Only a small smattering of real die hard Wigan fans made the trip
up to Barrow today but they were treated to an excellent display
from a Wigan youth team against Barrow's 1st Team.
the old Rogue (Rogue Gallery off our message board) at the game, he
was making the fair point that we could easily have buckled going
6-0 down so early, but instead the response was clinical and
I was viewing a Barrow Message Board the other day and one of
their supporters suggested they would walk over Wigan easily.
Whilst I didn't really expect a Wigan win, particularly in such a
convincing fashion, I knew a Shaun Wane coached side wouldn't turn
up to be walked over.
Barrow took the lead early in the second minute with Marc Dixon
touching down a kick from Jamie Rooney, who then converted to make
After that.....Barrow barely attacked for the rest of the half.
Wigan hardly made any mistakes and defended with the same passion
and enthusiasm we've come to expect from the first team.
Wigan responded with a try in the 9th minute. Jonny Walker
reached over from close range and a conversion from Josh Charnley
made it 6 all.
Straight from the restart, Wigan shocked Barrow by scoring
again. They broke clear, from their own half, up the left and Josh
Charnley went in to finish the move. He failed to convert his own
try though - 10-6 Wigan.
Wigan by now were all over the opposition and went in again on
16 minutes. Matt Russell, a winger in the Under 20s last season but playing Full Back
today, scored in the right corner. Charnley missed the extra's
again though - 14-6.
The onslaught continued. Moments later debutant trialist Jamie
Acton was sent over by Scrum Half Sam Powell. Charnley converted
this time to make it 20-6.
Barrow didn't know what had hit them. Wigan had just punched
them onto the ropes and although they stopped the Wigan scoring for
a while, they couldn't find their own punches to get back into the
game. They did have one chance but a good tackle from Charnley
denied Chris Larkin. That was pretty much it though. Wigan just
hounded them in defence.
Tries either side of half time often decide games and so it
proved in this one. Wigan scored another four minutes before the
break. Winger Ryan King squeezed in to make it 26-6 at the break,
after Charnley had converted.
Then first try of the second half also went Wigan's way. In
fairness Barrow had come out much better after the break. Although
they couldn't break down superb Wigan defence, the try for Wigan
came against the run of play. From half way, Josh Charnley
intercepted and raced all the way to the line, scoring near the
posts to make the conversion easy. 32-6 with 30 minutes to go.
By now I was thinking, let's embarrass them! But as time wore
on, Lee Mossop was replaced and the extra fitness in the Barrow
side began to tell. Wigan's defence had been superb but in the
final quarter, gaps began to appear, which Barrow found, and that
led to three tries for the home side.
Tired conceded penalties also helped as Barrow scored three
tries in a seven minute spell. Jamie Butler, Jamie Thackray and
Marc Dixon claimed the efforts, with all three being converted by
Rooney to make it 32-24 with 13 minutes to go.
In that whole spell, Wigan hadn't touched the ball and I suspect
most fans in the ground expected Barrow to continue the comeback
and nick the win. But once Wigan got some possession, they calmed
things down and in the end, ground out a well deserved victory.
Couldn't really be more proud of that display from the young
Wigan side today. Really highlights the strength in depth we have
in the youth ranks, who prove to have the same attitude and ethics
as our championship winning first team. Well, I mean the Under 20s
are champions in their own right!
I wouldn't say anyone really stood out in the Wigan side. It was
just an all in effort with defensive standards of the highest order
until tiredness kicked in. If you didn't go today, I suggest you
check out this side when they take on London Skolars 1st Team at
Orrell on Saturday. The future is bright.....it's errr Pink and
Today also saw a trial run for a special display that is
planned for the World Club Challenge. It went well and I'm going to
reveal nothing....just to say the display will be unique for Rugby
League and something to look forward to!