Wigan Warriors U19s 36 - Warrington Wolves U19s 16
By Dave Whalley (photo courtesy of Bob Brough)
Warrington Wolves suffered a second successive loss when they went down to defeat at Wigan Warriors in the Under 19s Academy at the Wigan Laundry Stadium, Orrell on Friday evening.
The Warriors built up a commanding first-half advantage and despite a spirited Wolves' fightback in the last twenty minutes it was too little too late and the home side deservedly ran out winners in front of a large crowd.
Warrington started brightly and took the game to Wigan in the opening exchanges but on twelve minutes Warriors' centre Liam Forsyth intercepted a Wolves' pass and raced sixty metres unopposed to score at the right of the posts. Scrum half Jake Shorrocks converted and then four minutes later they swept the ball along the line stretching the Wolves' defence and winger David Thompson scored in the left corner.
Just after the half hour Wigan substitute Brad Lawrence made a fine break down the middle that split the Wolves' defence and he found fellow substitute Ryan Sutton on his shoulder to go over under the posts. Shorrocks added the conversion and three minutes before the break Warriors' second row Nick Gregson received the ball from a penalty on the Wolves' thirty-metre line and brushed off some weak tackling to break through and score wide out on the left and give his side a 20-0 half time lead.
Seven minutes into the second half slick passing along the Warriors' line stretched the Wolves' defence and winger Liam Marshall stepped back inside to score wide on the left. Shorrocks converted and ten minutes later the advantage was increased further when a high kick by stand off Jamie Doran on the last tackle was plucked out of the air by Forsyth and he managed to ground the ball on the right. Shorrocks added the conversion to make the score 32-0.
But just after the hour the Wolves finally got on the scoreboard when good work close to the line by stand off Declan Patton and hooker Ryan Maneely saw them combine to find centre Toby King who managed to force his way over in the left corner despite the attention of four defenders. Virtually straight from the restart a clever kick over the Wigan defence from Patton saw winger Declan Kay collect superbly and send King racing away to find full back Jack Johnson who brushed off a couple of defenders to score at the side of the posts. Patton added the conversion.
As the game entered the final four minutes Wigan were awarded a penalty close to the Wolves' line and after two drives the ball was swept out wide to centre Jack Higginson who scored wide out on the left. To finish, a minute from time, a speculative kick on the last tackle by Wolves' centre Jake Eccleston bounced awkwardly in the Wigan in-goal area and as a Warriors' defender attempted to hack the ball dead it cannoned off the post and Maneely pounced on the loose ball to score under the posts. Patton goaled to make the final score 36-16 to Wigan.
After the game Wolves' head coaches Danny Fullerton and Lee Briers were philosophical despite the defeat. They said: “Sometimes rugby is a simple game; Wigan ran hard, defended strong and out-enthused us for sixty minutes which is very uncommon for us as we have been fine all year. The last twenty minutes we started to play with confidence and throw the ball around which allowed us to cause them plenty of problems and we got some reward for that. There is no need for us to go away and re-invent the wheel; we will just work really hard and make sure that we get the intensity back into our game for Castleford on Friday night, 5.30pm at The Halliwell Jones Stadium. A special mention must go to Sam Wilde was absolutely outstanding tonight in the back row; he got through fifty two tackles and really worked his socks off in defence as well as putting in some strong runs in attack.”
Oliver Gildart, Liam Marshall, Jack Higginson, Liam Forsyth, David Thompson, Jamie Doran, Jake Shorrocks, Ben Austin, Callum Wright, Kieran Sherratt, Rob Lever, Nick Gregson, Kyle Shelford.
Subs: Luke Waterworth, Brad Lawrence, Ryan Sutton, McCauley Davies.
Tries: Forsyth (12 mins, 57), Thompson (16), Sutton (31), Gregson (37), Marshall (47), Higginson (76).
Goals: Shorrocks 4 from 7
Jack Johnson, Ben Stansfield, Jake Eccleston, Toby King, Declan Kay, Declan Patton, Louis Jouffret, Daniel Murray, Ryan Maneely, George King, Joe Philbin, Harvey Livett, Sam Wilde.
Subs: Robert Holroyd, Alex Whalley, Andy Philbin, Sean Kenny.
Tries: T King (61 mins), Johnson (63), Maneely (79)
Goals: Patton 2 from 3
Photo gallery courtesy of Bob Brough