U19s victorious over arch rivals Saints
Warrington Wolves u19s 24 St Helens u19s 12
By Dave Whalley
Warrington Wolves secured a brilliant victory over arch rivals St. Helens in a thrilling Under 19s Academy fixture at Wilderspool Stadium on Saturday afternoon in a game played in difficult conditions.
Both sides can be proud of the way that they performed in a very high quality encounter but it was the sheer will and determination of the Warrington players that saw them come out on top and claim a very richly deserved win.
An even start with both sides' defences on top prevented any early scores but when the Wolves had hooker Ryan Maneely sin binned for preventing a quick twenty metre restart just before the half hour mark it allowed St. Helens to take advantage of the extra man as a short ball from stand off Lewis Charnock found second row Connor Dwyer who forced his way over on the right. Charnock added the conversion but then the Wolves forced an error from the restart and that allowed them to have the ball deep in the Saints half. The ball was sent quickly along the line to centre Jordan Burns who squeezed over in the left corner. Stand off Jimmy Rowland converted from the touchline and then added a penalty goal right on the stroke of half time following a high tackle to give his side a narrow 8-6 interval lead.
The Wolves increased their advantage three minutes into the second half when a short ball from Maneely found substitute Andy Ackers running a great line and he went forty metres splitting the Saints defence before finding Rowland in support to race over under the posts. Rowland added the conversion to his own try but then a period of sustained Saints pressure saw them claw their way back into the game as scrum half Dave Hewitt and full back Daniel Abram combined to put centre Lewis Galbraith over in the left corner just before the hour mark. Charnock converted from wide out to reduce the deficit to just two points once again.
The next fifteen minutes saw both sides have chances with one golden opportunity in particular that saw Saints prop forward Adam Hesketh look as though he was about to put his side back in front as he powered towards the posts but an unbelievable tackle from Maneely and second row Jonny Brown managed to hold him up and keep the Wolves line intact. This galvanised the Wolves and when Saints made an error in their own half, Wolves full back James Saltonstall kicked the ball ahead and Rowland was the quickest to react to pick up and score under the posts. He converted himself to restore the eight point cushion.
The Wolves made sure of the two league points four minutes from time when hooker Ryan Maneely caught the Saints defenders knapping as he went on his own from dummy half to score wide out on the left after second row Jacque Peet had been held just short and this rounded off a magnificent 24-12 win for the jubilant young Wolves.
After the game Wolves Under 19s head coach Gary Chambers said: "That was an excellent all-round team performance and each player can be rightly proud of their efforts. We played some tough stuff against a very good team and to back up from the victory over Hull KR in such a manner was very pleasing. The nice thing from my point of view is that there are still areas for us to work on and we will improve even further over the next few months. We are setting ourselves some high standards and the lads have committed to this and are putting in an extra nights training as well as additional position specific skills sessions. This means that they are being educated constantly and this learning is being transferred into games which was evident today and is really pleasing. The hard work they are putting in is being rewarded. We have belief in what we are doing as a group and if you combine that with the way the young fellas are starting to ‘buy in' to the practices we are teaching them then the improvements each week will continue to be there for all to see.
"Jacque Peet and Jonny Brown both put in massive eighty minute performances in the second row, Jack Johnstone continues to improve each week on the wing and Jordan Burns had his best game for the club in the centre. The excellent kicking game of half backs Declan Patton and Jimmy Rowland was very significant in the conditions and this kept Saints on the back foot for long periods. We will now re-focus in training this week and get ourselves ready for the trip to Sheffield Eagles next Saturday."
James Saltonstall, Jack Johnson, Will Fairhurst, Jordan Burns, Jake Eccleston, Jimmy Rowland, Declan Patton, Daniel Murray, Ryan Maneely, Joe Philbin, Jacque Peet, Jonny Brown, Will Milner.
Subs: Andy Ackers, Sam Wilde, Robert Holroyd, Joe Collins.
Tries: Burns (33 mins), Rowland (43, 73), Maneely (76).
Goals: Rowland 4 from 6
Daniel Abram, Corey Lee, Greg Wilde, Lewis Galbraith, Ben Parry, Lewis Charnock, Dave Hewitt, Adam Hesketh, Dominic Speakman, Luke Thompson, Alex Clare, Connor Dwyer, James Tilley.
Subs: Tom Roughley, Jack Ashworth, Greg Richards, Chris Webster.
Tries: Dwyer (30 mins), Galbraith (58)
Goals: Charnock 2 from 2
Game photos below: Courtesy of Bob Brough
10, Mar, 2013