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Sale and cobwebs blown away

The second exhibition match at the end of the mid-season break was a romp against Sale. Saints were obviously still without all their internationals stripping the squad of nine potential first choice players.

But it barely showed on the field where the remaining squad had the last chance to blow away the cobwebs before the push on towards silverware.

And cobwebs were well and truly blown as Saints burst out of the blocks with breaks all across the park – most notable by George Hendy marking his return to action following a long lay off through injury. But then a Charlie Savala cross field kick fund Courtney lurking on the wing he knocked the ball back to Juarno who then shipped it onto Burger Odendaal to open the score. Charlie Savala made it the full seven points.

Sale swiftly came back with a try from a Du Preez – of the centre kind – he couldn’t convert his own try, however and Saints kept their noses in front.

A tackle deemed high by the ref saw Tom Lockett sent to the naughty step for ten minutes and Sale took full advantage of their extra manpower to put Tom O’Flaherty over in the corner. Another failure at the conversion saw them sneak ahead to 7-10.

But then Mr Dependable Tom Litchfield made a great carry up field a pass to Savala who then put Ollie Sleightholme clear to score a flying try in the corner.

Then the Sale no 7 then had ten minutes sit down after knocking the ball out of Jake Garside’s hands –pick on someone your own size, why don’t you? A rolling maul resulted in Big Trev doing what he does and adding another 5 points to Saints’ tally. Charlie Savala was back on target to give Saints a nine point lead at the break.

It was a quieter second half as subs were rolled on and off. It was worrying to see Tom Seabrook having to limp off the field but he had made his contribution to the game when he had linked with Ewan Baker who had been on the field for only a matter of seconds – to allow the youngster to score.

It had all got a bit loose by now and when Tom Seabrook went off Jake Garside moved into the back line – probably to full back but who can be sure- allowing the newest product of the scrum-half production line to make his senior debut. Bedford School pupil Jonny Weimann stepped into the breach and didn’t look out of place! Suffice to say he is in the England U18 squad  - meaning Saints have provided a scrum half at all three international levels this season!

But there were no further scores and Saints were able to claim the victory. And so we turn our faces towards the South West and Friday night against Bristol. More of the same please Saints – do your Saintly stuff and all will be well.

There are still some spaces on the coach to Bristol details are here. And the SSC is running coaches to the other two away games details are here.

Photographs from Friday night are, as ever, provided by Red Hat Photography. And to see and hear Photographer and your correspondent talking things Saintly rugby – with the week’s guest Ashley Rowden - have a listen to Ladies Wot Pod on  YouTube and Spotify.

And if you want to see posts and discussions from fellow Saints’ fans hop over to Saints Sinners on Facebook.


Charlie Savala - settling in at Saints - good hands and feet on display on Friday!


Airborne Ollie - Sleights gymnastically grounds the ball.


Skipper Ludlam - leading by example with passion and commitment


Forward motion! Juarno takes the contact with close support from Tom Lockett and Temu Mayanavanua


Big Trev - just doing Big Trev things....


Winging it! Speed merchants Tom Seabrook and Ewan Baker

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