Warrington Wolves U19s 28 - Huddersfield Giants U19s 8
By Dave Whalley (image courtesy of Bob Brough)
Warrington Wolves Under 19s produced a magnificent all-round team performance to defeat an in-form Huddersfield Giants side in the Under 19s Academy at Crosfields ARLFC on Wednesday evening.
The Wolves dominated the game from the outset and refused to let their opponents into the game and were rewarded with a win that puts them on the verge of claiming the league leaders’ trophy ahead of the play-off series.
Warrington opened the scoring in the fourth minute when a long ball from stand-off Declan Patton sent centre Toby King racing away down the left and he fed winger Jake Eccleston who drew the cover towards him before finding full back Declan Kay on his inside to score at the side of the posts. Patton converted and four minutes later Patton found scrum half Louis Jouffret in the middle of the field and he gave a superb ball to Kay who was linking in the line and he raced over wide out on the right.
On twenty-four minutes the Wolves increased their lead when a grubber kick into the Huddersfield in-goal area on the last tackle by Patton saw Eccleston react superbly to touch down wide out on the left just before the ball went dead. Patton added the conversion but then the Giants hit back when good work by centre Jake Connor saw him get to within a metre of the Wolves line before he managed to offload to scrum half Jack Miller who put second row Liam Johnson over in the left corner.
Three minutes before the break more great work by Patton saw him spot a gap in the Giants' line and he shot through it before finding hooker Ryan Maneely on his inside to race over under the posts. Patton converted to make the half time score 22-4 in the Wolves' favour.
The second half proved to be a very cagey affair with both defences putting in some bone crunching tackles that kept the scoreboard inactive until just before the hour when superb hands by the Wolves from one side of the pitch to the other saw Kay give a great ball to winger Ben Stansfield who scored in the right corner. Patton added a fine touchline conversion.
A minute from time the visitors were rewarded for their non-stop effort when some slick handling stretched the wolves defence and it allowed Connor to force his way over in the left corner to make the final score 28-8 to a jubilant Wolves side.
After the game Wolves head coach Danny Fullerton said: “I am absolutely delighted with that; we focussed as a squad on building on last week’s win over Castleford and we certainly did that. We always looked to be in total control of the game which is a great compliment to the lads and they deserve an enormous amount of credit as Huddersfield are an excellent team who have been in great form of late. When we turn up with the right attitude it doesn’t matter who we play against as we have so much confidence and we are prepared to work our socks off for each other.
"Declan Kay fitted into the full-back role seamlessly and had a great game while Andy Philbin had possibly his best game at this level, creating problems for Huddersfield in both attack and defence. Next week is another challenge for us and we will be looking to carry on from where we left off and put on an attacking display of Rugby League that will excite the fans. We face Wakefield Trinity Wildcats; kick off 5.30pm on Thursday as a curtain raiser to the Wolves v Huddersfield Super League encounter.”
Assistant coach Peter Nicholson added: “The quality of the defensive effort was outstanding and every member of the side did exactly what was asked of them. The pride and willingness to defend our line really shone through which provided the springboard for us to express ourselves when we had the ball in hand.”
Declan Kay, Ben Stansfield, Harvey Livett, Toby King, Jake Eccleston, Declan Patton, Louis Jouffret, Tom Walker, Ryan Maneely, George King, Joe Philbin, James Jones, Sam Wilde.
Subs: Robert Holroyd, Andy Philbin, Daniel Murray, Sean Kenny.
Tries: Kay (4 mins, 8), Eccleston (24), Maneely (37), Stansfield (59).
Goals: Patton 4 from 5
Daniel Abram, Jared Simpson, Jake Connor, Will Gledhill, Darnell McIntosh, Will Milner, Jack Miller, Tyler Dickinson, Kruise Leeming, Elliot Morris, Will Cook, Liam Johnson, Canaan Smithies.
Subs: Tom Battye, Brad Cable, Zac McComb, Sam Luckley.
Tries: Johnson (34 mins), Connor (79).
Goals: Miller 0 from 2
Photo gallery courtesy of Bob Brough