WARRINGTON Wolves academy head coach Paul Anderson hailed today’s 24-20 pre-season friendly win over Rochdale Hornets as “massively important” for the club.

A largely young Wire side – with a smattering of first-team players – saw off the Championship side at the Crown Oil Arena in the final pre-season friendly before the season starts.

PHOTO GALLERY > Match action and tries

Fan reaction and match facts

A look back at the game as it happened

Riley Dean, Padraig Anglin, Sitaleki Akauola and Jamie Abram were try-scorers for The Wire as they resisted a late comeback from the hosts.

Lee Mitchell had given Hornets an early lead before Mike Weldon, Shaun Ainscough and Jordan Case all crossed in the final quarter.

Warrington Guardian:

The young Wire side were impressive against Rochdale Hornets. Picture by Mike Boden

Anderson, who took charge of the team alongside first-team assistant coaches Andrew Henderson and Lee Briers, was delighted with the performance of his players.

"All the young fellas were chewing to get a game. It’s been a long pre-season but they acquitted themselves pretty well,” he said.

"I’ve also got to give credit to the first-team players as well as they were outstanding – not just in terms of their performance but the way they were around the young players.

"It all bodes well for our club.

"We had a full academy team out there for the last 10-15 minutes.

"The first-teamers did big minutes, we brought them off to give the young boys a run and they left a few tries in.

“That’s going to happen. We’re still a month away from playing academy football."

“It was massively important today. We know we’re in a good position as a club.

“We’re getting some time into these young kids and hopefully we will get a few through to first grade.

“We should be happy with what we’ve achieved out there today without getting carried away.”

Stand-off Riley Dean was the star for Wolves as he finished with a try, an assist and four goals in a sparkling individual display.

Anderson says the Siddal junior has a bright future in the game if he continues to learn at his current rate.

“We’ve invested some time into Riley. We’ve talked to him and tried to educate him about some stuff,” he said.

“He’s still 17 years old and he’s learning constantly, but he’s very coachable.

“He’s got some good leadership in him and as we’ve seen today, he’s got some future as a player.”

Warrington Guardian:

Stand-off Riley Dean was The Wire's stand-out performer. Picture by Mike Boden

In terms of first-team players, Akauola played for 73 minutes, while Harvey Livett and new signing Matt Davis got some solid game time.

There was a surprise inclusion on the teamsheet in the shape of Ben Murdoch-Masila, who started in the second row despite not being named in the squad originally.

The Tongan international, who is recovering from post-season calf surgery, played just 20 minutes but Anderson said that was always the plan as he looks to feature in next week’s Super League opener against Leeds Rhinos.

“Physically, Ben is where he is,” he said.

“He just needed to get a sweat on and get some genuine contact.

“I thought Riley did well on that front by bringing him into play and getting him some strong carries.”

Full video reaction from Paul Anderson above