Match report as Wigan Warriors Reserves lose to England Lions at the Fairhurst Accountants Community Stadium on Wednesday night
Community Development Squad come from behind to win 18-31 at Orrell with four tries in the second half
- Dom Manfredi, Ted Chapelhow and Lewis Heckford with Wigan’s tries
Wigan Reserves fell to defeat against the England Community Lions on Wednesday night as the visitors scored four second half tries to come from behind to win 18-31 at the Fairhurst Accountants Community Stadium, Orrell.
Three tries inside the opening 23 minutes from Dom Manfredi, Ted Chapelhow and Lewis Heckford gave the Warriors an 18-point advantage.
Jack Lazenby reduced the score gap to 12 points when he went over, 13 minutes before the break.
Four second half tries from Matty Norton (2), Lazenby and Jordan Gibson plus a drop goal from Reece Dean gave the Lions the victory.
Dom Manfredi started in what was his second run-out following a successful 40 minutes against Halifax Reserves 10 days ago.
First team players Josh Woods, Josh Ganson and Liam Paisley all returned to Reserves action.
It was Wigan who took the lead as Dom Manfredi touched down for the game’s first try in the third minute. A high bomb from Josh Woods proved too difficult for England’s Freddie Walker as Manfredi latched at the chance of getting some connection with the ball and it bounced kindly for the winger who collected comfortably to score in the right corner. That was Manfredi’s third try in two successive Reserve games since his comeback from a long-term injury. Lewis Heckford converted the kick to make it 6-0.
The Warriors doubled their advantage mid-way through the first half as Ted Chapelhow crossed over. Woods was again at the heart of the Wigan attack as he cleverly switched the flow of the play with a cut in pass to the right to find the oncoming Chapelhow who charged his way over the whitewash to score from close range. Heckford made it 12-0 with the boot.
The game looked to be in complete control when Wigan extended the score to 18-0 as Heckford got in on the act. The try all started from inside the Cherry and Whites half as Sam Grant found his right side partner in Manfredi. The winger got his racing boots on and showed his lightening best as he skipped past the attempted Lions tackle to find the supporting Heckford who strolled over the line and under the posts. Heckford added the extras easily.
However, the England Lions fought back and reduced the score gap on the 27th minute as Jack Lazenby scored their first try of the match. A quick show of hands on the left side from Jordan Gibson and Matty Norton allowed Lazenby to find space and he powered his way over the line and beat three Wigan defenders in the process. Reece Dean converted the kick, 6-18 the score stood at half time.
Wigan Warriors Reserves 6–18 England Lions
The Lions came out roaring in the second half as Norton powered his way over to score his team’s second. It was England’s left side again that caused the danger as Gibson found a short pass to Norton and the second rower twisted and turned through the attempted tackle to force his way down cleanly with the ball in hand. Dean added the two to make it 18-12.
Gibson was involved once more for England’s third try which saw the game go level at 18 points apiece. Danny Hirst found Gibson and the half back skilfully outwitted the Wigan line as he showed a dummy for a pass out wide but a short one instead to Lazenby allowed the centre go through the gap and get his second try. Dean made it three from three with the kick and the game was all to play for with just over 20 minutes remaining.
The Warriors may look back at the 68th minute when Heckford attempted a drop goal 17 metres out from the posts. The kick from the stand off just went wide of the right post and the Lions made full use of the miss in the following play.
England advanced into the Wigan half and Gibson put his side in front for the first time in the match with just 10 minutes to go. Gibson, who set up two previous tries, got one for himself as he picked the ball up at dummy half and spun away from the challenge to bulldoze his way over the line. Dean’s converted kick gave the Lions a 18-24 lead.
Dean furthered his side’s winning margin as he struck a one pointer 12 metres out. Matty Henson found Dean waiting way back in front of the posts and the scrum half added a drop goal to make it a little comfier heading into the last six minutes as the Lions went 18-25 ahead.
The visitors added salt to Wigan’s wounds in the 79th minute when Norton got his brace. Hooker Henson received the ball 10 metres out and ran towards the line before finding the supporting Norton whose momentum took him over the whitewash to score his side’s fifth of the night. Dean added the extras to confirm the full-time score as Wigan Reserves 18-31 England Lions.
Wigan Warriors Reserves 18–31 England Lions
Wigan Warriors Reserves– 18
Tries: Dom Manfredi, Ted Chapelhow, Lewis Heckford
Goals: Lewis Heckford 3/3
England Lions– 31
Tries: Jack Lazenby (2), Matty Norton (2), Jordan Gibson
Goals: Reece Dean 5/5
Drop-goal: Reece Dean (1)
Wigan Warriors Reserves: 1. Craig Mullen, 2. Joe Brown, 3. Jake Sculthorpe, 4. Sam Grant, 5. Dom Manfredi, 6. Lewis Heckford, 7. Josh Woods, 8. Ben Kilner, 9. Josh Ganson, 10. Liam Byrne, 11. Liam Paisley, 12. Sam Wilde (Widnes), 13. Samy Kibula
Interchange: 14. Jack Ratcliffe (Salford), 15. Samuel Adejumo, 16. Ted Chapelflow (Widnes), 17. Levy Nzoungou (Salford), 18. Joe Purcell, 19. Ben Holcroft, 21. Dec O’Donnell, 22. Oliver Waite
England Lions: 1. Nathan Hill, 5. Freddie Walker, 16. Gareth Gale, 4. Jack Lazenby, 2. Sam Ansell, 9. Jordan Gibson, 14. Reece Dean, 18. Ryan Wilson, 8. Matty Henson, 10. Jamie Bristo, 11. Danny Williams, 12. Matty Norton, 3. Sam Rotchford
Interchange: 7 Danny Hirst, 15. Marcus O’Brien, 17. Mike Stark, 13. Kieran Murphy, 6. Ryan Hilyard, 19. Max Dudley