Match report as Wigan Warriors Reserves beat Halifax Reserves 42-28 at Ovenden Park
Gabe Fell, Jack Higginson, Liam Forsyth, Liam Marshall, Josh Woods, Josh Ganson, Joe Bretherton, Nick Gregson and Kyle Shelford feature for Wigan
- Craig Mullen, Liam Paisley (2), Jack Higginson (3) and Liam Marshall (2) with Wigan’s tries
Wigan Warriors Reserves won their final game of the season as they beat Halifax 42-28 at Ovenden Park on Sunday afternoon.
Craig Mullen put Wigan ahead before Martyn Reilly tied the score. Tries from Liam Paisley (2) and Jack Higginson put the Warriors in a commanding 22-6 lead. Conor McGrath pulled one back for Halifax but another from Higginson saw Wigan 28-12 to the good at half-time.
Halifax scored two quick tries following the restart through Jordan Syme and Joslin Landu before Liam Marshall stretched Wigan’s lead with two tries of his own. Sam Smith scored for Fax before Higginson completed his hat-trick and a 42-28 win for Wigan with a late score.
After featuring for the first team against Wakefield on Saturday, Joe Bretherton started in the front-row for Wigan. Gabe Fell and Kyle Shelford played their last games for the Wigan Club while Liam Marshall started on the wing.
First Team squad players Liam Forsyth, Jack Higginson, Josh Woods, Josh Ganson, Nick Gregson and Caine Barnes also featured for the Warriors.
Halifax First Team forward Alex Mammone played while Martyn Reilly, who has signed for Dewsbury Rams for 2018, started at loose forward.
Wigan started the game in good fashion as the ball went through quick hands to Craig Mullen who scored in the corner. Harry Smith converted to put his side in to a 6-0 lead after two minutes.
Halifax pulled a try back just minutes later as Reilly charged onto a flat ball to go over from close range. Jordan Syme added the conversion to level the score.
Liam Paisley, who has signed a professional contract for 2018, put Wigan back into the lead after running a superb line. Smith’s conversion saw Wigan 12-6 in front.
Matty Peet’s Warriors outfit scored again in their next attacking set. Liam Marshall, who has 23 tries in 24 First Team games in 2017, made a flying break down the left before assisting Higginson who darted over. Smith was successful in his conversion attempt and Wigan were 18-6 to the good.
Paisley got his second in the 17th minute as he crossed for a near identical try to his first and got the better of the full-back to score. The conversion went wide but Wigan were 22-6 up.
Conor McGrath hit back for the hosts, the centre intercepted a pass to run 40-metres and dive over the line. Syme added the extras but Wigan still had a 10-point advantage.
Higginson extended Wigan’s lead as he crashed over from a powerful carry. Smith’s boot saw Wigan lead 28-12 when going into the dressing rooms.
HALF TIME: Halifax Reserves 12–28 Wigan Warriors Reserves
Fax were quick to get out of the blocks following the restart. They piled pressure on the Wigan try-line which resulted in Syme pouncing on a loose ball to score. He converted his own try with the score now 28-18 to the Warriors.
The home side scored again soon after as big prop Joslin Landu burst onto a short ball to wrestle his way over. Syme added the additional two points meaning there was only a four-point margin after 46 minutes.
Wigan then took control of the game once more through half-backs Josh Woods and Smith. Woods’ sublime three-man cut-out pass to Marshall who finished acrobatically in the corner.
With ten minutes left to play, Marshall got his second of the afternoon after a crisp passing move. Higginson couldn’t convert the try but Wigan were winning 38-24.
Halifax continued to have a dig and Sam Smith found a way through the Warriors defence to score. Syme dragged his conversion attempt but and there was just 10 points difference again.
Higginson completed his hat-trick in the latter stages of the game following some great play from Joe Brown. Smith failed to add the two but Wigan saw the game out for a 42-28 victory in their final game of the season.
FULL TIME: Halifax Reserves 28–42 Wigan Warriors Reserves
Halifax Reserves –28
Tries: Reilly, McGrath, Syme, Landu, Smith
Goals: Syme 4/5
Wigan Warriors Reserves – 42
Tries: Mullen, Paisley 2, Higginson 3, Marshall 2
Goals: Smith 5/7, Higginson 0/1
Halifax Reserves: 1. Curtis Edwards-Hampson, 2. Jamie Stringer, 3. Jude Corcos, 4. Conor McGrath, 5. Jack Etchells, 6. Jordan Syme, 7. Chris Cullimore, 8. Alex Mammone, 9. Curtis Davies, 10. Luke Nelmes, 11. Connor Clayton, 12. Zak Dewhirst, 13. Martyn Reilly.
Interchange: 18. Sam Smith, 15. Connor Davies, 19. Jack Mead, 17. Brad Allen, 20. Joslin Landu.
Wigan Warriors Reserves: 1. Gabe Fell, 2. Craig Mullen, 4. Jack Higginson, 3. Liam Forsyth, 5. Liam Marshall, 6. Harry Smith, 7. Josh Woods, 8. Ollie Partington, 9. Josh Ganson, 10. Joe Bretherton, 11. Liam Paisley, 12. Nick Gregson, 13. Kyle Shelford.
Interchange: 14. Aiden Roden, 15. Caine Barnes, 16. Samy Kibula, 19. Nathan Reidy, 20. Joe Brown, 21. James McDonnell, 22. Nathaniel Marshall.
Referee – Stephen Race