Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Kay Treble Stuns Warriors


After success for the Wigan Warriors Select XII at London Skolars on Friday, Wigan Warriors began their pre-season campaign with a tough local derby against neighbours Leigh Centurions on Sunday afternoon at Leigh Sports Village.

In front of a crowd of 4,125, Wigan fielded a squad of 24 players which included senior debuts for Academy starlets Oliver Gildart, Jake Shorrocks, Rob Lever and Kyle Shelford while new signings Larne Patrick and Taulima Tautai both began their Wigan careers.

A cagey start from both sides included a mini-brawl in the seventh minute which saw no repercussions to the relief of both sides and despite fielding a fair number of young players from the start it was the Warriors who opened the scoring in the 15th minute.

Clever play from deputising centre Joel Tomkins saw him find wing partner Josh Charnley out wide resulting in the Warriors number two crossing for a textbook try in the corner but one which left Matty Smith with a tough conversion attempt from the touchline. Smith narrowly missed leaving the Warriors with a slim lead at 4-0.

Leigh responded well to going behind and soon took the lead with a move down the left side that saw Tom Armstrong pass out wide to Liam Kay who raced over for the Centurions' first try which was added to by a superb conversion from Ryan Brierley for 6-4.

A dangerous high-kick from Leigh on 35 minutes caused trouble for Warriors fullback Ryan Hampshire who was unable to collect and allowed Liam Kay to cross for his second try of the afternoon which was converted by Ryan Brierley for a 12-4 lead going into half-time.

Wigan made a number of formation changes with Matt Bowen and Jake Shorrocks coming on while Ryan Hampshire moved into the halves and the switches paid dividends just six minutes into the half as Bowen's high kick out wide found the welcoming grasp of deputising centre Joe Burgess who touched down for the try. Ryan Hampshire attempted to convert but saw his effort narrowly miss with the score at 12-8.

Leigh's lead came to an end just five minutes later with Ryan Hampshire influential again as a pass from Jake Shorrocks unleashed his half-back partner who raced through the Centurions defence to score a fine try and went one better as he converted his own score for a 14-12 lead.

However, Leigh were not finished yet and had the last say on the outcome in the 74th minute as a final tackle drive saw Liam Kay complete his hat-trick and with Ben Renyolds converting for 18-14, Leigh had secured a famous victory.