10th April 2017
Under 19s lost out to St Helens on Friday night.
Huddersfield Giants Under 19s suffered a 30-18 defeat at the hands of St Helens on Friday night in the curtain raiser to the first team’s game.
A double from Sam Hewitt, a try from Billy Hayes and three Izaac Farrell conversions weren’t enough to win the points for the young Giants. Under-19s Head Coach, Luke Robinson was critical of the Claret and Golds ruck defence.
“They just bullied our ruck. You can make the game as complicated as you want as coaches and players, sometimes it is about who runs the hardest and who tackles the hardest. Unfortunately we fell down on that really. We struggled with their ruck speed.
“It’s definitely something we have to fix up this week, our ruck defence. They didn’t go round us, they went through us which is really disappointing from my point of view.
“You sometimes don’t mind when teams beat you with a bit of skill and flair. But when they beat you with the basics of the game it’s very frustrating as a coach. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board this week.
“There were a couple of soft tries. You end up conceding those when you lose the ruck. We looked tired by the end. Because we were losing the ruck so much, when you’re on the back foot and defending in different areas of the field, it makes you tired.
“It’s a good lesson for us, if you don’t win the ruck, you can put on all the plays you want, you won’t be in the game.”
Injuries have plagued the academy side this season and last week’s game was no different with Matty English forced to leave the field early on in the game:
“Matty isn’t just one of our better players but he is captain so to lose him within the first five minutes and to have one less sub to use in hot conditions was tough. It contributed to players playing longer minutes than they’re used to which is probably another factor why we lost the ruck.”
Having injuries within the squad gives others a chance to shine and Robinson is happy he’s been able to see the strength of his whole squad.
“We’ve struggled a little bit with head knocks. We’ve had five players out already and the protocol for the 19s is you miss two weeks with a head knock. But it has given me an opportunity to see all my players.
“There’s a lot of first years that have played more minutes than they expected. Out of a full squad of 26 or 27, apart from Harry Woollard and Jake Wardle, all the players have played bar one. It’s good experience for those first years.”
The Under 19s are in action on Saturday at Lockwood Park against Leeds Rhinos, kick-off 2pm.
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