Under 19s: Wigan 42 Catalans 6
Match report as the Wigan Warriors Under-19s beat the Catalan Dragons Under-19s on Sunday afternoon to progress to the Academy grand final.
Cherry and Whites to face the Castleford Tigers after 42-6 win at the Fairhurst Accountants Community stadium.
- Liam Paisley 2, Samy Kibula, Craig Mullen, Josh Ganson, Joe Brown, James Barran and Sam Grant with Wigan’s tries.
Wigan Warriors Under-19s booked their place in the Academy grand final after hammering Catalans Dragons Under-19s 42-6 in Sunday’s semi-final.
The Cherry and Whites got their first try through Liam Paisley and the second rower then got his second just minutes later to extend Wigan’s lead to 10-0.
Three more tries within 15 minutes by Sam Kibula, Craig Mullen and Josh Ganson gave the home side a dominant 28-0 advantage. However, just before the break, Gregory Gambargo darted over to get the visitors on the scoreboard.
Joe Brown touched down for the first try of the second half and then James Barran added Wigan’s seventh. Sam Grant put the icing on the cake late on with another score to give his side a 42-6 win.
Wigan now head to their ninth Academy grand final in ten seasons and will face the Castleford Tigers.
There were nine changes to the Wigan side that beat Leeds last weekend with Jake Sculthorpe, James McDonnell, Callum Green, Aiden Roden, Joe Pilling, Samuel Adejumo, Nathan Reidy, Oscar Hansen and Joe Turton all missing out.
James Worthington, Harry Smith, Josh Woods, Callum Field, Josh Ganson, Ollie Partington, Liam Paisley, Paddy Casey and Samy Kibula all returned for the Warriors.
For the Dragons, Jordan Flovie, Thibault Franck, Theo Lardot, Bruno Vergus and Mzxcale Riviere all came in to replace Florian Vailhen, Alrix Da Costa, Victor Capillaire, Bastien Scimone and Samirdine Youssouf.
The Warriors got off to the perfect start in the 8th minute, as Liam Paisley went over. Harry Smith assisted second rower Paisley who got away from his man and touched down from close-range to give his team an early lead. Smith added the extras with a comfortable kick and Wigan were 6-0 ahead.
Six minutes later and the home side were in again with Paisley getting his second. A break in the Wigan attack allowed the England Academy international to find a gap and finish over the line. Smith could not convert but the score was now 10-0.
Samy Kibula then darted over for Wigan, as it was the second try in as many minutes. Josh Ganson found Kibula from dummy half and he pushed his way over the whitewash and beat three Catalan defenders in the process. Smith made it 16-0 with a kick in front of the posts.
Wigan got their fourth try in the 25th minute through Craig Mullen. After some resistant defending, the Warriors went up the field and pressured the Dragons’ line. Mullen managed to beat three defenders and put one hand on the ball and touch down over the line. Smith’s kick was good and his team went 22-0 ahead.
With just eight minutes to go of the first half, Josh Ganson scored for the Warriors as the hooker fooled the Catalan line with a clever dummy and he crept through to go over. Smith added his fourth conversion to put his team 28-0 in front.
A minute left until the break and Catalans got on the scoresheet with a try from Gregory Gambargo. The score came from a Wigan attack in which the winger intercepted a short pass and ran 90 metres downfield to dart over. Arthur Mourgue added the two points to make it 28-6 as the teams turned around.
Wigan Warriors U19s 28–6 Catalan Dragons U19s
It was another fast-paced start by the home side in the second 40 as Joe Brown crossed over in the 42nd minute. A string of passes down the left side allowed winger Brown to run towards the line and beat the chasing Catalan players. Smith was unable to convert but Wigan were now 32 points to 6 in front.
Midway through the half Hugo Martin of the Catalan Dragons was sin binned after a couple of incidents with Wigan centre James Worthington.
The 12 men of the Dragons soon paid the price as James Barran went over in the right corner. A brilliant break from Sam Grant allowed Barran to run over the line and score. Smith added the extras to give his side a 38-6 lead with just ten minutes to go.
Sam Grant got the final try of the game and sealed Wigan’s place in the grand final after another fluent move down the right side resulted in Grant diving over in the corner but Smith failed with the difficult kick.
With five minutes remaining, another scuffle between the two sides and a late tackle by Sam Kibula gave the referee no option but to give him a yellow card. Wigan, however, won the game with ease and go through to the Academy grand final.
Wigan Warriors U19s 42–6 Catalan Dragons U19s
Wigan Warriors U19s–42
Tries: Paisley 2, Kibula, Mullen, Ganson, Brown, Barran, Grant
Goals: Smith 5/8
Catalans Dragons U19s–6
Goals: Mourgue 1/1
Wigan Warriors U19s: 1. Craig Mullen, 2. Joe Brown, 3. James Barran, 4. James Worthington, 5. Sam Grant, 6. Harry Smith, 7. Josh Woods, 8. Callum Field, 9. Josh Ganson, 10. Ollie Partington, 12. Liam Paisley, 13. Paddy Casey, 13. Samy Kibula
Interchange: 14. Joe Shorrocks, 15. Liam Byrne, 18. Caine Barnes, 19. Ben Kilner
Catalan Dragons U19s: 1. Fabien Flovie, 21. Jordan Flovie, 3. Mathieu Laguerre, 4. Thomas Perez, 5. Gregory Gambargo, 6. Arthur Mourgue, 7. Thibault Franck, 8. Barthelemy Rouge, 9. Roman Pallares, 10. Paul Seguier, 12. Sebastien Bled, 13. Theo Lardot
Interchange: 14. Bruno Vergus, 15. Mzxcale Riviere, 18. Yann Belmaaniz, 16. Ugo Martin