Academy lose on opening day

  • Match Report as Wigan Warriors Academy lose to Castleford Tigers in the opening round of the 2024 season.
  • Despite tries from Harlen Smith (x3), Jack Farrimond and Josh Cartwright, the Warriors were beaten by the Tigers.
  • FT | Wigan Warriors 25-30 Castleford Tigers.

Match Report as Wigan Warriors Academy fell to defeat on the opening day of the season to Castleford Tigers.

A dominant first half saw the Warriors lead 20-4 at the break following a double from Harlen Smith and impressive tries from Jack Farrimond and Josh Cartwright.

Despite Smith completing his hat-trick after the restart, the visitors scored at the death to complete the comeback and claim the two points in Round 1.

Match Summary

The Warriors started with intensity and off the back of a repeat set, play was worked to the right where Noah Hodkinson’s pass sent Smith over in the corner after two minutes.

Powerful defensive work from Lukas Mason and Taylor Kerr denied Castleford an immediate response, however, a direct attack from the visitors saw Alfie Lindsey level the contest in the corner with 13 minutes on the clock.

Wigan regained the lead before the mid-point of the half when a clever offload from Cartwright fell kindly into the hands off Smith who grounded his second, although the score remained 8-4 after the kick was narrowly missed.

Successive penalties presented possession to the Warriors 30m out before powerful carries through the middle pinned the visitors to their try line. Bright play from Reece Rowcroft created space for Farrimond to dummy back inside to score, before he successfully added the extras to increase the lead.

The Warriors extended their advantage further when Farrimond’s short pass allowed Cartwright to burst through at pace to score minutes before the break. The kick from Farrimond was accurate to give the Warriors a 20-4 half time lead.

Castleford’s strong start to the second half was rewarded on 44 minutes when play was switched to fullback Corey-Jay Sharpe who dummied inside to cross before Wall reduced the score to 20-10 from the tee.

The visitors continued to threaten the Warriors try line and shortly after forcing a goal line drop out, play was worked out to Lindsey who forced his way through the tackle to ground in the corner.

Castleford reduced the points difference further when Jenson Windley broke through a tackle before offloading to the supporting Alfie Horwell who went over from close range. Wigan remained in front after an unsuccessful kick on 57 minutes.

The Warriors were penalised for a high tackle from the restart before Dylan Kelly-Duffy was shown a yellow card for a dangerous hit on the hour. Castleford took advantage of the extra player as Windley’s kick through was grounded by Wall who then added the extras.

Wigan struggled for attacking territory in the second half, however, a clinical move on 65 minutes resulted in Smith completing his hat-trick in the corner after an inch-perfect cut-out pass from Farrimond.

The Warriors almost added a sixth try when Farrimond weaved his way towards the line before being held up, however, the half-back then put Wigan ahead with a successful drop goal attempt with eight minutes remaining.

A handling error from Wigan returned possession to Castleford who carried strongly through the middle before releasing play to Lindsey who powered over in the corner. Wall added the extras from the touchline to put the Tigers 30-25 ahead with three minutes left on the clock.

An error from Castleford returned play to the Warriors who were able to complete a set before the final whistle, however, Lindsey claimed a kick on the final tackle to earn his side the two points.


Wigan Warriors: Noah Hodkinson, Harlen Smith, Josh Cartwright, Austin Daniel, Jaiden Drachenberg, Charlie Yeomans, Jack Farrimond, Trent Kelly-Duffy, Jack Purtill, Kalum Rathbone, George O’Loughlin, Lukas Mason, Taylor Kerr.

Interchange: Reece Rowcroft, Dylan Kelly-Duffy, Kian McDermott, Leo Wadsworth.

18th Player: Thomas Bridge.

Tries: Smith (2′, 18′, 65′), Farrimond (32′), Cartwright (38′)

Goals: Farrimond (2/4)

Drop Goals: Farrimond (1/1).

Sin-Bin: D. Kelly-Duffy (60′).

Castleford Tigers: Corey-Jay Sharpe, Jacob Hall, Daniel Sarbah, Alfie Wall, Alfie Lindsey, Alfie Horwell, Jenson Windley, Akim Matvejev, Taylor Robinson, Woody Walker, Sam Darley, Sam Grice, Denver Millington.

Interchange: Alfie Hawkhead, Alfie Salmon, Bradley Bullock, Alfie Dale.

Tries: Lindsey (13′, 52′, 77′), Sharpe (43′), Horwell (56′), Wall (61′).

Goals: Wall (3/6).

Saturday 16 March 2024