It was only due to London Broncos struggles last pre season that
Wigan took up the breach to play in this "Capital Challenge"
against London Skolars but for our academy level side at least,
this game is proving to be a useful hit up in their pre season.
Last year the Wigan Select XIII had already played twice on a tour
of France and showed a lot of class in winning 48-0 with Dom
Manfredi scoring four tries on that occasion.
This time the Wigan side came into this game cold so to speak
and thus it was more about fitness building than a dominant how of
Their was also plenty of new faces upgraded from our 2014 Under
16s side including Craig Mullen started at stand off whilst Paddy
Jones, Sam Brady. Max Dudley, Callum Field, Paddy Casey and Lewis
Heckford played off the bench. Two new faces from elsewhere were
also involved in the form of Liam Paisley and Josh Ganson, son of
former referee Steve Ganson, who played for Wakefield and St Helens
Under 16s respectively last season.
The match was played in four quarters and by the end of the
first twenty minutes, Wigan had built up a 12-0 lead with a lot of
damage being done down the left. First a lovely grubber kick from
Jamie Doran bounced perfectly for Jack Wells to gather and score
before Doran sent Jake Moore racing in the left corner from a scrum
30 metres out. Moore had converted both for 12-0.
The teams turned around after each quarter and Wigan now
attacking the other end scored a third try on 34 minutes with a
kick from Moore being perfectly weighted for Liam Paisley to touch
down. Moore then added the extras for 18-0 at half time.
In the second half London Skolars hit back with a barge over try
from Gavin Rodden being converted by Vince Spurr for 18-6 but Wigan
soon hit back with a fourth try down the left edge with Moore
passing inside to get Paisley over for his second. No conversion
this time left the score at 22-6.
London found a second try just before the end of the third
quarter with Aaron Small collecting and grounding a big bomb but
failure to convert left the score at 22-10.
Skolars would have been looking for another score to perhaps set
up a grandstand finish but it never came. The last quarter kind of
fizzled out which is perhaps not surprising with it being the first
game of pre season.
However, Wigan found a try five minutes from time to cap their
performance and guess what? It came down the left again. Attacking
the line, a quick play the ball went left and Gabriel Fell sent
Jack Wells in for his second, Ryan Houghton converted this one for
a final score of 28-10.