Academy suffer narrow defeat in the Derby!

Our Academy took on Wigan down at Ruskin Drive, meeting for the first time in 2024...

Both sides started the game quick, having chances in the first ten minutes of the game, with the best chance coming from the Saints. A dangerous last tackle kick from George Whitby to the in-goal took a wicked bounce in-front of Matthew Penketh who couldn’t ground the ball before it bounced dead.

But in the 16th minute, it would be the Saints who would open the scoring. A penalty for a high tackle presented the Saints to apply more early pressure to the Wigan line. After going close to scoring in the left, the Saints played left to right, the ball ending up in the arms of Harry Robertson who’s subtle pass as he attacked the line send Oliver Garmston through to score! Whitby’s’ conversion from the awkward angle just missed, putting the Saints ahead by four, 4-0!

Three minutes later, it would be the Warriors who would go over. After an error from the Saints gave Wigan a chance to attack the Saints line, Jack Farrimond made the most of the opportunity as he attacked the Saints line, beating the defence with his footwork to go over and score to the right of the posts. After converting his own score, Wigan led 4-6.

Wigan would strike again just before half-time, going over again through Farrimond. The Saints line stood strong, keeping the Warriors out on multiple occasions, but Wigan would find a way through eventually, with Farrimond cutting back inside to go through and score under the posts for the Warriors with 37 minutes gone on the clock. With Farrimond converting his own score, Wigan entered the break 4-12 ahead.

It was a fast start for the Saints in the second half, getting themselves over just two minutes into the half. A spiralling kick-off from Whitby was fumbled by Farrimond, presenting the Saints with an opportunity to attack the Wigan line straight away. From the scrum the Saints played out the back to the right to Louie Roberts who’s quick catch and pass put Owen Dagnall away to go in at the corner to score! Whitby nailed the touchline conversion putting the Saints back behind by two.

Despite being down to only 15 players for the second half, Saints continued to attack and threat the Wigan line, with Robertson coming close to breaking the Warriors through the middle on multiple occasions, but the Wigan defence continued to keep the Saints out with Head Coach Paul Wellens joined the on looking crowd at Ruskin Drive, following the Saints 12-4 win on Good Friday the day before!

The last play of the game saw the Saints break through the Wigan line, with Kian McGann breaking the line, giving the ball to Billy Keeley in support who was stopped by the Wigan defence as he looked to win the game for the Saints, seeing Wigan take home the win, 10-12.

A great effort from the team, in what was a physical contest between two good teams. The Academy face Warrington next over at Victoria Park, in another big clash for the Young Saints!

Saints Team: 1. Louie Roberts, 2. Owen Dagnall, 3. Deacon Swarbrick, 4. Matthew Penketh, 5. Ellis Anderson, 22. Harry Robertson, 7. George Whitby, 10. Morgan Barraclough-Watson, 19. Cole Marsh, 10. Daniel Frost, 11. Oliver Garmston, 12. Billy Keeley, 21. Jake Davies.

Bench: 14. Kian McGann, 15. Matthew Evans, 16. Alfie Tate, 24. Tom Humphreys.

18th Player: 9. Reece Robinson.

Tries: Oliver Garmston, Owen Dagnall.

Goals: George Whitby (1 from 2).

Wigan Team: 1. Austin Daniels, 2. Thomas Bridge, 3. Harlen Smith, 4. Josh Cartwright, 5. Jaiden Drachenberg, 6. Charlie Yeomans, 7. Jack Farrimond, 8. Trent Kelly-Duffy, 9. Jack Purtill, 10. Kian McDermott, 11. George O’Loughlin, 12. Lukas Mason, 13. Taylor Kerr.

Bench: 14. Finlay Yeomans, 15. Kalum Rathbone, 16. Leo Wadsworth, 17. Dylan Kelly-Duffy.

18th Player: 18. Reece Rowcroft.

Tries: Jack Farrimond (2).

Goals: Jack Farrimond (2 from 2).

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