The young Warriors kicked off their season against league leaders Cadishead Rhinos.
Due to a couple of absences, the Leyland side only had 13 players available, 3 of whom were not only making their debuts for the Warriors but their debuts in the sport. To go 50 mins without substitutes was always going to be difficult on a heavy pitch but Leyland made light of the challenge.
Both sides started brightly but Cadishead raced into a 10-0 lead mid way through the first half. However, the young Warriors then started to make some good ground with Connor Sadler, Robert Stack and Danny Wilkins all making excellent yards. This was backed up with some great half back work from a new partnership of James O'Neill and Michael Stack.
Some great tackling from Ryan Chapman, Matthew Grayston and Jake Morton prevented Cadishead from pulling further away. Then with half time approaching, hooker Callum Young spread the ball wide for Joe Kirkby to score acrobatically in the corner, with Joe Weston narrowly missing the conversion.
With the half time team talk completed, we moved into the second period and from the restart Cadishead passed the ball wide for their centre to score near the posts. They also added a further 2 tries within 10 minutes, their greater experience beginning to show.
Nathan Power gave us a couple of his strong runs up the middle of the field again with Callum Routh backing him up. He fed the ball to Young, who passed onto O’Neill, with Michael Stack scoring near the posts, with Weston adding the conversion.
It was Leyland who were in command now and they finished the stronger team with Wilkins bursting through a couple of tackles to sprint clear for a well deserved try. The conversion was narrowly missed again by Joe Weston who had an excellent game in his new position of full back.
A big well done to all the guys for playing strongly for the full 50 minutes, the effort was 100% and they should all be proud of their performance today. The standard is now set for the season; week in, week out.
A big thank you to Cadishead Rhinos for their contribution to a tremendous game which was played in great spirit throughout.
Team: Weston, Routh, Morton, Grayston, Chapman, Stack.M, O’Neill, Sadler, Young, Stack R, Power, Kirkby, Wilkins.