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Under 18s: Wigan 12 Leeds 32
Posted by Bilko on April 03 2011 - 12:08

Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos - Under 18s Valvoline Academy.
Sunday 3rd April 2011. Kick Off 11:00am at Co-Operative Stadium, Orrell.

Match Report

It was a pretty decent at Orrell this morning but Wigan always struggled against the Leeds pack. One of the big things at this particular level is experience often counts and it showed today. Both Leeds starting props were second year lads whilst Wigan's two props were starting their first competitive match for us. That's a huge difference at this level, particular early on in the season, and visibly the Leeds pack looked bigger and more aggressive because of that.

Overall, Wigan had nine new recruits making their Under 18s debut today and thus it was bound to be rusty performance. Although the final score looks bad, I don't think it is a fair reflection of the game. Leeds definitely deserved the win but Wigan were not that poor.

Wigan really should have scored first very early on in the contest. Tom Halsall was chiming at the line towards the right corner and although he looked like he dived enough to avoid the corner flag, he knocked on over the line.

Leeds then took the lead themselves. Lovely break up the middle, from about 60 metres out, by prop Dan Smith and he swung it wide to send the supporting Alex Foster over. Conversion missed but Leeds left 4-0.

The second try for Leeds was a very weird one. Now you can either big up the luck of it or slag Wigan off for switching off. It was right in front of me in the right corner. Last tackle grubber from Wigan looked all the world like it was going dead, thus the Wigan players switched off thinking it's a twenty restart. Somehow it held up and James Duckworth picked it up, evaded a Wigan defender and managed to chalk the side line until support came from Marcus Elliott. He had the pace to score and round off under the posts, which made an easy conversion for Dan Smith to make it 10-0.

Moments later a third try came. Wigan knock on deep in their own half and Ryan Smith capalitised with a score in the left corner. Nice conversion from Smith made it 16-0.

So before Wigan knew it, two deep breaks and an error left them way behind on the scoreboard. The actual arm wrestle was pretty even and Wigan did get back into the game soon after on 21 minutes. Leeds error this time near their own line, then Wigan forced a drop out from which hooker Liam Carberry showed great strength to score from close range under the posts. Tom Hurst converted to make it 6-16.

For the next ten minutes or so, Wigan had a really good spell and a try would have made it game on. But despite best efforts, Leeds goal line defence was excellent. Then a massive kick in the teeth came on 36 minutes with a fourth Leeds try.

Good bomb was put up but, unfortunately for Wigan, full back Tom Hurst wasn't set. He was trying to catch the ball with his back to the action, couldn't take it in, and it bounced ever so kindly for Elliott to claim his second near the posts. Easy conversion for Dan Smith again to make it 22-6 and that was really a killer try. Wigan had chances to get in for 16-12 and now it was 22-6. Just a bit more clinical were Leeds.

Wigan managed to do themselves in again six minutes after the restart. They had forced Leeds into a drop out but sloppy play let Leeds dribble it ten metres and regather. From which, they put another bomb in up the other end, it was let to bounce and bounce very kindly it did for Henry Mingham to score. Smith's conversion made it 28-6. I try not to be biased in these reports but 28-6 was not the game I was watching. Leeds front row was definitely bigger and stronger than ours but they weren't running over the top of us that often. The Rhinos were just sharper in defence I suppose and the attack was feeding off that.

Wigan's spirit was always there and although it was a long time in coming, Carberry claimed his second try on 65 minutes with a Déjà vu effort from his first try. He barged over from close range under the posts. I remain adamant that as an out and out hooker, I'm seeing more from Carberry than Logan Tomkins. I think really Logan should be sent on dual-reg into the Championship because Carberry for me should be an Under 20s regular. Since Joe Mellor returned though he's dropped back down, for now. Hurst's conversion made it 28-12.

Still the effort was being put in by Wigan but a comeback was never really on. Leeds defence was strong and with tiredness kicking in they claimed a good cherry on the top of the cake try in the 78th Minute. They broke through and Mo Agoro finished off under the posts. Amazingly, from bang in front, Marcus Elliott's conversion hit the post, leaving the final score 32-12.

Now reading that you'll have noticed the several Leeds breaks. I suppose that's my frustration today because every time Leeds broke, they scored. They didn't break that often in reality but they definitely deserved the win. With a pack on top they just had a bit more to feed off than us. Our lads will get a lot out of that though. It was a good early season battle but it doesn't get any easier, Saints away for the Under 18s next Saturday.

Team Sheets

- Wigan Under 18s Position Leeds Under 18s 1
1 Tom Hurst Full Back Josh Sunley 1
2 Tom Halsall Winger Ryan Smith 2
3 Shae Lyon-Fraser Centre Mo Agoro 3
4 Andy Whyte Centre Henry Mingham 4
5 Danny Parkinson Winger James Duckworth 5
6 Chris Taylor Stand Off Kyle Quinlan 6
7 Liam Fishwick Scrum Half Marcus Elliott 7
8 Jacob Almond Prop James Davies 8
9 Liam Carberry Hooker Luke Teasdale 9
10 Harry Naughton Prop Dan Smith 10
11 Matty Crow 2nd Row Alex Foster 11
12 John O'Donnell 2nd Row Jared Stewart 12
13 Connor Farrell L.Forward Matty Blake 13
14 Craig Blakeley Substitute Jack Cooke 14
15 Dom Manfredi Substitute Ben Finder 15
16 Tom Kay Substitute George Clarke 16
17 Joe Bullock Substitute Jay Leary 17
- Peter Williams Coach - -

Score Sheet

Wigan Under 18s 12 --- Leeds Under 18s 32
Tries (2):
Liam Carberry 2
--- Tries (6):
Alex Foster
Marcus Elliott 2
Ryan Smith
Henry Mingham
Mo Agoro
Tom Hurst 2/2
--- Goals:
Dan Smith 5/6
Marcus Elliott 0/1

Scoring and Incident Pattern

8th Minute Wigan 00 Leeds 04 Try: Alex Foster
- Wigan 00 Leeds 04 D.Smith Missed Conversion (0/1)
13th Minute Wigan 00 Leeds 08 Try: Marcus Elliott
- Wigan 00 Leeds 10 Conversion: Dan Smith (1/2)
17th Minute Wigan 00 Leeds 14 Try: Ryan Smith
- Wigan 00 Leeds 16 Conversion: Dan Smith (2/3)
21st Minute Wigan 04 Leeds 16 Try: Liam Carberry
- Wigan 06 Leeds 16 Conversion: Tom Hurst (1/1)
36th Minute Wigan 06 Leeds 20 Try: Marcus Elliott (2)
- Wigan 06 Leeds 22 Conversion: Dan Smith (3/4)
Half Time Wigan Under 18s 06 Leeds Under 18s 22
46th Minute Wigan 06 Leeds 26 Try: Henry Mingham
- Wigan 06 Leeds 28 Conversion: Dan Smith (4/5)
65th Minute Wigan 10 Leeds 28 Try: Liam Carberry (2)
- Wigan 12 Leeds 28 Conversion: Tom Hurst (2/2)
78th Minute Wigan 12 Leeds 32 Try: Mo Agoro
- Wigan 12 Leeds 32 M.Elliott Missed Conversion (0/1)
Full Time Wigan Under 18s 12 Leeds Under 18s 32


Sam Ansell

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