Sunday, 5 July 2015

Young Warriors Derby Delight

After back-to-back home wins against Warrington and Leeds, Wigan U19s had sights on a trilogy of triumphs as they welcomed fierce rivals St Helens to Orrell for a top of the table clash on Saturday.

The two sides went into the Academy Derby with equal 14-1 records in the league so far this year but with the Saints ahead at the top thanks to a superior points difference of 13. Wigan's sole league defeat came away to the Saints back in April as they fell to a 44-24 loss while Saints have only been on the losing side against third placed Hull.

Wigan made a superb start as Oliver Gildart opened the scoring with a try inside six minutes which was superbly converted from range by Jake Shorrocks for 6-0. Saints looked to respond but were denied by a strong Warriors defence while the Warriors were unable to add to the opening score.

However, Wigan did score a second try on 25 minutes as Shorrocks crossed after a clever move and went on to convert his own effort for a 12-0 lead which was added to just before the interval as Warriors fullback Gabriel Fell touched down and with Shorrocks completing a trio of conversions in the first half, Wigan led 18-0 into the half-time break.

St Helens stages a rapid comeback with three tries within nine minutes of the restart as Josh Eaves and Callum Wellington crossed the Wigan line either side of an effort from Danny Richardson who converted all three to level the score at 18-18.

Wigan were stunned even further as St Helens took the lead on 56 minutes with their fourth try which came from Dave Ecclestone and with Richardson converting, the Saints had ran in 22 unanswered points to leave the Warriors with a task on their hands.

Back in April in the reverse meeting, Wigan led into the interval before ending up on the reverse of a superb Saints revival that signalled their solitary defeat but this time around, they battled back and were soon level. Oliver Gildart dashed over for his second try but leaving Shorrocks with a tough angle to convert from which he missed at 22-22.

Wigan took the lead for the first time since the interval with a try out on the wing from Jack Higginson and despite the angle, Shorrocks was successful this time around for 28-22. St Helens pushed to draw level but left themselves open in the final five minutes which saw Kyle Shelford score before a superb hat-trick try for Oliver Gildart.

Jake Shorrocks converted the first but saw his second attempt just drift past the post as Wigan sealed a superb 38-22 victory. A win which sends the Warriors two points clear of their rivals at the top of the table ahead of a tough trip to Hull FC next week.