Monday, 28 September 2015

Young Warriors Retain Academy Title

After victories over Warrington Wolves and Hull FC in the play-off semis, Wigan Warriors and St Helens faced off at the DW Stadium in the 2015 Academy Grand Final.
Both sides went into the game fielding strong squads despite a number of injuries and first team call-ups and the young players all played their part in a fascinating 80 minutes ahead of the headline event of Wigan v Castleford in the Super 8s.

Wigan started superbly with Kyle Shelford scoring inside five minutes with Nick Gregson converting for a 6-0 lead. Saints replied on 21 minutes as Ben Morris crossed for a try and Danny Richardson levelled the score at 6-6 with the conversion. Wigan regained the lead with seven minutes left of the half as Paddy Jones touched down leaving Gregson with an easy conversion for a 12-6 lead into the interval.

Macauley Davies extended the Warriors' lead within six minutes of the restart but Gregson was unable to convert at 16-6, Gabriel Fell raced over to push the Warriors to 20 points with Gregson converting for a comfortable 22-6 lead. Saints remained in the hunt as the game entered the final ten minutes and cut the lead through Dave Eccleston on 73 minutes but a missed conversion attempt from Richardson left them two scores behind at 22-10.

The final hooter saw
the jubilant Warriors celebrate their third title in a row and a seventh in eight years and despite being on the losing side, St Helens performed superbly proving why they and Wigan's Academy setup is so highly regarded across the league and that the future looks very bright for both clubs.