Good Effort vs Wigan
Still things to iron to but great effort by all
We travelled to Warrington today to play Wigan and West Park in the final round of group stage fixtures of the Lancashire Cup. Both promised to be really exciting games. We also had Arris making his debut.
Forwards-Kostas, Anthony, Ellis, Mikey, Ali, Matthew, Joel, Jay K, Alex, Arris
Backs-Tom W, Dan, Sam, Tom K, Jay, Ruban, Callum, Kealan
Straight from kick off against Wigan we were on the front foot. A great kick by a Dan and a great chase saw us hold the early territory. A fresh look to the pack with Kostas pushed to prop and Mikey partnering Ali in the back row was doing the business against a big Wigan side with some strong ball runners. A great bit of play by Ellis and Kostas turned the ball over, and great hands by Tom W, Dan and Sam spread the ball to Tom K who weaved his way down the left wing to score the opener. Strong carries by Mikey, Ruban and Ali advanced us up the pitch, and this great work by the forwards created the opportunity for Sam to break the line, after his great break he linked up with Callum who looked to work his magic but Wigan defended well. Jay K, Matthew and Joel freshened up the pack and did their jobs well, and then the backs took over, Tom W dummied at the ruck and went in behind before picking out Dan, who picked a perfect pass to Calum who’d ran a great line between the first who defenders then beat another three seemingly with ease to score a great try. Wigan were dangerous coming forwards and had some good ball handlers in their backs, with Sam, Tom K and especially Ruban making some great tackles to keep them out. Great defensive work by Jay K, Ali, Jay P and Dan on the right hand side turned the ball over and we hit out on the counter, Mikey, Callum, and Ellis made good runs and offloads then Tom W hit Joel with a short pass who powered up the pitch with three defenders hanging off him to get us into Wigan territory. Tom W then dug out the ball from the ruck and found Sam, who brilliantly stepped his man and fed Tom K, and the speedy footwork did the rest as he cut inside the fullback to score our third. Jay P was solid defensively on the wing and the two Tom’s were getting stuck in to the bigger lads. Wigan advanced down the pitch with their dangerous centre causing problems, and our own indiscipline coast us as we kept giving away penalties then didn't go low enough on one of their big lads near our line and they pulled one back to finish the half.
Alex, Arris and Jay K started brightly in the second half with some good runs and Kostas and Ali were industrious and hard working. Mikey had some good moments and Dan and Sam were two steps ahead of everyone else on the pitch, with Dan in particular creating some good opportunities. Ellis, Kostas, Matthew and Kealan made some good runs but against the run of play Wigan scored on the counter using some slick hands to exploit space, however there was a crunching tackle by Ruban in the build up. Dan’s brilliant kick off was knocked on and we worked a nice move from the scrum then the forwards rumbled it up, with Tom W producing some great quick ball and Anthony, Joel, and Ali working hard at the rucks. We were unlucky not to score after good play by Tom K, Sam and Dan. Wigan eventually kicked clear with Kealan and Jay P running it back and good rucking by Joel and Matthew securing the ball. We struggled to advance out of our half, but Dan spotted some space on the right edge, and grubbered the ball down the touch line, it bounced in field catching the fullback off guard and the brilliant chase by Jay P and Callum meant he had to no time to think, and Callum stole the ball and dived over for a try. Great work by Jay P to help create it. We finished strong with Mikey, Ruban, Anthony, Arris, Jay K, Joel, and especially Alex all producing some strong carries as we chopped and changed the forwards to keep us fresh. Great breakdown work by Ellis and Kostas won us a penalty, and Dan spotted Wigan were slow to get back, so tapped and went quick, sprinting off down the wing and outpacing the cover to score and wrap up the game at 5-2. Unfortunately a rather nasty high tackle on last play meant Mikey had to be withdrawn and couldn't continue for the game against West Park. The updates are that he has not long got out of Alder Hey and is doing okay, hopefully available for Vale next week!
A solid performance, maybe not our best but many more positives than negatives. Man of the Match is Dan, although Sam, Tom K and Ruban all had a great games. Next up, West Park...