IT may undoubtedly be the tie everyone is waiting for in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup Fifth Round but Kyle Amor and Kevin Sinfield had a more testing – and tasting – challenge to complete first: who could make the best Easter egg?The two players took part in the fierce battle at The Chocolate Café in Ramsbottom, designing and making from scratch their own Easter eggs.This competition may have been a million miles away from the rugby field but it was the perfect opportunity for the players to take a break from the hard work in training with their families to have some Easter fun.“It was great fun, it’s not something that I’ve ever done before and I’m not used to being in a kitchen,” said Kyle. “My kids were on hand to see their Dad making Easter eggs and they really enjoyed it.“I think my egg came out best but I know Kev thinks differently.”The pair are no strangers to one another, having played together at Leeds when Amor joined the club for a season in 2010.That year, Leeds lost out in the Challenge Cup final to Warrington, an experience which has made both players desperate for success in this competition.Amor added: “To get to a Tetley’s Challenge Cup final is something I have wanted personally for a long time.“I was lucky enough to go with Leeds and the atmosphere and occasion is incredible and it is something I want to be a part of again.“It’s a dream of mine to play in a Tetley’s Challenge Cup final.”Tickets for Saturday’s Challenge Cup Fifth Round tie are on sale from Langtree Park.You can buy here, at the Ticket Office or by calling 01744 455 052.
SAINTS have named their 19-man squad for Friday’s First Utility Super League home opener with Huddersfield Giants.All four of the club’s new signings could be involved alongside Adam Swift and Alex Walmsley who didn’t feature in pre-season.Keiron Cunningham will select his 17 from:2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift, 7. Luke Walsh, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Atelea Vea, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Lama Tasi, 15. Greg Richards, 16. Andre Savelio, 17. Luke Thompson, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 19. Theo Fages, 20. Joe Greenwood, 22. Jack Owens.Paul Anderson will choose his side from:1. Scott Grix, 2. Jermaine McGillvary, 3. Leroy Cudjoe, 4. Joe Wardle, 5. Aaron Murphy, 6. Danny Brough, 7. Jamie Ellis, 8. Eorl Crabtree, 9. Ryan Hinchcliffe, 12. Michael Lawrence, 13. Larne Patrick, 14. Daniel Smith, 16. Sam Rapira, 17. Ukuma Ta’ai, 18. Jake Connor, 19. Josh Johnson, 20. Kruise Leeming, 21. Nathan Mason, 22. Oliver Roberts.The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee will be Robert Hicks.Ticket details for the game can be found here.
SAINTS produced a tremendous performance in the rain at Blackbrook to beat Catalans 56-0, writes Graham Henthorne.For many a month the Dragons were the Saints biggest rivals but has had a torrid time since the Saints beat them in the South of France earlier this year.They came to the game today knowing they needed a win to make the play-offs but they came up against an uncompromising Saints that were in no mood to be beaten.Dave Eccleston opened the account on six minutes as he took a wide ball bouncing off his opposite number to go in at the corner.The Dragons were finding it difficult to cope with the Saints tough tackling making only rare visits to the Saints 20 and dropping the ball often whenever they got there.Jake Spedding increased the Saints lead with the first of his long range brace taking a Brad Billsborough wide pass before stepping inside and outpacing the cover over 50 metres to the line.The Saints went 16 points clear with Eccleston’s second of the opening quarter. Drives from Saints own Frenchman Levy Nzoungou and Evan Bullen put the Saints on the attack before quick hands from Ricky Bailey and Matty Costello put the winger in for an identical effort to his first.The Saints then went away from the game plan getting dragged into a forward battle which was exactly what the visitors wanted.Then came the game changer as a massive flare up ended with the sinbinning of Billsborough for a late tackle but the sending off of the Dragons substitute prop for running in and landing a punch on Jordan Olmez.The Saints responded best to the taunting of their opponents with a huge tackle on the restart which forced the knock on and sent the message out that they were not to be intimidated.This was reinforced moments later as Captain Liam Cooper charged on to short pass from Josh Eaves to give the Saints a 22 point lead at the break.The Dragons came out after the break with renewed resolve putting the Saints under some pressure for the first ten minutes. But after Spedding expertly mopped up a grubber behind his own still making 10 metres and then a massive hit from Cooper had forced the error on the Dragons next possession the fire went out of the beast.From the scrum the ball was swept out to Costello who dummied his way through the line going 40 to the corner.From the restart an Eaves dart at the play the ball put Olmez away and the big prop kept his head to commit the fullback before feeding the supporting Danny Richardson or the try.The third Saints try in as many sets came as Eaves darted blind twice finally putting Regan Grace over