Under-19s cruise to Grand Final

Under-19s cruise to Grand Final

  • Match report as Wigan Warriors Under-19s thrash Huddersfield Giants 50-0 at the Missing Link Community Stadium on Saturday to reach the 2018 Academy Grand Final.

  • The impressive win means Darrell Goulding’s side will play Leeds in a record ninth Grand Final in 11 years with details to be announced in due course.

  • James McDonnell scored a hat trick, while Sam Halsall, Sam Grant, Samy Kibula, Cian Tyrer, Joe Shorrocks and James Barran got Wigan’s other tries.


Wigan’s Under-19s side demolished Huddersfield in Orrell on Saturday as they cruised to their ninth Academy Grand Final in 11 seasons after a 50-0 triumph.

A Man of the Match performance from James McDonnell was well deserved as the second rower went over the try line three times.

The Warriors scored nine tries overall, as Sam Halsall, Sam Grant, Samy Kibula, Cian Tyrer, Joe Shorrocks and James Barran also scored.

Darrell Goulding’s side will play Leeds Rhinos in the Grand Final with details to be announced in due course.


Darrell Goulding made 11 changes to the side that lost to Castleford Tigers last week.

Joe Brown, Cian Tyrer, Sam Grant, Sam Halsall, James Barran, Harry Smith, Ethan Havard, Aiden Roden, Liam Byrne, Joe Shorrocks and Morgan Smithies all returned to the match day squad.


Wigan got off to the perfect start as Sam Halsall scored on the 4th minute. The centre chased down Harry Smith’s clever kick to the in-goal area and Halsall managed to get a hand on the ball cleanly for the referee to award the try. Smith missed the kick but his side went 4-0 ahead.

The Warriors got their second four minutes later through James McDonnell. A fantastic break from Joe Shorrocks resulted in McDonnell finding a gap in the Huddersfield line to ease over the whitewash. Smith converted to make it 10-0.

Sam Grant got his side’s third on the 10th minute as McDonnell made a break through the Giants line on half way. Grant was in support and the centre raced away to touch down with ease. Smith added the two and Wigan went 16-0 in front.

After Huddersfield sustained the constant attacking pressure from Wigan, the home side broke the line again 11 minutes before half time as Samy Kibula powered his way over. The prop went from dummy half and bulldozed his way through to score. Smith added the extras and the Warriors went 22-0 up.

Cian Tyrer extended the Cherry and Whites lead to 26-0 on the 38th minute as he crossed over in the corner. Wigan kept the ball alive well on the last tackle with Grant and the centre found Tyrer who finished well on the left edge. Smith’s kick went wide of the post.

Wigan Warriors U19s 26–0 Huddersfield Giants U19s


The Warriors came out firing in the second half as Joe Shorrocks touched down. Shorrocks found a gap in the depleted Giants defence and darted over the line to get Wigan’s sixth try of the match. Smith converted to give his side a 32-point advantage.

James Barran got in on the act with half an hour remaining. Grant’s determination to create was on show again as he managed to find an offload away close to the Huddersfield line. The ball eventually came to Barran who got out a hand to score under the posts for his 10th of the season. Smith added the two to make it 38-0.

McDonnell got Wigan’s eighth and ninth tries as he secured a hat-trick. Not for the first time, the Warriors broke through the Huddersfield line and Smith found the supporting McDonnell who showed a great turn of pace to go over. Smith converted, 44-0 the score stood.

Wigan made it half a century of points on the 70th minute mark as McDonnell got his third. Another brilliant attacking play from Darrell Goulding’s side saw them ease through which resulted in McDonnell touching down for his ninth try of the season and Wigan’s ninth in the match. Smith added the two points which got his side up to 50.

Wigan Warriors U19s 50–0 Huddersfield Giants U19s

Match Details

Wigan Warriors U19s– 50

Tries: Halsall, McDonnell (3), Grant, Kibula, Tyrer, Shorrocks, Barran

Goals: Smith 7/9

Huddersfield Giants U19s– 0

HT: 26-0

Wigan Warriors U19s: 1. Joe Brown, 2. Cian Tyrer, 3. Sam Grant, 4. Sam Halsall, 5. James Worthington, 6. James Barran, 7. Harry Smith, 8. Ethan Havard, 9. Aiden Roden, 10. Liam Byrne, 11. James McDonnell, 12. Joe Shorrocks, 13. Morgan Smithies

Interchange: 14. Dec O’Donnell, 15. Caine Barnes, 16. Nathan Wilde, 17. Samy Kibula

Huddersfield Giants U19s: 1. Louis Senior, 2 Ben Tibbs, 3. Innes Senior, 4. Jack Richardson, 5. Travis Corion, 6. Oliver Russell, 7. Jamie Greenwood, 8. Jon Luke Kirby, 9. Jack Flynn, 18. Ross Whitmore, 11. Alfie Copley, 12. Sam Hewitt, 15. Tom Mayoh

Interchange: 14. Ethan Salm, 10. Ben Bamber, 16. Callum Cameron, 17. Ronan Michael

Referee: Craig Smith

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