What an excellent effort this was from the Wigan youngsters
in making the absolutely massive looking touring Australian
Schoolboys sweat their way to victory.
The final score of
36-18 to the visitors didn't really reflect the effort the
Wigan lads put in, having had to deal with about four
injuries during the match which limited their interchange.
Australia held a lot of their substitutes back until the
second half and that began to tell in the final quarter of
the game, particularly after a mass brawl had seen the
sides receive a red card apiece.
Wigan's first injury occurred in the first minute when
Liam Forsyth made a quick departure and others to leave the
field during the game included Joe Bretherton, Liam
Marshall and Kieran Sherratt, the latter looking
In adversity though you see players step up and Ryan
Sutton beasted this game for a full 80 minute stint. He had
a good sniff of the first team last year and could well
push for more regular action this year on this showing.
Jamie Doran was also excellent. When Wigan Under 19s
lost four games in a row early this season they looked
lacking of a leader with Ryan Hampshire and George Williams
having moved on to first team. Doran, normally a hooker,
got a shot in the halves after that poor run and he has
grown and grown into a great leader of this side.
The Aussies had taken the lead on 10 minutes from a try
by Connor Cox that was converted by Brock Lamb. But the
levelling try from Doran was a classy effort. He threw the
dummy before dropping the shoulder to burst over from about
20 metres out. Jake Shorrocks converted for 6-6.
That try came on 21 minutes and Wigan found a roll on to
dominate the second quarter of the game. Further tries on
the left fringe saw first Oliver Gildart score before sub
Josh Woods scored with his first touch after replacing
Marshall on the left wing. That made it 16-6 but Shorrocks
added what is a rare penalty goal at this level for a 18-6
half time lead.
The tourists stepped up a gear second half but for 15
minutes Wigan had defended magnificently to stop them from
scoring. Had Wigan been able to push away from their own
line and find another score at this point they would have
won the match for me but in the end they conceded an easy
try from a scrum that Latrell Mitchell scored and the
conversion from Brock Lamb made it 18-12.
Then came a mass brawl around the hour mark that was
quite a spectacle. Their was quite a long verbal stand off
between Tevita Cottrell and Macauley Davies but the Aussie
eventually threw the first punch and it all kicked off from
that. Davies responded with a punch that put Cottrell on
his arse and brawls were now breaking out all over the
place. In the end Cottrell and Davies were both sent off
and Jacob Liddle was also sin binned for the tourists.
Despite having a man advantage, Wigan tired out after
that incident. The amount of injuries suffered was now
telling and the fact the Aussies had a hit out in midweek
was probably a factor as well with Wigan having not played
since the Grand Final win in early October.
Tries from Keegan Yorston, Nat Butcher and a second for
Connor Cox made it 30-18 to the visitors and although Wigan
had gone close through Gildart at 24-18 they lacked
composure to do any damage second half.
A try from Tyrell Fuiamano gave the Aussies a very
flattering 36-18 final score but Wigan can be proud of
their effort against what is a National Team after all.
Australia play England in two tests at Leigh with the first
being next Saturday (6th December) and the second the
following Friday Night. On the evidence of this, they will
be well worth attending!