By Dave Whalley (images by Bob Brough)
Warrington Wolves got their first victory of the season with a richly deserved win over a very committed Newcastle Thunder side in the Under 19s Academy at Victoria Park Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Thunder opened the scoring in the 12th minute when a penalty put them deep into the Wolves’ half and a short ball from stand off Dan Coates put second row Jez Charlton through a gap who raced 20 metres to score on the left. Coates converted but the Wolves responded on 25 minutes when hooker Elliott Windley was held just short and from the play the ball substitute Eribe Doro used his strength from dummy half to force his way over under the posts. Full back Joe Edge added the conversion to level matters.
Three minutes later a superb 40-metre run from Wolves’ scrum half Ritchie Westwood put his side in a great position and a short ball from Windley put loose forward Ellis Robson over under the posts. Edge converted and right on the stroke of half time Westwood put second row Cole Oakley through a gap on the last tackle and he scored on the left. Edge added the conversion to make the interval score 18-6 in the Wolves’ favour.
The Wolves stretched their lead just before the hour mark when a lovely delayed ball from Windley found stand off Riley Dean who sold a great ‘dummy’ that created a gap for him to go through and score under the posts. Edge converted and from a scrum on the Newcastle 10-metre line Dean found Edge linking into the line to go over on the right. Edge added the conversion to his own try.
Shortly afterwards a great break from Dean split the Thunder defence and he found second row Luis Johnson who carried the ball towards the try line before finding Edge in support to score on the right. The visitors had the final say four minutes from time when scrum half Cai Ellis profited from a repeat set when he spotted a gap on the blind side and went from dummy half to score wide out on the right to make the final score 34-10 to an impressive Wolves side.
Joe Edge, Liam Jones, Joe Pilling, Lewis Hall, Joe Edge, Riley Dean, Ritchie Westwood, Tayler Brown, Elliott Windley, Jack Wright, Cole Oakley, Luis Johnson, Ellis Robson.
Subs: Gary McMahon, Jack Wilson, Lee Dyas, Eribe Doro.
Tries: Doro (25 mins), Robson (28), Oakley (40), Dean (57), Edge (64, 67)
Goals: Edge 5 from 6
Jack Quinn, Kieran Hudson, Alex Clegg, Adam Bielby, Mark McCallan, Dan Coates, Cai Ellis, Rory Nettleton, Olly Gowing, Sam Stephenson, Jed Charlton, James McGurk, Tom Wilcox.
Subs: Owen Reed, Ryan Jones, Chris Paterson, Tyler Walton.
Tries: Charlton (12 mins), Ellis (76).
Goals: Coates 1 from 2
“That was a really important win for us; we know that the opening two performances were not at the standard that we accept but the boys have worked really hard and thoroughly deserved the win. Defensively we were very good and kept Newcastle at bay for long periods and then when we had the ball in hand we were a lot more creative and clinical than we have been in the previous games. It has been the first week where we have been able to train on the grass in all sessions and that has certainly helped us.
“There are still areas that we need to improve on and we will do over the next few weeks but this display should give all of the lads confidence going forward. We have a trip to France next Saturday to face Catalans Dragons and that will be another big test but it is one that we are all looking forward to.”