Salford Red Devils 12 Warrington Wolves 24 Match Report
With up to nine first year players within their ranks, this season’s new look College Academy U19s side were made to struggle against a much more experienced Warrington side, but nevertheless put up a determined resistance, once they had adapted to the intensity of the game.
The not insignificant slope on the Cadishead pitch also played its part in how the encounter unfolded, with the visitors enjoying the advantage it provided for the opening forty minutes, which served to make the young Red Devils’ task all the more challenging, with the Wolves running in back-to-back tries on the seventh and tenth minutes to open up an 0-8 lead.
That, however, only served to galvanise the Salford players and the quality of their defence improved most markedly, from that point onwards, and their opponents suddenly found themselves being thwarted at every turn, so much so that it started to look as though the lead that they would take into the second half might be insufficient to provide the victory, especially with the incline favouring the Red Devils for the second period.
Sadly, those hopes proved to be overly optimistic as Warrington ran in two further tries on either side of the interval, the second of which they converted to give themselves a rather more comfortable eighteen point lead.
The home side were, however, sufficiently cohesive that they were able to muster a response of their own, with two converted tries of their own, sandwiching the Wolves final score, both of which proved to be the most entertaining of the game.
The first came on 44 mins when Mikey Gilligan put prop Euan Haynes through on a barn-storming run from inside his own half, with Gilligan in support, and he continued the move before handing on to Isaac Wheatley who scored by the posts and promptly converted his own try, to bring the score back to 6-18.
Haynes, again, it was, who repeated the fete with another magnificent break from within his own half, and looked at one stage as though he might be able to score himself, but then was grateful to be able to set up the supporting Myles Paul to complete the score towards the left-hand corner. With a rather more difficult conversion, Wheatley, most impressively, succeeded once again in extending the score by a further two points.
For a first match of the season, the players can look back on it with a certain level of satisfaction, in the knowledge that they have stood up to one of the stronger sides in their group, and in having done so have increased their level of intensity and execution to the standard that they will require on a week-by-week basis throughout the coming season.