in the left corner.The final quarter became an exercise in self-preservation as the visitors put in cheap shot after cheap shot and the Saints showed admirable discipline not to retaliate.Spedding showed exactly the right response as he arced wide down the left going 90 metres to the line.Again from the restart the Saints marched effortlessly down field with Billsborough putting a well-judged grubber through to the Catalans line. The winger tried to knock it dead but only succeeded in allowing Costello to dive over him for the try.The last try was probably the worst of the lot as a terrible Richardson kick was luckily taken by Bailey with Billsborough just about taking his terrible pass for the score. If you were there you’ll know what I mean!! Richardson’s eighth fabulous conversion ended the scoring.Anyone walking around the Brook area at 12 o’clock quoting this score as the final would have been led into a quiet area and held there until the ambulance arrived. Especially with the inclusion of halfbacks Albert and Da Costa who have been leading the Dragons first team around for the past few weeks.But the Saints were having none of it sending just the right sort of message out to their play-off rivals that the Saints still mean business and will no matter what your reputation.Richardson’s return from injury was pivotal to this performance but Cooper and his second row compatriot Ben Morris were outstanding in showing the other 15 their way.The play-off semi-final is due to be played at Langtree on Saturday the 17th at 13:00.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: David Eccleston (6 & 23), Jake Spedding (17 & 63), Liam Cooper (35), Matty Costello (52 & 65), Danny Richardson (55), Regan Grace (58), Brad Billsborough (70).Goals: Danny Richardson 8/10.Catalans:Tries:Goals:Half Time: 22-0Full Time: 56-0Teams:Saints:1. Ricky Bailey; 2. David Eccleston, 4. Matty Costello, 3. Jake Spedding, 5. Regan Grace; 6. Danny Richardson, 7. Brad Billsborough; 8. Levy Nzoungou, 9. Aaron Smith, 17. Alex Eckley, 11. Liam Cooper (C), 12. Ben Morris, 13. Mike Weldon. Subs: 10. Jordan Olmez, 14. Josh Eaves, 15. Chris Follin, 16. Evan Bullen.Catalans:1. Pierre Bise; 2. Jordan Flovie, 4. Vincent Albert, 3. Arthur Romano, 5. Paul Izard; 6. Lucas Albert, 7. Alrix Da Costa; 8. Lambert Belmas, 9. Mathieu Tovena, 10. Paul Seguier, 11. Jordan Delara, 12. Alexandre Mickalezyk, 13. Matthieu Khedimi. Subs: 14. Romain Pallares, 15. Nourdine Sebea, 16. Quentin Quenener, 17. Sebastien Nietche Corones.
FIVE Saints were involved in international action this weekend.Jonny Lomax played for England in their one-point defeat to New Zealand in the Four Nations at Huddersfield.The full-back was in superb form but Shaun Johnson’s drop goal settled the contest 17-16.England now move on to face Scotland this Saturday – with Mark Percival having a good chance of a recall as Wayne Bennett looks to make changes.The Bravehearts, featuring Saints new signings Luke Douglas and Adam Walker (below), were downed by Australia on Friday.But the duo produced stellar displays for Scotland and will look forward to the clash with England in Coventry on Saturday.For Ireland, Shannon McDonnell played as Ireland beat Russia 70-16 to qualify for the World Cup.It was his second game in just over a week for the side, after he appeared in the win over Spain.Finally, Ben Morris scored two tries, including the winner, as Wales beat Italy to qualify for the World Cup.The youngster appeared at centre and made a telling contribution in just his second senior appearance!(Wales pic courtesy of Ian Lovell)
Thursday night will see the prop make his tenth appearance in the showpiece and it’s one he is relishing.“These are the games you look forward to during the season,” he said. “As a kid I loved watching these games so to be involved now is great. The atmosphere is something special and I’m really looking forward to it.“We beat them on Good Friday and want to do it again.”Saints chalked up a win over Wigan on Good Friday and sit eight points clear of their rivals on the Betfred Super League ladder.But that will count for nothing when the two sides lock horns this Thursday.“We are mindful of where we are sat but don’t really focus on it. It’s more about performing each week,” he added. “We set high standards here and work hard to make sure we are up to those standards.“We can always get better and improve. We have a gap but can’t get too comfortable. We won’t allow that to stop what we are doing.“There is a lot to play for and we haven’t won anything yet. We don’t want to think too far ahead; it’s about staying fit and having a good end to the season.”Thommo is the form prop in the competition and that was echoed when he scored a flyer at Hull FC to seal a 34-18 win.It took his season’s tally to four.“It was a great away win at Hull,” he said. “It is a tough place to go. We conceded a couple of tries early in the second half and did really well to come back.“The manner of the performance was good and it will stand us in good stead for the future.“It was good try wasn’t it? I hit a nice line from Jonny at pace, got through and backed myself to put down in the corner.”Tickets for Thursday’s derby are now on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.
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