was interrupted as superb Saints defence stopped a certain Rhinos’ try down the left hand side and then Regan Grace cleared his lines with a class run.And when Tommy Makinson did the same around five minutes from the break, Saints profited.The influential James Roby, who was a cut above all night, broke free and offloaded to Zeb Taia who duly turned it inside for Jonny Lomax to go under the sticks.Up six at the break, Saints were on the front foot from the start of the second, putting a high ball right onto the Leeds’ line that the home side had to defend.But Ryan Hall scored for the Rhinos on 47 minutes after Saints were harshly penalised for obstruction in midfield.Watkins tagging on the conversion to make it all square.Saints weathered more pressure before Watkins missed the chance to put the Rhinos ahead with a chip shot penalty on 58 minutes.The number of defended sets were beginning to tell though and it was no surprise when the home side took the lead – even though it came from a contentious call.A last tackle kick won them a repeat set and when they gained another Adam Cuthbertson charged over from close range.It was fortuitous considering the kick previous had been collected in an offside position – but the finish was anything but lucky.Another fortuitous penalty then saw Watkins extend the Rhinos’ lead to eight – LMS adjudged to have obstructed on a grubber.Saints fought their way back into it and after Matty Smith went close following his own high kick, Richardson produced a moment of magic.He’d only been on the pitch a few moments when he took a pass around 10 metres out, dipped his shoulder and dummied his way over the line.It set up a mad final few minutes that saw Percival chip down the left hand side – the bounce alluding him – before he was wrapped up as Saints went for the wonder play as the hooter sounded.Agonisingly close once again for Holbrook’s side, leaving the match with Wigan on September 1 a must win.Match Summary:Rhinos: Tries: Hall, Cuthbertson Goals: Watkins (4 from 5)Saints: Tries: Lomax, Richardson Goals: Percival (3 from 4)Penalties Awarded: Rhinos: 10 Saints: 8HT: 2-8 FT: 16-14REF: Ben ThalerATT: 16,326Teams:Leeds: 31. Jack Walker; 2. Tom Briscoe, 3. Kallum Watkins, 14. Liam Sutcliffe, 5. Ryan Hall; 4. Joel Moon, 6. Danny McGuire; 16. Brad Singleton, 9. Matt Parcell, 10. Adam Cuthbertson, 11. Jamie Jones-Buchanan, 13. Stevie Ward, 12. Carl Ablett. Subs: 7. Rob Burrow, 15. Brett Delaney, 18. Jimmy Keinhorst, 20. Anthony Mullally.Saints: 1. Jonny Lomax; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 28. Regan Grace; 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 16. Luke Thompson, 36. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin, 20. Morgan Knowles. Subs: 8. Alex Walmsley, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 24. Danny Richardson.
Saints started the game in a explosive fashion and after just six minutes were rewarded when a short ball from James Roby found Lachlan Coote who crashed over from close range. Coote added the conversion to his own try to give Saints a 6-0 lead.Coote then kicked a penalty after Morgan Knowles was tackled high 10 metres out. Castleford came right back at Saints, but as it has all season long, Saints defence stood firm.Saints hard work in defence was rewarded as we extended the lead. A neat kick through from Theo Fages was knocked on by Greg Eden putting Saints in prime position. From the resulting scrum Coote found Mark Percival who fed Regan Grace to score in spectacular fashion in the corner.Minutes before the break and Saints were in again. Fages with the short ball to Dom Peyroux and he shot through a gap in the defensive line to give Saints an 18-0 lead going into half time. Coote adding the extras.Saints started the second as they did the first and within the opening minutes we were over again. After great handling from Lomax and Fages, Zeb Taia was put through the gap to extend our lead to 24.The pressure didn’t stop there as we then scored three tries inside 10 minutes. LMS and Percival crashing over from close range making it 34-0 after with still well over 20 minutes remaining.Castleford finally did get some joy on the hour mark when it looked as if Lomax was about to score at one end, former Saint Michael Shenton picked his pocket with an interception on his own line and ran the length of the field to score under the posts.Saints hit back almost instantly after Peyroux latched onto a short pass from Roby to go over for his second of the game before Lomax added the icing on the cake.An excellent team try saw the ball swing from right to left and Percival was put in the clear to run 40 meters. He passed the ball back on the inside to the on-rushing Lomax who went under the posts bringing up the 40 point mark. Coote added the extras.The Tigers did go over for a final consolation with the last play of the game through through Trueman, but this one was a game which will live long in the memory for the travelling Saints contingent.Match Summary:Tigers: Peter Mata’utia, Greg Minikin, Alex Foster, Michael Shenton, Greg Eden, Jake Trueman, Jordan Rankin, Liam Watts, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Oliver Holmes, Junior Holmes, Nathan Massey.Interchanges: James Clare, Adam Milner, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Matt Cook.Tries: Shenton, Trueman.Goals: Rankin (2 from 2)Saints: Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Luke Thompson, Zeb Taia, Dom Peyroux, Morgan Knowles.Tries: Coote, Grace, Peyroux (2), Taia, LMS, Percival, Lomax.Goals: Coote (4 from 8).Penalty Goals: Coote 1Interchanges: Joseph Paulo, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Matty Lees, Jack Ashworth.HT: 0-18 FT: 12-42ATT: 8,042