Warriors Wheelchair Reserves edged out in friendly

  • Match Report as Wigan Warriors Wheelchair Reserves fall to a narrow defeat in pre-season friendly.
  • Wigan scored four tries through H.Heggie, Burton-Carter and a Dutson double.
  • FT | Wigan Warriors 18-20 North Wales Crusaders.

It was a repeat of last season’s Championship Grand Final as Wigan Warriors hosted North Wales Crusaders in a friendly fixture at Robin Park on Saturday afternoon.

The first period saw both sides exchanging sets, but it was the defences that came out on top. This was to set the theme for the majority of the half, as we were on the verge of going a full 40 minutes without a score.

However, in the dying seconds, a Crusaders attack close to the Wigan line saw Lucie Roberts latch on to an inside pass and cross for the first score. A missed conversion left it at 4-0 at the break.

Looking to his bench, Head Coach Chris Greenhalgh rotated his side and sent on some of the emerging young talent within the ranks. Establishing themselves as the enforcers, Harry Heggie and Oliver Steele rolled onto court with real intent.

Early in the second half, Cru were awarded a penalty and opted to take a kick at goal, rather than try and get through the Warriors defence. This was a compliment to the Wigan players and their defensive efforts. Despite taking the easier option, the kick was missed.

Showing his great passing ability, Daniel Dutson was able to set up Heggie in the left corner and score the first Wigan try. Off season transfer from Warrington Wolves, Toby Burton-Carter, was given the kicking duties, but was unable to add the extras, leaving the scores tied at 4 a piece.

Having set up the first, Dutson was to score the second when he carried the ball into the Cru defensive line and was able to reach out and touch the ball down. Burton-Carter again missed the conversion.

Replacing youth for experience, Heggie and Steele were replaced by Stephen Rigby, a player with many years under his belt within Wheelchair Rugby League, and another recent recruit, Billy Ord.

With the Home side taking charge, NWC made changes of their own and worked their way back into the game with back to back tries. Martin Turner barged his way over to narrow the gap, before Harry Jones put in a delicate kick that he was also able to chase down and score. With one of the tries converted, Cru now led 14-8 with 20 minutes to go.

This was a thrilling battle for the onlooking spectators and the score was soon to be level again. Following on from his assist versus Leeds last time out, Ord was able to offload the ball to the supporting Dutson who doubled his try scoring tally. Making sure this time, Burton-Carter slotted the ball between the uprights and made it 14-14.

Not to be outdone, NWC hit straight back when Jake Wasieczko charged his way through the middle and put his side back in front. Extending the lead further, Mason Baker added the additional 2 points from the tee.

Taking it right to the wire, Burton-Carter capped off his debut with a try as he was able to hit a hole out wide and cross the try line. With seconds left on the clock, a successful conversion would have levelled it once again, however, the ball drifted to the left of the posts and the score finished 20-18 to North Wales.

Wigan Warriors: Reece Duddle, Wes Thomasson, Tom Welch, Daniel Dutson, Toby Burton-Carter.

Interchanges: Leila Hamrang, Harry Heggie, Oliver Steele, Billy Ord, Stephen Rigby, Jordan Burns.

Tries: Heggie, Dutson (2), Burton-Carter

Goals: Burton-Carter 1/4

North Wales Crusaders: Kieran Barlow, Wyatt Jones, Mason Baker, Jess Booth, Lucie Roberts, Martin Turner, Harry Jones, Jakub Wasieczko, Stephen Halsey, Matthew Turner, Ethan Neilson.

Tries: Roberts, Turner Sr, Jones, Wasieczko

Goals: Turner Sr 0/1, Baker 1/2, Turner Jr 1/1, Jones 0/1

By Stuart Cooke

Saturday 27 April 2024