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
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
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
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
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.