London Skolars 0 Wigan Warriors XIII 48

27th January 2014

Skolars got a tough run out for their first pre-season game against a Wigan side that contained a number of youngsters with Super League experience and several more that will undoubtedly play at that level this season.

Skolars worked hard to deny the young Warriors a score until the 26th minute, but with superior fitness and the ability to create the gaps in the defence for the three quarterline to take advantage of, it always looked like the visitors would be the first to score.

The opening try came from the forwards though. Rhys Pusgley broke through the defence with fellow prop Sam Hopkins touching down. They forced a drop out soon afterwards and stretched the defence out on the right for Dom Mandfridi to score.

Wigan scored a third try just before half-time when he finished off a move started by the two half-backs.

With London ringing the changes after the break, more gaps started to appear for the visitors. Gelling broke from halfway with Jamie Doran finishing off. The next set of six saw David Thompson break down the left wing before passing inside for Tierney’s second try. It wasn’t long before Manfridi added his second, a Gelling pass into space unleashing him for another long range effort to the City End.

Smokie Junor went close for Skolars, but couldn’t pierce the defence. Wigan attacked from deep again with Tierney and Jack Higginson sending over Jack Murphy.

Gelling set up another try for Manfridi’s hat-trick when he use his height to pass the ball over the heads of the defence whilst being tackled short of the line.

Another race down the line saw Manfridi add his fourth try, but not without a determined chase by Junor, who managed to catch his opposite number as the line approached, but he crashed at speed into the goal posts whilst twisting as he tried to hold Manfridi up. It was clearly a bad injury and it was another ten minutes before
Jack Shorrocks converted his sixth goal, with Junor on his way to hospital with a suspected broken femur.

Skolars’ commitment was shown to the end with Jamie O’Callaghan denying Wigan another long range effort with a fine tackle after a chase for 50 metres.

London Skolars coach Joe Mbu said, “This is our first game and if that it what we showed in our first game, then I am really looking forward to our fourth and fifth games. The boys will take an awful lot from the game.

“The injury to Smokie has taken the gloss off the afternoon. But I don’t want to say more until we know how serious the injury is.”

Wigan coach Matt Peet said, “I am really happy with the squad workout and the performance. It was a very big day for the team and some of them were a little tentative at the start. Most of the boys had never played in such surroundings, and we told them this was a unique opportunity for them. They were a credit to the club.

“Anthony Gelling lead from the front and Dom Manfredi scored four tries. And Rhys Pugsley was also outstanding”.

1 Jamie O’Callaghan
2 Smokie Junor
3 Martin Olima
4 John Paxton
5 Judd Greenhalgh
6 Sam Druce
7 Matt Bradley
8 Oliver Purslow
9 Lloyd O’Connor
10 David Williams
11 Anthony Cox
12 Jaroslaw Obuchowski
13 Sam Wellings

Subs (all used)
14 Lamont Bryan
15 Martyn Smith
16 Louis Robinson
17 Dion Chapman
18 Ade Aderiye
19 Vincent Morris
20 Michael Sykes
21 Michael Greenhalgh

1 Lewis Tierney
2 Dom Manfredi
3 Jack Murphy
4 Anthony Gelling
5 David Thompson
6 Jake Shorrocks
7 George Williams
8 Sam Hopkins
9 Callum Wright
10 Rhys Pugsley
11 Grant Beecham
12 Nick Gregson
13 Rob Lever

Subs (all used)
14 Ben Austin
15 Brad Lawrence
16 Kieran Sharrett
17 Tyler Whittaker
18 Jamie Doran
19 Jake Moore
20 Jack Higginson

Tries: Hopkins (26), Manfredi (30.54,67,70), Tierney (36,47), Doran (45), Murphy (63)
Goals: Shorrocks 6/8

Penalty count: 5-5

Half-time: 0-18
Referee: Jamie Bloem
Attendance: 805

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 0-12, 0-18,0-22, 0-28, 0-34, 0-38, 0-42, 0-48

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