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Under 20s: Wigan 28 Hull FC 26
Posted by Bilko on March 12 2011 - 16:26

Wigan Warriors v Hull FC - Under 20s Valvoline Cup.
Saturday 12th March 2011. Kick Off 2:00pm at Co-Operative Stadium, Orrell.

Match Report

Well the Under 20s looked to be cruising to an easy victory after romping into an early 22-0 lead against Hull FC at Orrell this afternoon but in the end they were left sweating right until the final whistle.

In the first half hour Wigan were all over Hull, scoring some excellent tries from deep. First Jack Hughes coasted over with a diagonal run from about twenty metres out, then it was Matty Russell's turn to go on a run from deep, which resulted in a try in the right corner. Jack Murphy converted the first try but his second effort off the touchline hit the post.

Next try came on 17 minutes. This was harder work but Ryan King squeezed over and Murphy hit a good touchline conversion to make it 16-0. Then Murphy himself scored on 25 minutes with an excellent solo run from fourty metres out. He rounded the full back Reece Lazenby in scoring under the posts but took a knock in the process, so it was Sam Powell who converted easily to make it 22-0.

It was looking like a massacre was on the cards but Wigan's momentum began to halt as injuries occurred on the field. Both Jack Hughes and Greg Burke limped off, although they returned later in the match.

It was comfortable for Wigan and they looked to be easing towards half time but just lost concentration to let Hull score in the second minute of added time. Lawrence Pearce claimed a soft try and the conversion from Ben Crooks made it 22-6 at the break.

Early in the second half another injury took place with substitute prop James Greenwood suffering a neck injury. He did walk off the field but was soon laid down on the touchline and strapped onto a stretcher. Hopefully just precaution but it never looks good to see a player leaving the field like that. Shame for the lad, he joined Wigan in December. Hopefully he'll make a quick recovery and return soon.

Wigan needed the first try of the second half desperately and got it when Ben Davies, now in his sixth season of lower grade rugby with Wigan, scored from close range. Easy conversion for Murphy made it 28-6 and I thought that might kill Hull off but they never gave up.

It was a weird comeback. Normally they occur when a side looks totally dead on their feet, but I'm not sure it was tiredness that Wigan were suffering with. I felt that Hull couldn't find a chink all day trying to power at us with forwards up the middle, that despite them calling on 30 year old veteran Ewan Dowes in the front row.

How Hull got back into the game was finding a big weakness in defence on our left side. Jayden Sandford is not the quickest winger and a combination of Reece Lyne and Jordan Turner out there for Hull started to butcher us for pace down their right.

Hull went over for four tries in the final 21 minutes with all the tries being either scored our built up down the right wing. Crucially for Wigan, Ben Crooks missed a couple of conversions and that took the pressure off us.

However with a 28-20 lead and three minutes to go, Wigan want shooting for not shutting up shop. They had the ball on Hull's line at that time and began passing around like it was them who were down by 8. A ball went to ground, Hull snaffled up and not long after they'd made it 28-26 with a minute to go and we're sweating on a game we'd totally controlled for an hour.

Hull wasted an age converting that last try though, and I'm not sure it was worth it. They would have been better off refusing the conversion and keeping precious seconds to try and get a winning try. Either way the conversion was taken which ate up most of the final minute.

So, Wigan dodged a bullet in the end but we remain the only side with a 100% record in the Under 20s Valvoline Cup competition and that constitutes an excellent start to the season for what is a very young side.

Team Sheets

- Wigan Under 20s Position Hull Under 20s -
1 Matt Russell Full Back Reece Lazenby 1
2 Ryan King Winger Crawford Matthews 2
3 Jamie Acton Centre Ben Crooks 3
4 Jack Murphy Centre Jordan Turner* 4
5 Jayden Sandford Winger Reece Lyne 5
6 Chris Taylor Stand Off Jack Pickerill 6
7 Sam Powell Scrum Half Lee Williams 7
8 Tom Spencer Prop Ewan Dowes* 8
9 Logan Tomkins Hooker James Newton 9
10 Ben Davies* Prop Jack Aldous 10

Jack Hughes

2nd Row Liam Kent 11
12 Danny Bridge 2nd Row Alex Morris 12
13 Greg Burke L.Forward Liam Cunningham 13
14 James Greenwood Substitute Lawrence Pearce 14
15 Matt Crow Substitute Danny Swales 15
16 Liam Carberry Substitute Ryan Spouse 16
17 Kieron Harrison Substitute Danny Bloom 17
- Darren Fletcher Coach Andy Last -

*Denotes Over Aged Player. Three Over Age 20 Players Allowed Per Team

Score Sheet

Wigan Under 20s 28 --- Hull FC Under 20s 26
Tries (5):
Jack Hughes
Matty Russell
Ryan King
Jack Murphy
Ben Davies
--- Tries (5):
Lawrence Pearce
Jordan Turner 2
Danny Swales
Ben Crooks
Jack Murphy 3/4
Sam Powell 1/1
--- Goals:
Ben Crooks 3/5

Scoring and Incident Pattern

4th Minute Wigan 04 Hull FC 00 Try: Jack Hughes
- Wigan 06 Hull FC 00 Conversion: Jack Murphy (1/1)
12th Minute Wigan 10 Hull FC 00 Try: Matty Russell
- Wigan 10 Hull FC 00 J.Murphy Missed Conversion (1/2)
17th Minute Wigan 14 Hull FC 00 Try: Ryan King
- Wigan 16 Hull FC 00 Conversion: Jack Murphy (2/3)
25th Minute Wigan 20 Hull FC 00 Try: Jack Murphy
- Wigan 22 Hull FC 00 Conversion: Sam Powell (1/1)
40mins + 2 Wigan 22 Hull FC 04 Try: Lawrence Pearce
- Wigan 22 Hull FC 06 Conversion: Ben Crooks (1/1)
Half Time Wigan Under 20s 22 Hull FC Under 20s 06
45th Minute Wigan 26 Hull FC 06 Try: Ben Davies
- Wigan 28 Hull FC 06 Conversion: Jack Murphy (3/4)
57th Minute Wigan 28 Hull FC 10 Try: Jordan Turner
- Wigan 28 Hull FC 10 B.Crooks Missed Conversion (1/2)
62nd Minute Wigan 28 Hull FC 14 Try: Danny Swales
- Wigan 28 Hull FC 14 B.Crooks Missed Conversion (1/3)
69th Minute Wigan 28 Hull FC 18 Try: Ben Crooks
- Wigan 28 Hull FC 20 Conversion: Ben Crooks (2/4)
79th Minute Wigan 28 Hull FC 24 Try: Jordan Turner (2)
- Wigan 28 Hull FC 26 Conversion: Ben Crooks (3/5)
Full Time Wigan Under 20s 28 Hull FC Under 20s 26


David Sharpe


Drizzly rain at times.

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