Last Thursday the Wigan Warriors Community Foundation jointly hosted the first ever rugby league match between a British and USA team.
The Riversiders RL took on the Philadelphia Fight in what was a compelling match up. The historic fixture played at Robin Park, ended 23-14 in favour of the Riversiders but they were pushed all they way until the final whistle. The Philadelphia Fight can be proud of their performance and hold there heads high. For many of these boys it was the first they had left the USA and they will be better for the experience.
Nobody could have asked for better conditions in what turned out to be a very warm evening. The evening kicked off with a routine from the Warrior Girls followed by a rendition of Jerusalem as the players entered the field walking past the both the England and USA flag on their way to the field. The Mayor of Wigan was then introduced to the players of both teams before two local singers performed the national anthems.
The game, acting as a fundraiser for both the Wigan Warriors Community Foundation and the Riversiders RL, was an absorbing affair with the result only confirmed in the last few minutes. To the delight of the 300+ crowd the Riversiders RL came out on top to win the Inaugural Trans-Atlantic Challenge.
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive from supporters and guests, not just about the quality of the rugby on show but the whole event experience. Wigan Warriors Community Foundation staff worked tirelessly to put on the event along with the Riversiders RL.
The Philadelphia Fight players and coaching staff were guests of the Community Foundation on Good Friday as they enjoyed an access all areas tour of the DW Stadium and nail biting last minute win by Wigan over fierce rivals St Helens. The Fight completed their two game tour with an 18-18 draw against St Helens amateurs Haresfinch. This tour has been of great importance to not just the Fight but to the whole of USA Rugby League, and will help league continue its rapid growth in the States.