Under 18's In Narrow Win

Shaun Wane's Junior Academy side recorded a narrow 31-30 win at home to Castleford Tigers on Saturday afternoon.

Junior Academy Championship – Saturday 23rd July 2005

Wigan Warriors 31
T: Hirst, Small, Stanton, McIlorum, Kavanagh
G: Hatton 5
DG. Roper

Castleford Tigers 30
T: Croft 3, Knowles, Crow
G: England 5

H.T. 12-12

Wigan: Mark Brocklehurst; Earl Hirst, David Small, Darrel Goulding, Nicky Stanton; Dean Hatton, Steven Roper; Darrel Kay, Mike McIlorum, Craig Rennison, Ben Kavanagh, Anthony Clayton, Ross Bradley.

Subs Andy Thorniley, Chris Hairsnip, Sam Tomkins, Luke Rhoden.

A drop goal from Warriors halfback Steven Roper, midway through the second half seemed at the time to be a mere afterthought – but it assumed huge proportions as the Castleford Tigers mounted some severe pressure which brought them points, and in the end it was only that Roper strike which stood between top of the table Wigan and what would have been only their second defeat of the season.

Three tries from hooker Eddie Croft were vital to the Tigers in this game, the Castleford number nine having a huge say in the game and always a threat. Centre Steven Crow and back rower Michael Knowles also added tries, Anthony England landing five goals as the visitors came so close to pulling off a shock win.

Wigan spread the ball around confidently, Earl Hirst, David Small and Nicky Stanton touching down for tries from the three quarter line, whilst hooker Mike McIlorum and back rower Ben Kavanagh also touched down, allowing Dean Hatton to kick five goals.

In the end it came down to that thoughtful strike from Roper though – and a vital one it turned out to be.

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