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Under 19s Grand Final: Wigan 22 St Helens 10
Posted by Bilko on September 27 2015 - 13:11

Wigan Under 19s v St Helens Under 19s - Academy Under 19s Grand Final
Friday 25th September 2015. Kick Off 5:15pm at DW Stadium.

Match Report

The last time the DW hosted an Academy Grand Final in 2009 the likes of Josh Charnley, Iain Thornley, Stefan Marsh, Lee Mossop, Joe Mellor, Jonny Lomax, Lee Gaskell and Jamie Ellis all graced the field.

So who knows what stars of the future were on show in this Under 19s Grand Final between the two sides who had finished clear first and second in the regular season table.

Given that it was a battle between the old enemies from either side of the Billinge lump, you might have expected this to be a bruising battle but it was actually a very slowed paced final that never really set alight. Tight defence kept clean breaks at a premium and it was penalties that proved crucial towards scores, in the first half at least.

It was on the back of receiving the first penalty of the game in the fourth minute that Kyle Shelford jinked over near the posts to give Wigan an early 6-0 lead after Nick Gregson converted.

Saints began to hit back with Wigan helping them out of their own quarter with penalties on three separate occasions. This allowed them to build pressure and although Rob Fairclough was held up over the line in the 17th Minute, they found a try four minutes later with the Saints half backs combining to send Ben Morris through a gap in the Wigan defence.  Danny Richardson converted to level the scores at 6-6.

Straight from the kick off, Saints were threatening again. Morgan Knowles made a huge bust up the middle that led to them threatening another score out wide on the right, but Jake Spedding knocked on at a crucial moment.

Failure to take that opportunity proved a costly miss for Saints because it was a long time before they looked like scoring again. Wigan changed hookers with Josh Ganson, son of ex referee Steve, coming on from the interchange and that helped steady Wigan back into positive rhythm.

Wigan would retake the lead before half time and penalties again proved costly with two in a row being converted into a close range try for prop Paddy Jones.  Gregson converted to complete the first half scoring at 12-6.

Then early second half it was not a penalty this time but an error by Saints on half way that saw Wigan punish. A great offload by Tom Davies saw Macauley Davies score but Gregson missed the extras this time. 16-6.

Wigan began to turn the screw and eventually added to their lead in the 57th Minute. On what was a fourth consecutive set of possession, Macauley Davies went from try scorer to provider with his pass getting Full Back Gabriel Fell over. The extras from Gregson now had Wigan leading 22-6.

Still a quarter of the game remained but Wigan had been well disciplined second half and Saints were finding it hard to make territory. They found hope though after surviving a great run by Liam Marshall that threatened to finish them off.

An error from Jack Wells gave Saints a scrum inside the Wigan 20 and they converted that into a try by Dave Eccleston. The conversion missed but with seven minutes still remaining they had a glimmer of hope at 22-10.

In the end though, that try came far too late for Saints. Wigan saw out the time well to complete a victory that sealed a seventh academy title in the last eight seasons for them.

The only downside to the occasion was that strangely no medals were handed out to the players during the presentation ceremony. You’d hope that will get rectified in retrospect.

Team Sheets

- Wigan Under 19s Position St Helens U19s 1
1 Gabriel Fell Full Back Ricky Bailey 18
5 Tom Davies Winger Dave Eccleston 2
4 Macauley Davies Centre Jake Spedding 3
3 Liam Paisley Centre Matty Fleming 4
2 Liam Marshall Winger Matty Costello 16
6 Nick Gregson Stand Off Danny Richardson 6
7 Lewis Heckford Scrum Half Rob Fairclough 7
8 Joe Bretherton Prop Levy Nzoungou 23
9 Luke Waterworth Hooker Josh Eaves 9
10 Kieran Sherratt Prop

Olly Davies

11
11

Jack Wells

2nd Row Morgan Knowles 13
12

Callum Field

2nd Row Liam Cooper 12
13 Kyle Shelford L.Forward Joe Ryan 21
-
15 Josh Ganson Interchange Ross McCauley 8
16 Sam Brady Interchange Matty Lees 10
17 Paddy Jones Interchange Ben Morris 15
19

Brad Lawrence

Interchange Jonah Cunningham 17
- Matty Peet Coach Derek Traynor -

Score Sheet

Wigan Under 19s 22 --- St Helens Under 19s 10
Tries (4):
Kyle Shelford
Paddy Jones
Macauley Davies
Gabriel Fell
` Tries (2):
Ben Morris
Dave Eccleston
Goals:
Nick Gregson 3/4
--- Goals:
Danny Richardson 1/2

Scoring and Incident Pattern

4th Minute Wigan 04 St Helens 00 Try: Kyle Shelford
Wigan 06 St Helens 00 Conversion: Nick Gregson (1/1)
21st Minute Wigan 06 St Helens 04 Try: Ben Morris
Wigan 06 St Helens 06 Conversion: Danny Richardson (1/1)
34th Minute Wigan 10 St Helens 06 Try: Paddy Jones
Wigan 12 St Helens 06 Conversion: Nick Gregson (2/2)
Half Time Wigan Under 19s 12 St Helens Under 19s 06
44th Minute Wigan 16 St Helens 06 Try: Macauley Davies
Wigan 16 St Helens 06 Missed Conv: Nick Gregson (2/3)
57th Minute Wigan 20 St Helens 06 Try: Gabriel Fell
Wigan 22 St Helens 06 Conversion: Nick Gregson (3/4)
73rd Minute Wigan 22 St Helens 10 Try: Dave Eccleston
Wigan 22 St Helens 10 Missed Conv: Danny Richardson (1/2)
Full Time Wigan Under 19s 22 St Helens Under 19s 10

Referee

Andy Bentham

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 5 St Helens 10

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