Match report as the Wigan Warriors Under-19s beat Castleford Tigers Under-19s in the 2017 Academy Grand Final
Cherry and Whites take 37-12 win to record their eighth Grand Final win at this level in ten years
- James Worthington, Jack Wells 2, Sam Grant, Josh Ganson, Josh Woods and Callum Field with Wigan’s tries.
Wigan Warriors Under-19s beat the Castleford Tigers Under 19s 37-12 to win their eighth Academy Grand Final in ten seasons!
Wigan went ahead with two tries in the opening ten minutes as James Worthington and Jack Wells both crossed the whitewash. Castleford hitting back midway through the half through Robbie Storey.
The Warriors were dominant though and added another two tries before the break to stretch their lead, Sam Grant and Wells again scoring in quick succession. Wigan 20-6 ahead at the break
After a yellow card for Pat Diskin early on in the second half, Castleford struggled to keep the Warriors out as Josh Ganson scored under the posts.
When the Tigers returned to 13 men, Jacques O’Neill crossed over to bring his side back into the game at 26-12. However, the table toppers soon had the trophy in sight as scrum-half Josh Woods touched down.
Woods then kicked a one-pointer and with seconds remaining Callum Field got Wigan’s seventh try and rounded off the 37-12 triumph.
Darrell Goulding made one change to the side that beat Catalans in the semis as Jack Wells returned and replaced Joe Shorrocks.
Castleford were unchanged to their semi-final victory over the City of Hull Academy.
The league leaders got off to the perfect start with James Worthington going over on the left side with their first attack. A neat high kick by Josh Woods found the leaping Worthington who collected and darted over for the first score of the game. Harry Smith was just short with the conversion attempt but Wigan were 4-0 ahead.
Woods was the provider again for the Warriors’ second try a minute later as Jack Wells crossed over. A well-worked move allowed Smith to find Woods who assisted Wells to run through the gap and extend his side’s lead. Smith converted and the Cherry and Whites were 10-0 in front.
After a period of pressure, the Tigers got back into the game through a Robbie Storey try on the 22nd minute. Castleford moved the ball swiftly down the right as Callum Turner opened up space in the Wigan defence and gave the ball to the right centre who eased over the line. Turner added the two points and the score was now 10-6.
Minutes later and the home side restored their two-try advantage with Sam Grant bulldozing over in the corner. A superb offload from James Barran on the right wing allowed the approaching Grant to power his way past three Castleford players and touch down. Smith missed the kick but Wigan were now 14-6 ahead.
The combination of Woods and Wells then worked brilliantly again for the Warriors as the second rower dived over for his second of the game. Smith added the extras and put his team 20-6 ahead at the break.
Wigan Warriors U19s 20–6 Castleford Tigers U19s
No sooner after coming back out for the second half, Castleford centre Pat Diskin was having a rest again after being sin binned for a late tackle on Grant.
The 12 men of the Tigers were soon troubled as Josh Ganson dived over. A clever pass from Samy Kibula to Smith opened a gap in the visitors’ line and Smith raced through to find Ganson who scored. Smith kicked the goal in front of the posts and the Warriors now had a 26-6 lead.
Castleford had a glimmer of hope of a comeback after a try from Jacques O’Neill. The hooker ran from dummy half and saw a space in the Wigan defence to touch down over the line. Turner comfortably converted the kick to cut the score gap to 26-12.
The Warriors soon put paid to any hint of a comeback when Josh Woods turned from provider into try-scorer as an intelligent run from the dummy half allowed him to dive over.
Woods then extended the lead further with a 20-metre drop-goal to give Wigan a four-try lead at 31-12.
Prop Callum Field added the cherry on top for the Warriors in the final minute. A fantastic pass from Barran to Field allowed him to cross over from close range. Smith converted the kick and gave Wigan the 37-12 win!
Dominant throughout 2017 having finished top of the table, the Warriors recorded their third win over Castleford and were worthy champions.
Wigan Warriors U19s 37–12 Castleford Tigers U19s
Wigan Warriors U19s - 37
Tries: James Worthington, Jack Wells 2, Sam Grant, Josh Ganson, Josh Woods, Callum Field
Goals: Harry Smith 4/6, Josh Woods DG
Castleford Tigers U19s - 12
Tries: Robbie Storey, Jacques O’Neill
Goals: Calum Turner 2/2
Wigan Warriors U19s: 1. Craig Mullen, 2. Joe Brown, 3. James Worthington, 4. James Barran, 5. Sam Grant, 6. Harry Smith, 7. Josh Woods, 8. Callum Field, 9. Josh Ganson, 10. Olly Partington, 11. Jack Wells, 12. Liam Paisley, 13. Paddy Casey
Interchange: 14. Samy Kibula, 18. Liam Byrne, 19. Caine Barnes, 21. Ben Kilner
Castleford Tigers U19s: 1. Calum Turner, 2. Dec Sheehan, 3. Robbie Storey, 4. Pat Diskin, 5. Jack Render, 6. Callum McLelland, 7. Jake Truman, 8. Rory Dixon, 9. Jacques O’Neill, 10. Jamal Goodall, 11. Joe Summers, 12. Luis Johnson, 13. Paddy Burns
Interchange: 14. Luke Million, 15. Jack Ray, 16. Harvey Kear, 17. Jake Sweeting