Warriors triumph against Thunder

  • Match Report as Wigan Warriors beat Newcastle Thunder in pre-season.
  • Sam Halsall bagged a hat-trick as Wigan ran in eight tries against the Championship side.
  • FT | Newcastle Thunder 12-42 Wigan Warriors.

A Sam Halsall hat-trick inspired a youthful Wigan Warriors side to victory in their first outing of 2022 against Betfred Championship side Newcastle Thunder.

It was a great start to pre-season fixtures for the Warriors as they recorded a solid victory over Newcastle Thunder on Sunday afternoon. The Warriors ran in four unanswered tries in the first half, including scores from new additions Patrick Mago and Abbas Miski.

Academy product Zach Eckersley sparked the second half to life with a score in the 41st minute. Newcastle responded with two successive efforts but Sam Halsall completed his hat-trick with Umyla Hanley wrapping up proceedings to secure a convincing win.

Report

The Warriors, captained by Morgan Smithies, raced into an early lead at a chilly Kingston park, Patrick Mago made his presence known in the early stages and worked the ball well to Joe Shorrocks who sent Sam Halsall on his way for the opening try of the afternoon after just two minutes.

Jai Field was enjoying being back on the pitch after an injury hit 2021, teaming up well with Kai Pearce-Paul in the opening stages of the game.

It took Patrick Mago just 10 minutes to get his first try in Wigan colours, the forward using his power to muscle his way over and extend Wigan’s lead, converted by Harry Smith for 12-0.

Jai Field and Abbas Miski were proving good value at the back, mopping up kicks from Newcastle well to starve the home side of any field position. Wigan were handed the advantage on 18 minutes though, as former Warrior Craig Mullen was shown a yellow card and Thunder were down to 12-men for 10 minutes.

The Warriors took the advantage almost immediately as winger Abbas Miski also sealed a debut try, Sam Halsall turned provider to fire a pass out to Miski and see him crash over on the left edge for 16-0.

Newcastle had three penalties right in front of the Wigan line shortly after, but an accumulation of solid defence from the Warriors denied Thunder any chance of getting their opening score. As Wigan charged up to the other end of the field, Miski came up just short before Joe Shorrocks scored under the uprights, converted by Smith to see Wigan in with a 22-0 lead at half time.

The Warriors returned for the second half just as quickly as the first though, as Zach Eckersley collected a grubber from Logan Astley to crash over and extend Wigan’s lead once more.

Sam Halsall linked up well with Brad O’Neill shortly afterwards, as Halsall got his second of the afternoon in the 44th minute, converted by Smith to put Wigan out to 32-0.

Newcastle were not deterred by the Warriors ferocity and they continued to ask the questions, Wigan having to work hard to keep Thunder out. The home side did find their reward however in the 54th minute, Thunder keeping the ball alive for Donaghy to complete the move and claw one back.

It was Newcastle who were in again just minutes later though, again the home side passing their way over the goal line for Wigan loanee Matty Nicholson to get their second score under the uprights and see the scores at 32-12 to Wigan.

It was end to end for a long period as both sides created chances but it was the Warriors who were next to go over. Sam Halsall completing his hat-trick on 71 minutes following a fine display from the youngster, this time racing over 60m to score with ease under the sticks, Zach Eckersley taking over kicking duties added the extras.

Umyla Hanley sent Ben O’Keefe away on the right edge just moments later, though O’Keefe was adjudged to have put his foot into touch and the chance was chalked off. Hanley did get one himself though, opting to go himself in the 76th minute to weave his way over and complete Wigan’s 42-12 victory.

Newcastle Thunder: Alex Donaghy, Jack Johnson, Jesse Dee, Isaac Nokes, Gideon Boafo, Craig Mullen, Connor Bailey, Ted Chapelhow, Josh Eaves, Pat Moran, Matty Nicholson, Brad Gallagher, Nathan Wilde

Interchanges: Max Flanagan, Jake Shorrocks, Ollie Shaw, Tyler Hepple, Jack Skelton, Ryan Crossley, Harry Lowery, Will Groves, Josh McDermott, Alex Sutton

Tries: Alex Donaghy (54′), Nicholson (57′)

Goals: Connor Bailey 2/2

Wigan Warriors: Jai Field, Abbas Miski, Sam Halsall, Kai Pearce-Paul, Zach Eckersley, Harry Smith, Logan Astley, Morgan Smithies, Brad O’Neill, Patrick Mago, Junior Nsemba, James McDonnell, Joe Shorrocks

Interchanges: Ramon Silva, Harvie Hill, Kavan Rothwell, Jacob Douglas, Umyla Hanley, Jack Bibby, Tom Forber, Ben O’Keefe, Ellis Hobson, Billy Myers

Tries: Sam Halsall (2′, 45′, 71′), Patrick Mago (10′), Abbas Miski (20′), Joe Shorrocks (33′), Zach Eckersley (41′), Umyla Hanley (76′)

Goals: Harry Smith 4/6, Zach Eckersley 1/2

Referee: M.Smaill

Attendance: 927