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Pre Season Match Report: Leigh 18 Wigan 14
Posted by Bilko on January 18 2015 - 20:11

Leigh Centurions v Wigan Warriors - Pre Season (Paul Prescott Testimonial).
Sunday 18th January 2015. Kick Off 3:00pm at Leigh Sports Village.

Match Report

If your just looking at the end result you might well start panicking about this one but for me it was a good run out for Wigan.

Leigh are on a high after their exploits last season and deserved their win. Let's not forget they went mightily close to beating Leeds in a competitive cup tie last year, so to just dismiss them as a cheap Championship side we should roll over would be unjust.

In the end they just had a bit more will to want to win the contest, whereas for Wigan it was always what it was, a fitness building exercise for the more important action to come.

Wigan started fine and had taken the lead with a Josh Charnley try on 15 Minutes which made a 4-0 lead because Matty Smith failed to convert off the touchline.

Then as the half wore on. Leigh began to find more and more half breaks with Wigan contributing to that with a spell of errors as well. In hindsight I expect the fact a lot of players knew they were only playing for 40 minutes perhaps played a part in that but Leigh also lifted on the back of a confrontation that had occurred between John Bateman and Jamie Acton.

During the second quarter, Liam Kay scored twice for Leigh in the left corner. The second being a gift after Hampshire had spilled a bomb. Two touchline conversions from Ryan Brierley had Leigh 12-4 up at the break.

At the start of second half the team lined up with many changes. Something like this.... Matty Bowen, Josh Charnley, Joe Burgess (yes at centre!), Oliver Gildart, Dom Manfredi, Ryan Hampshire, Jack Shorrocks, James Greenwood, Logan Tomkins, Ryan Sutton, Connor Farrell, John Bateman, Larne Patrick.

For the next twenty minutes it was much better from Wigan with Hampshire especially catching the eye at Stand Off. Wigan scored twice with Joe Burgess and then Hampshire himself scoring and then converting his own try for a 14-12 Wigan lead.

29 minutes remained when Wigan went 14-12 up and it was always looking more likely that they would extend that lead and had they done so, they probably would have gone on to win by a further score or more. But they never found another try. Poor last tackle options perhaps or guilty of a lack of patience told but credit Leigh for their defence also.

Because Wigan failed to find that try, Leigh lifted and their eyes began to sharpen towards getting the victory. Their coach Paul Rowley re-introduced a couple of key men and Ben Reynolds in particular played a big role in their late rally.

Liam Kay managed to complete his hat-trick with a try six minutes from the end and with Reynolds converting they now led 18-14 and fought hard to see that through to the end.

So a defeat is not good on paper but the reality is that it doesn't matter. Ahead of 2013 double season Wigan lost 32-10 at Hull KR and 20-0 at Warrington but started the season with a 42-0 win at Salford. It's all about the bigger picture of building fitness and the small things we learnt.

Taulima Tautai came on after 20 minutes and had two spells. He was looking keen to make offloads but his two attempts led to errors but you could argue this was more down to his team mates not expecting the option. Larne Patrick started and looked solid.

George Williams didn't really catch the eye to be honest, compared to Ryan Hampshire especially, but you can't judge him off this one solo performance.

I thought Logan Tomkins, James Greenwood and Ryan Sutton did well in the good spell early second half but the fact we matched them for tries but not on goal kicking will perhaps worry the Wigan fans most. Not that it matters here, but it could well do further down the line.

Team Sheets

- Leigh Position Wigan 1
1 Greg NcNally Full Back Ryan Hampshire 20
2 Adam Higson

Right Wing

Josh Charnley 2
3 Greg Worthington Centre Joel Tomkins 11
4 Tom Armstrong Centre Oliver Gildart 34
5 Liam Kay Left Wing Dom Manfredi 22
17 Ben Reynolds Stand Off George Williams 6
7 Ryan Brierley Scrum Half Matty Smith 7
8 Fuifui Moimoi Prop Dom Crosby 8
9 Bob Beswick Hooker Mike McIlorum 9
21

Jamie Acton

Prop

Ryan Sutton

28
10 Oliver Wilkes 2nd Row Liam Farrell 12
12 Tommy Goulden 2nd Row John Bateman 14
13 Sam Barlow L.Forward Larne Patrick 25
-
14 Sean Penkywicz Substitute Matty Bowen 1
15 Jonathan Pownall Substitute Joe Burgess 5
20 Sam Hopkins Substitute Taulima Tautai 24
24 Johnny Walker Substitute Logan Tomkins 26
25 Cameron Pitman Substitute Lewis Tierney 27
29 Jake Emmitt Substitute James Greenwood 29
35 Jamie Tracy Substitute Connor Farrell 31
36 Sam Peet Substitute Jamie Doran 32
37 Lewis Foster Substitute Rob Lever 33
- - Substitute Jake Shorrocks 35
- - Substitute Kyle Shelford 36
- Joe Mbu Coach Matty Peet -

Score Sheet

Leigh Centurions 18

--- Wigan Warriors 14

Tries (3):
Liam Kay 3

---

Tries (3):
Josh Charnley
Joe Burgess
Ryan Hampshire

Goals:
Ryan Brierley 2/2
Ben Reynolds 1/1
--- Goals:
Matty Smith 0/1
Ryan Hampshire 1/2

Scoring and Incident Pattern

15th Minute Leigh 00 Wigan 04 Try: Josh Charnley
Leigh 00 Wigan 04 Missed Conv: Matty Smith (0/1)
24th Minute Leigh 04 Wigan 04 Try: Liam Kay
Leigh 06 Wigan 04 Conversion: Ryan Brierley (1/1)
35th Minute Leigh 10 Wigan 04 Try: Liam Kay (2)
Leigh 12 Wigan 04 Conversion: Ryan Brierley (2/2)
Half Time Leigh Centurions 12 Wigan Warriors 4
44th Minute Leigh 12 Wigan 08 Try: Joe Burgess
Leigh 12 Wigan 08 Missed Conv: Ryan Hampshire (0/1)
51st Minute Leigh 12 Wigan 12 Try: Ryan Hampshire
Leigh 12 Wigan 14 Conversion: Ryan Hampshire (1/2)
74th Minute Leigh 16 Wigan 14 Try: Liam Kay (Hat-Trick)
Leigh 18 Wigan 14 Conversion: Ben Reynolds (1/1)
Full Time Leigh Centurions 18 Wigan Warriors 14

Referee

Phil Bentham

Match Attendance

4,125

Weather

It's January....what did you expect?

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