A YOUNG Warrington Wolves under 19s team stacked with familiar names returned from the wilderness in a 50-14 defeat of Newcastle Thunder at Victoria Park.

Sons of ex-Wire players Lee Briers, Paul Darbyshire and Dave Hartill – Reece, Jack and James – were on the scoresheet, while Sami Kibula's brother Ambrose, ex-Salford star Gary Broadbent's son Luke and former Halifax prop Jim Gannon's son Jacob were also in the starting line-up.

After a 14-month absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Wire fired into a 22-0 lead inside 16 minutes to take command.

Hartill and Dean Beddall each grabbed a brace of tries, with others added by Tom Inman, Lewis Hughes, Tom Burnett, Darbyshire and Briers, who added seven conversions from nine attempts.

With three of Warrington's tries coming in the last eight minutes, the scoreline possibly does not reflect the competitiveness of Saturday's match.

“It is great to be back and the biggest positive is not the result or the performance, it is the fact we are playing," said Wolves Academy head coach Paul Anderson.

"Credit to the Thunder players and staff as they came and really challenged us physically and caused us loads of problems, but we must give credit to our own players and staff and with seven first-year academy players it is certainly a performance that we can now build on, not only this season, but for the continuing development of our own young players.”

Wolves opened the scoring in the sixth minute.

Second row Morgan Burgess was held just short but from the play the ball hooker Inman burrowed over from dummy half. Stand off Briers converted.

Three minutes later great work by prop forward Gannon got his side close to the line and he offloaded to Inman who put Briers over at the right of the posts before he converted his own try.

Shortly afterwards Wolves were over again when a lovely chip into the in-goal area by Briers saw winger Hartill react quickest to touch down wide out on the right.

From the restart Hartill made a 50-metre break and after a set restart Inman found prop forward Beddall who twisted in the tackle to score at the side of the posts. Briers added the conversion.

Just after the midway point of the half Newcastle got on the scoreboard when a set restart deep in Wolves territory paved the way for stand off Elliot Shaw to find centre Evan Lawther with a long ball and he scored wide out on the left. Scrum half Ciaran Walker converted.

Wolves soon responded as Briers found full back Broadbent close to the line and he managed to get the ball free for centre Lewis Hughes to pick up and score on the right. Briers added the conversion.

Three minutes before the break Thunder were awarded a penalty close to the Wolves line and a long ball from Walker found winger Matt Parks who slid over in the right corner to make the half time score 28-10 in the Wolves favour.

The second half began with both sides' defences on top and point scoring opportunities were at a premium but just before the hour mark Wolves were awarded a penalty and from this centre Burnett took the ball forward and found Broadbent who slipped a lovely ball to second row Darbyshire who ran a great line and broke through an attempted tackle to score between the posts.

Briers converted but then Newcastle substitute Noel Branthwaite used his strength to force his way over on the left despite the attention of three defenders.

As the game entered the final 10 minutes Wolves stepped on the gas and great work close to the Thunder posts saw Broadbent link into the line and send a long ball out to Hartill who slid over in the right corner.

Then a fine drive from substitute Luke Thomas led to a great break by scrum half Leon Hayes and from a quick play the ball Beddall forced his way over at the side of the posts. Briers again added the conversion.

In the final minute a pinpoint cross-field kick from Briers into the in-goal area saw Burnett use his height to out-jump his opposite number and collect the ball to score wide out on the left. Briers converted from wide out to bring up the half century.

Wolves: Luke Broadbent; Ambrose Kibula, Tom Burnett, Lewis Hughes, James Hartill; Reece Briers, Leon Hayes; Dean Beddall, Tom Inman, Jacob Gannon, Morgan Burgess, Jack Darbyshire, Tom Whitehead. Subs: Denive Balmforth, Myles Tate, David Mills, Luke Thomas.

Tries: Inman (6mins), Briers (9), Hartill (16, 72), Beddall (16, 75), Hughes (32), Darbyshire (57), Burnett (79).

Goals: Briers 7 from 9.

Thunder: Alex Donaghy; Matt Parks, Evan Lawther, Isaac Nokes, Will Groves; Elliot Shaw, Ciaran Walker; Rupert Civil, Todd Wilkinson, Tyler Hepple, Matthew Kehoe, Malik Steele, Nathan Clemmitt. Subs: Josh McDermott, Jake Anderson, Noel Branthwaite, Robert Young.

Tries: Lawther (23), Parks (37), Branthwaite (65).

Goals: Walker 1 from 3.

Warrington's next two matches are scheduled to be away from home, against Castleford Tigers on Saturday and then London Broncos on Sunday, May 30. They are next at home against Widnes on Saturday, June 12.