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Under 20s: Wigan 24 Warrington 28
Posted by Bilko on March 26 2011 - 16:14

Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves - Under 20s Valvoline Cup.
Saturday 26th March 2011. Kick Off 2:00pm at Co-Operative Stadium, Orrell.

Match Report

A good game at Orrell on Saturday and Wigan perhaps should have won but the extra experience from Warrington's three over age players - Chris Riley, Mike Cooper and Lee Mitchell, who all scored - just nudged them into victory.

A slow start cost Wigan dear in the end. We knocked on our first set and Warrington punished with a close range try from Mitchell, in the second minute, that was converted by Gareth O'Brien.

The sloppiness continued from Wigan and the match was resembling the first team game on Friday. Wigan also suffered a blow when prop Dom Crosby went off early with what looked like a wrist injury. He looked a disconsolate figure on the bench, like his afternoon was over, but although he would return late in the game, he was much missed for the 50 or so minutes he was off the field. 

The visitors got a well deserved second try on 22 minutes when Ryan Shaw scored. O'Brien's conversion was wide but it was a healthy 10-0 lead.

Warrington had been extremely enthusiastic in defence but that began to wane as the half wore on. A mixture of that and Wigan being much improved with ball in hand, allowed us to get back into the contest. On 26 minutes, after forcing a drop out, Joe Mellor scored from close range. Jack Murphy couldn't convert.

Five minutes later Mellor was in for his second but this one was far harder work than his first. Warrington were on the attack down their left and Mellor intercepted then raced a full 90 metres to score in the right corner. Murphy couldn't convert again, which left the score 10-8 to Warrington and it remained that way to half time.

Early second half and Wigan took the lead. Lovely close range try from Sam Powell. He dropped the shoulder, beat the defender and put it down near the posts. Murphy converted this one to make it 14-10 to Wigan.

Warrington responded to level the scores on 50 minutes after Wigan had knocked on near their own line, then conceded a penalty. Chris Riley claimed it in the left corner but O'Brien's conversion hit the post.

Soon after Warrington scored again Ryan Shaw claiming his second try off the back of a 40/20 kick. O'Brien converted this time to give Warrington a 20-14 lead.

Despite being behind again, I felt Wigan were beginning to get the ascendancy. A big moment in the game came on 58 minutes. Jack Murphy had broke away down the left and aiming for the posts he had just one man to beat. That was Chris Riley who had come across from the right wing to halt Murphy but took him out with a high tackle. Now it wasn't a bad one but the penalty conceded helped the whole Warrington defence get back onside. Now to me that really should be a yellow card for a professional foul.

I think that turned the game. A try there and I think we'd have gone on to win. But the match just went beyond Wigan with injury playing it's part. An accidental clash of heads between Wigan second rower's Danny Bridge and Matt Crow forced them both off the field at a crucial time. Straight after that Warrington claimed what proved to be the match winning try on 66 minutes with Mike Cooper scoring from close range. O'Brien's conversion made it 26-14.

It was at this point that Crosby returned to the field and he showed why he was missed. I think both Bridge and Crow did come back on as well, certainly one of them did, but the damage had already been done with Cooper's try. Wigan never gave up and rallied to make the game tight right to the end.

Sam Powell claimed his second with another close range effort but crucially the conversion from Murphy was wide. We needed to convert because 26-18 was still a two score lead with 9 minutes to go.

Then on 76 minutes, Dom Crosby was showed his worth with a try from close range that set up a grandstand finish. Murphy converted to make it 24-26 and although about three minutes remained, the injury delay for the Bridge/Crow head clash ensured a hefty amount of injury time.

Four minutes added on in fact and when Crosby was sent breaking away and charging at the line it looked like Wigan would rob the points, just like Warrington did in the corresponding game at Orrell last season, but he was rightly in my view pulled back for a forward pass.

That was the last chance of the game and a Warrington penalty goal from O'Brien, awarded after an accidental trip from Logan Tomkins, made the final score 28-24 to them.

Team Sheets

- Wigan Under 20s Position Warrington U20s 1
1 Matty Russell Full Back Jordan Burke 1
2 Ryan King Winger Ben Hellewell 2
3 Jamie Acton Centre Ryan Shaw 3
4 Jack Murphy Centre James Mendieka 4
5 Jayden Sandford Winger Chris Riley* 5
6 Joe Mellor Stand Off Gareth O'Brien 6
7 Sam Powell Scrum Half Sam Caslick 7
8 Dom Crosby Prop Mike Stewart 8
9 Logan Tomkins Hooker Brad Dwyer 9
10 Ben Davies* Prop Mike Cooper* 10

Jack Hughes

2nd Row Lee Mitchell* 11
12 Danny Bridge 2nd Row Alex Morris 12
13 Kieron Harrison L.Forward James Laithwaite 13
14 Tom Spencer Substitute Brooke Broughton 14
15 Matt Crow Substitute Brad Brennan 15
16 Drew Johnson Substitute Keith Holden 16
17 Craig Andrews Substitute Glenn Riley 17
- Darren Fletcher Coach Richard Marshall -

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

Score Sheet

Wigan Under 20s 24 --- Warrington U20s 28
Tries (5):
Joe Mellor 2
Sam Powell 2
Dom Crosby
--- Tries (5):
Lee Mitchell
Ryan Shaw 2
Chris Riley
Mike Cooper
Jack Murphy 2/5
--- Goals:
Gareth O'Brien 4/6

Scoring and Incident Pattern

2nd Minute Wigan 00 Warrington 04 Try: Lee Mitchell
- Wigan 00 Warrington 06 Conversion: Gareth O'Brien (1/1)
22nd Minute Wigan 00 Warrington 10 Try: Ryan Shaw
- Wigan 00 Warrington 10 G.O'Brien Missed Conversion (1/2)
26th Minute Wigan 04 Warrington 10 Try: Joe Mellor
- Wigan 04 Warrington 10 J.Murphy Missed Conversion (0/1)
31st Minute Wigan 08 Warrington 10 Try: Joe Mellor (2)
- Wigan 08 Warrington 10 J.Murphy Missed Conversion (0/2)
Half Time Wigan Under 20s 08 Warrington Under 20s 10
43rd Minute Wigan 12 Warrington 10 Try: Sam Powell
- Wigan 14 Warrington 10 Conversion: Jack Murphy (1/3)
50th Minute Wigan 14 Warrington 14 Try: Chris Riley
- Wigan 14 Warrington 14 G.O'Brien Missed Conversion (1/3)
54th Minute Wigan 14 Warrington 18 Try: Ryan Shaw (2)
- Wigan 14 Warrington 20 Conversion: Gareth O'Brien (2/4)
66th Minute Wigan 14 Warrington 24 Try: Mike Cooper
- Wigan 14 Warrington 26 Conversion: Gareth O'Brien (3/5)
70th Minute Wigan 18 Warrington 26 Try: Sam Powell (2)
- Wigan 18 Warrington 26 J.Murphy Missed Conversion (1/4)
76th Minute Wigan 22 Warrington 26 Try: Dom Crosby
- Wigan 24 Warrington 26 Conversion: Jack Murphy (2/5)
80mins + 4 Wigan 24 Warrington 28 Penalty Goal: Gareth O'Brien (4/6)
Full Time Wigan Under 20s 24 Warrington Under 20s 28


Dave Sharpe



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