Wigan Women win in pre-season friendly versus UK Armed Forces
FT | Wigan Women 34 - 0 UKAFRL
- Tries from Temple (3), Thompson, Sibbald and Greenfield (2) for the Warriors Women
The Warriors Women made a winning return to action, as they overcame the UK Armed Forces Women in a pre-season friendly on Sunday afternoon.
Amanda Wilkinson’s Women’s Champions embarked on their first game of 2019, as they faced the UK Armed Forces in a pre-season friendly on Sunday afternoon. The Warriors made the short journey to Victoria Park Sports Complex for their first run out of the year, with 23 players taking to the field for the Warriors.
It was a steady start to the game, with the Warriors making the most of their heavy possession, making plenty of runs to the opposition line, but coming up short on a few occasions. Vanessa Temple made the breakthrough after 18 minutes, following good work down the right wing, Michelle Davis running the line to offload to Temple for the score to make it 4-0 to Wigan.
Temple was in again a few minutes later, this time from the scrum after an error from the Armed Forces. Gemma Walsh firing the ball out to the right from the scrum for Temple to power through the defence and get the ball down for 8-0. The Warriors had a full set on their own line after a knock on from the high ball, but the Cherry & White defence was excellent to keep the opposition out and get the ball back.
The Warriors finished the half strong, Gemma Walsh setting Rachel Thompson through, the number three side-stepping her marker to race towards the uprights and get the ball down, Michelle Davis adding her first conversion of the afternoon to send Wigan in 14-0 to the good at half time.
Wigan were quick out of the blocks in the second forty, Amanda Sibbald going over in the 44th minute, with Davis converting to make it 20-0 to the Warriors. The impressive start to the second period continued a few minutes later, Sibbald busting through the line before the ball was shipped left for Becky Greenfield to touch the ball down with ease for 24-0. The Warriors continued to attack well, Greenfield getting her second of the game following some fantastic work in the build-up from Vicky Molyneux on debut to set the number one through to score. Vanessa Temple completed her hattrick with 10 minutes left on the clock, finding a gap and racing 40m to get the ball down under the sticks, Gemma Walsh adding the extras for 34-0.
Full Time: UKAFRL 0 - 34 Wigan Warriors Women
MATCH REACTION | Head Coach, Amanda Wilkinson
On the win, Head Coach Amanda Wilkinson said: “For me, the nil is a big positive from today’s game. There were a lot of changes during the game, as we wanted to give everyone a chance and see what options we have this year, so there was a lot of distraction throughout.
“The girls held their own and didn’t let them over the try line, we pride ourselves on our defence and despite all the changes we stuck to our game plan. There’s still a lot of work to do, defensively at times we lost shape but I was impressed with the work in contact.”
“Vanessa (Temple) played, she’s been playing Union in our off season and she came in running today, she played well and ran some great lines. Gemma (Walsh) too, with all the changes it was good for the Captain to keep leading, but in the end it was a great effort from all 23 players.”
Five of the newest Warriors featured for Wigan, as well as Christina Tully who missed the 2018 season following a Collar Bone injury. On the new prospects in her squad: “There is work to be done to get them to the highest standard, but there were a lot of positives in today’s game. Natalie Watson who has come to us, hasn’t played regularly for a few years, her spell on the pitch although maybe wasn’t as long as we could have given her but what she did was quality.”
She added: “Carys (Marsh) going in at 9, it’s a big role and she led the team around the park. There’s always going to be things to fix up, but I think for a first run out we played some good stuff.”
Wigan Women Starting Line Up: Rebecca Greenfield, Kate McMullan, Rachel Thompson, Michelle Davis, Christina Tully, Gemma Walsh, Sarah Harrison, Jade Gregory-Haselden, Carys Marsh, Hannah Goodburn, Amanda Sibbald, Vanessa Temple, Vicky Molyneux.
Wigan Women Interchanges: Holly Speakman, Emma Dwyer, Gemma Hennessey, Natalie Watson, Charlotte Foley, Lucy Baggaley, Emily Baggaley, Bethany Cox, Eleanor Dainty, Rachel Porter
Tries: Vanessa Temple (3), Rachel Thompson, Amanda Sibbald, Rebecca Greenfield (2) Goals: Michelle Davis 2/6, Gemma Walsh 1/1
UK Armed Forces Starting Line Up: Olivia Critchley, Jodie Mills, Alex Barnes, Shannon Reilly, Doris Hine, Sarah Ashton, Courtney Osler, Alice Fisher, Toni Thompkins, Gabi Hignett, Collette Broome, Emma Taddern, Emily White
UK Armed Forces Interchanges: Rachel Watson, Matilda Butler, Anne Marie Smile, Laura Latimer, Gabi Rodger