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Under 20s Grand Final: Wigan 24 Warrington 16
Posted by Bilko on October 02 2011 - 11:18

Wigan (1st) v Warrington (2nd) - Under 20s Valvoline Cup Grand Final.
Saturday 1st October 2011. Kick Off 1:00pm at Leigh Sports Village.

Match Report

In unusually hot conditions for an October day, this was an excellent final between the sides that finished the regular season 1st and 2nd. Warrington had beaten Wigan home and away during the regular season so this was no certain win for the young Warriors that were aiming for their fourth second grade title in a row.

Under 20s coach Darren Fletcher named the same starting 13 that took on Wakefield in the semi final last weekend, with the only change on the bench being Matt Crow replacing Scott Leatherbarrow.

The match proved to be a war of attrition right from the off with the two packs giving their all against each other. Wigan had an early try disallowed but I think Warrington just about deserved to take the lead when they scored in the 14th minute.

Bobbie Goulding, son of the ex Wigan player with the same name, claimed the try after Ben Evans offload sent him over close to the posts. Ryan Shaw converted for 6-0.

The match was really tight but for me it was always edging towards Warrington scoring again rather than Wigan getting back into the game. But Warrington suffered a blow on the half hour when winger Chris Fleming had to leave the field following a high tackle from opposite Wigan winger Jayden Sandford. It came after a bomb was put up towards Sandford's wing and he accidentally caught Fleming when trying to jump for the ball. It was more of a flick than a dangerous high tackle but yet Fleming still left the pitch and did not return.

I'm not totally sure if that injury turned the match but all of a sudden Wigan clicked into gear and quick as a flash they'd scored two back to back tries. Clean breaks had been rare for both sides but on 34 minutes Ryan King shot out of dummy half to get away. He'd got 40 metres or so but with full back Jordan Burke coming to close him down, he had to let Stefan Marsh finish the move under the posts. Marsh injured himself getting the ball down and that was his game done as well. Jack Murphy converted to make it 6-6.

Matt Crow went on to replace Marsh at centre. I was hoping he'd combine for a try with Matty Russell, so I could write about a Russell Crow combination, but alas it wasn't to be.

Anyway.......whilst King had made the break for the first Wigan try, he was the support player for the second. Jack Hughes had made the break up the right wing and he offloaded to send King over in the corner. Murphy failed to convert though, but Wigan had the lead for the first time at 10-6.

That lead didn't last long though with Wigan perhaps guilty of switching off so close to half time. Ryan Shaw did a clever kick off for Warrington when he grubbered forward into open space and won the race to the ball. Great vision! Seconds later, James Mendieka sent James Saltonstall over in the right corner. Shaw failed to convert so the half time score was level at 10 each.

The next 20 minutes continued to be a hard fought forwards contest, the only break coming from a Murphy penalty goal on 49 minutes to make it 14-12.

Personally I was frustrated that coach Fletcher wasn't throwing Liam Carberry onto the field but when he did, I think this match turned towards a never in doubt Wigan win. Carberry plays hooker normally but with Logan Tomkins still remaining on the field I think he went on at Loose Forward. It might have been coincidence, but we started to be a bit more direct when he went on and the breaks followed off the back of that.

To be fair we were bombing a few chances but we did take one when Sandford scored in the left corner on 64 minutes. Murphy couldn't convert, so the lead was still one score at 16-10.

Warrington though were now struggling to get close to our line. Dom Crosby was excellent I thought and well backed up by his front row partners Ben Davies, Tom Spencer and Greg Burke.

But Wigan still needed to kill off the game when it ticked down to the final ten minutes and the game breaker came with 7 minutes to go. Hughes went on a lovely diagonal run to score from thirty metres and Murphy converted to make it 22-10. The result was rubber stamped three minutes later when he added a penalty goal for 24-10.

Warrington to their credit kept going and scored a good consolation in the 79th minute. Saltonstall broke down the middle and he chipped ahead then outpaced the chasing cover to collect superbly and score in the right corner. Shaw converted well off the touchline, but although four minutes of injury time were added, they never got a chance to score again.

So Wigan won to take this title for the fourth year in a row but Warrington shouldn't be too down hearted about this defeat. The extra experience probably did the trick for Wigan in the final quarter with 9 of our 17 having played in this Grand Final last year. It was a great contest overall and that it always pleasing to see at Under 20s level, because it isn't always the case!

Team Sheets

- Wigan Under 20s Position Warrington U20s 1
1 Matty Russell Full Back Jordan Burke 1
2 Ryan King Winger Chris Fleming 5
3 Stefan Marsh Centre James Saltonstall 4
4 Jack Murphy Centre Ryan Shaw 6
5 Jayden Sandford Winger Rhys Williams 2
6 Joe Mellor Stand Off James Mendieka 3
7 Sam Powell Scrum Half Bobbie Goulding 7
8 Dom Crosby Prop Glenn Riley 8
9 Logan Tomkins Hooker Gavin Williams 29
10 Ben Davies* Prop Ben Evans 10
11

Jack Hughes

2nd Row Tyrone McCarthy* 11
21 Jamie Acton 2nd Row Danny Bridge 12
13 Kieron Harrison L.Forward James Laithwaite 13
-
14 Tom Spencer Substitute Ben Currie 14
15 Matt Crow Substitute

Brooke Broughton

18
17 Greg Burke Substitute Jack Cooper 19
18 Liam Carberry Substitute Brad Dwyer 28
- Darren Fletcher Coach Richard Marshall -

*Denotes Over Aged Player. Three Over Age 20 Players Allowed Per Team

Score Sheet

Wigan Under 20s 24 --- Warrington Wolves 16
Tries (4):
Stefan Marsh
Ryan King
Jayden Sandford
Jack Hughes
--- Tries (3):
Bobbie Goulding
James Saltonstall 2
Goals:
Jack Murphy 4/6
--- Goals:
Ryan Shaw 2/3

Scoring and Incident Pattern

14th Minute Wigan 00 Warrington 04 Try: Bobbie Goulding
- Wigan 00 Warrington 06

Conversion: Ryan Shaw (1/1)

34th Minute Wigan 04 Warrington 06 Try: Stefan Marsh
- Wigan 06 Warrington 06

Conversion: Jack Murphy (1/1)

37th Minute Wigan 10 Warrington 06 Try: Ryan King
- Wigan 10 Warrington 06

J.Murphy Missed Conversion (1/2)

39th Minute Wigan 10 Warrington 10 Try: James Saltonstall
- Wigan 10 Warrington 10

R.Shaw Missed Conversion (1/2)

Half Time Wigan Under 20s 10 Warrington Under 20s 10
49th Minute Wigan 12 Warrington 10 Penalty Goal: Jack Murphy (2/3)
64th Minute Wigan 16 Warrington 10 Try: Jayden Sandford
- Wigan 16 Warrington 10

J.Murphy Missed Conversion (2/4)

73rd Minute Wigan 20 Warrington 10 Try: Jack Hughes
- Wigan 22 Warrington 10

Conversion: Jack Murphy (3/5)

77th Minute Wigan 24 Warrington 10

Penalty Goal: Jack Murphy (4/6)

79th Minute Wigan 24 Warrington 14

Try: James Saltonstall (2)

- Wigan 24 Warrington 16

Conversion: Ryan Shaw (2/3)

Full Time Wigan Under 20s 24 Warrington Under 20s 16

Referee

Tom Crashley

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 11 Warrington 12

Attendance

853

Dave Valetine Memorial Man of the Match

Matty Russell (Wigan)

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