Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Young Warriors Retain Academy Title

After reaching the Grand Final the hard way with wins over Hull KR, Leeds and St Helens, Wigan U19s travelled to face League Leaders Warrington U19s at the Halliwell Jones Stadium looking for their sixth title in seven years.

Wigan made a near perfect start as they raced into an 8-0 lead inside nine minutes with tries from Lewis Tierney and Oliver Gildart but tough angles for both scores meant Ryan Hampshire was unable to convert either effort.  Warrington looked to mount a response but left themselves open to two further tries from the Warriors.

Liam Marshall crossed for a try in the 21st minute which Ryan Hampshire successfully converted for 12-0 before Brad Lawrence crossed for the Warriors fourth try of the afternoon on the half hour mark and despite Hampshire being unable to convert, Wigan led 18-0.

Warrington ensured they would avoid a first half nilling as they scored in the 39th minute with an effort from Joe Philbin but Harvey Livett was unable to convert making the half-time score 18-4 to Wigan who made a superb start to the second half with a second try for Lewis Tierney with Ryan Hampshire converting for 24-4.

Warrington had a mountain to climb to prevent Wigan from retaining their title and the fightback began just three minutes later as Joe Philbin crossed for his second try of the game with Harvey Livett converting for 24-10.

The Wolves continued their charge with a try in the 61st minute as Joe Philbin completed his hat-trick and with Harvey Livett converting, Wigan's lead was cut to eight points at 24-16. Wigan were limited to a few attacks as Warrington's pressure forced them to defend well but they were carved open in the 73rd minute as Jack Johnson crossed for a try and with Harvey Livett converting, the sides were just two points apart at 24-22.

Wigan held the Warrington charge off in the final minutes and a frantic set near their own line nearly allowed Warrington to intercept but the Warriors held on and at the final whistle celebrated a hard fought win that means they retain their title and win their sixth in seven years.