WOLVES’ rising talents look to be starting to believe in themselves.
Coach Tony Smith has offered praise this week, or after previous rounds, on performances by Matty Russell, Rhys Evans, Gene Ormsby, Gareth O’Brien, Glenn Riley, James Laithwaite and Ben Evans – all aged 19 to 22.
I have felt in the past that some of Wolves’ youngsters have understandably looked a little apprehensive at times, perhaps being a little daunted or perhaps fearing making mistakes while feeling their way at elite level. But I feel those moments have dropped significantly this season.
The grooming process with the under 19s, at partner club Swinton Lions or on loan at clubs has served purpose well.
Much time and effort has gone into advancing this quality bunch and long may their careers continue to develop and prosper.
Probably the player to have come from ‘nowhere’, without sounding disrespectful, is Gene Ormsby.
The 21-year-old from Droylsden, who spent last year in the Championship with Swinton, has flown under the radar to take the left-wing shirt off Chris Riley’s back.
I was stunned by the skills he displayed in scoring Wolves’ try of the season so far at The Hive.
From a goal-line drop out, he dipped in and out of the defensive line on halfway before a fend with his left hand allowed him to break free.
With only full back Denny Solomona to beat and Richie Myler in support, he switched from a right-hand carry into a two-handed passing position.
And then as he became aware of a defender from behind and Solomona’s decision to cut off the Myler option, Ormsby transferred the ball to a left-hand carry to allow a right-hand fend of the chasing half back James Cunningham, which then gave Gene a clear path to the line.
All of that skill came in a few seconds and appeared so naturally. If you have ever played the game, you will certainly appreciate this rugby intelligence, speed of thought and skill factor.
It is a nod to his abilities and the work by Wolves’ coaching staff.
And it is simply the latest clear indication that Ormsby, like teammates such as Ben Currie and Gareth O'Brien, gain confidence as well as experience from a string of runs in the team.