Widnes 14 Wigan 6
Match report as Wigan Warriors Under-19’s lose 14-6 to Widnes Vikings Under-19s
Adam Ford, Jake Sculthorpe, Joe Turton and Callum Green make Under-19s debuts as Darrell Goulding makes 10 changes to the side
- Olly Russell with Wigan’s try
An inexperienced Wigan Warriors Under-19’s went down to a 14-6 defeat to Widnes Vikings Under-19s at the Select Security Stadium on Thursday evening.
Just one try from Widnes centre Keanan Brand separated the sides as they went into the changing rooms at half-time following a scrappy first-half in bitter conditions.
The junior Chemics extended their lead with tries from Lloyd Roby and Jayden Hatton to lead by 14 points before Olly Russell scored from a nice effort to pull one back for Wigan. The try was not enough though as
Darrell Goulding made 10 changes to the Wigan side that eased past Huddersfield Giants last weekend. Liam Kenyon, Nico Rizelli, Olly Russell, Aiden Roden, Nathan Wilde and James McDonnell replaced Craig Mullen, James Worthington, Josh Woods, Josh Ganson, Paddy Casey and Liam Paisley.
Adam Ford, Jake Sculthorpe, Joe Turton and Callum Green made their debuts for the Under-19’s coming in for Sam Grant, James Barran, Oscar Hansen and Sammy Kibula.
First-team player Brad Walker started at loose forward for Widnes while former Warriors Academy forward Max Dudley was on the interchange bench.
The Warriors started the game well and forced repeat sets in the opening minutes but strong Widnes defences managed to keep Wigan out.
Widnes were the first team to eventually get over the line as Keanan Brand fended a defender before diving in at the corner to score the opening try. Brad Walker dragged his conversion attempt wide but the hosts led 4-0 after 22 minutes.
Wigan did have a couple of chances to score later in the half but Widnes somehow managed to keep them at bay.
Ollie Partington captained the Warriors for just the second time with the Under-19’s but he looked as though he had been doing it for years. The big front-rower did a great job by doing everything he could to rally his troops and took endless amounts of carries in against a big Widnes pack.
Widnes put pressure on Wigan’s defence by forcing multiple sets just before half-time but Wigan’s scrambling defence was admirable and they held on to trail 0-4 at the break.
HALF TIME: Widnes Vikings U19s 4–0 Wigan Warriors U19s
The second-half started in similar fashion to the first with Wigan knocking on the door but unable to force their way over.
Olly Russell and Harry Smith were running the game from the halves and their kicking game was crisp on the 3G turf but no tries were scored in the first 10 minutes when Wigan looked most dangerous.
Widnes got their second and a crucial try in the 66th minute though following some smart play. Full-back Lloyd Roby pounced onto a Joe Lyons grubber kick to ground the ball inches before the dead ball line. Walker converted to put his side 10-0 to the good.
Minutes later, a collision between Partington and Walker saw the latter stretched off the field. The England Academy forward took a knock to the head during a tackle and did not return to action.
The hosts all but sealed the two points with 10 minutes remaining when they passed along the line to Jayden Hatton who finished nicely in the corner. Danny Walker missed the conversion but Widnes were now 14-0 in front and the Warriors were running out of time.
Olly Russell, son of former Wigan player Richard, pulled one back for Wigan late on. The half-back burst onto an offload from Joe Turton to dance between a couple of Widnes players to score. Smith added the extras but the comeback came too late as they lost for the first time this season.
FULL TIME: Widnes Vikings U19s 14–6 Wigan Warriors U19s
Widnes Vikings U19s – 14
Tries: Brand, Roby, Hatton
Goals: B Walker 1/2, D Walker 0/1
Wigan Warriors U19s – 6
Goals: Smith 1/1
Widnes Vikings U19s: 1. Lloyd Roby; 2. Jayden Hatton, 3. Ben Davies, 4. Keanan Brand, 5. Owen Buckley; 6. Joe Lyons, 7. Chris Wilson; 8. Owen Farnworth, 9. Danny Walker, 10. Pat McCarroll; 11. Liam Walsh, 12. Danny Norman; 13. Brad Walker.
Interchange: 14. Louis Glover, 15. James Rutledge, 16. Calum O’Neill, 17. Max Dudley.
Wigan Warriors U19s: 1. Joe Brown; 2. Adam Ford, 3. Liam Kenyon, 4. Jake Sculthorpe, 5. Nico Rizelli; 6. Harry Smith, 7. Olly Russell; 8. Liam Byrne, 9. Aiden Roden, 10. Nathan Wilde; 11. James McDonnell, 12. Joe Shorrocks; 13. Ollie Partington.
Interchange: 14. Callum Green, 16. Caine Barnes, 17. Joe Turton, 19. Nathan Reidy.