Warrington Wolves u19 22 Wigan Warriors u19 14
WARRINGTON Wolves produced a stunning second-half performance to turn around a half time deficit and run out winners against a tough Wigan Warriors side in the Under 19s Academy at The Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Wigan edged the first half while Wolves came back strongly and dominated the second half after some wise words in the half time interval from head coaches Danny Fullerton and Lee Briers.
After a cagey opening, where both sides tested each other out, the deadlock was broken on 15 minutes when Warriors took the lead.
A chip kick into the Wolves in-goal area was weighted perfectly for centre Oliver Gildart, who managed to pounce on the ball to score wide out on the left.
Scrum half Jake Shorrocks converted but then the arm wrestle continued with neither side willing to give an inch in a tough uncompromising period of the game.
Wolves got close to levelling the game on the half hour but loose forward Ryan Maneely was held agonisingly short of the line and then three minutes later, with Wolves again camped on the Wigan line, a kick by scrum half Declan Patton was picked up superbly by Wigan full back Gabriel Fell and he raced the length of the field to score in the right hand corner despite a brave chase from Wolves stand off Louis Jouffret and winger David Johnston.
The conversion was wide of the mark but Warriors went in at the interval 10-0 to the good.
After the half-time ‘chat’ Wolves came out roaring and got themselves back into the game six minutes into the second half.
A fine 40/20 by Patton was soon followed by a penalty that put Wolves close to the Wigan line and some quick hands saw the ball reach centre Toby King who squeezed over in the left corner.
Four minutes later a great break down the middle by full back Jack Johnson split the Warriors defence and he raced 60 metres to score between the posts. Centre Harvey Livett converted to level the scores at 10-10.
Wolves continued to ask questions of the Wigan defence and just after the hour a lovely short ball from Patton found second row Joe Philbin who powered over from close range to put this side ahead for the first time.
Six minutes later Warriors responded when centre Jack Higginson went on his own from dummy half and managed to ground the ball despite the attention of three defenders to draw the visitors level.
As the game entered the closing stages Warriors were punished for holding down in front of their own posts and Livett coolly slotted over the penalty to nudge his side two points ahead.
Two minutes from time a great bullet pass from Wolves hooker Sean Kenny found substitute Tom Walker who collected superbly and barged over at the side of the posts. Livett converted to complete a very impressive and fully deserved 22-14 victory.
Wolves: Jack Johnson (1t); David Johnston, Harvey Livett (3g), Toby King (1t), Ben Stansfield; Louis Jouffret, Declan Patton; Daniel Murray, Sean Kenny, George King, Joe Philbin (1t), Sam Wilde, Ryan Maneely. Subs: Tom Walker (1t), Alex Whalley, Robert Holroyd, James Jones.
Wigan: Gareth Fell (1t); Liam Marshall, Jake Higginson (1t), Oliver Gildart (1t), David Thompson; Ryan Hampshire, Jake Shorrocks (1g); Ryan Sutton, Callum Wright, Brad Lawrence, Rob Lever, Nic Gregson, Keiron Sharrett. Subs: Luke Waterworth, Rhys Pugsley, Ben Austin, Jake Moore.