- Darrell Goulding on the U19s’ impressive 24-0 win against Leeds on Tuesday night.
- Coach says “it will be one to remember.”
- Goulding: ‘Defence the most pleasing’.
Under-19s Coach Darrell Goulding praised his side’s immaculate defence in what he said was “one to remember” as Wigan beat Leeds 24-0 on Tuesday night to seal top spot in the 2018 Academy league table.
Two tries in each half gave the Warriors the victory and Goulding was overjoyed with his team’s defence. It was the first time this season that the Rhinos have failed to score in a game and the Academy Coach picked out 2018 U19s Player of the Year Harry Smith as one of the catalysts for the impressive triumph.
Speaking to Wigan TV after the game, he said: “It’s tremendous. I think that’s probably the most pleasing for me. The effort from some of the players; I thought Harry Smith was special, he was tremendous, especially defensively. But all the lads chased back and made special efforts and I think it will be one to remember.
“We obviously wanted to finish top as soon as we could. To do it in a game like this is something we’re going to remember but we know the job’s not done here. We’ve got Castleford on Friday so we dust our boots off and go again.”
On the game, Goulding said: “It’s been building up this game and we knew it’s importance for us and for them as well going into the play offs so we knew it was coming.
“It was a brilliant performance. I couldn’t fault anyone from one to 17. I thought the effort was tremendous and there was quite a lot of points in the game where we showed a character and I’m very pleased for the lads.”
Wigan led 12-0 at half time after a brace from James Barran. Goulding spoke about the team talk at the break which motivated his side to get another two tries, courtesy of Ethan Havard and Samy Kibula which saw them win the game quite convincingly in the end.
“I think it was about carrying on what we were doing. I think it’s sometimes hard as we didn’t want half time and Leeds wanted it more than us. But full credit to them as we came out and beat a good Leeds team in that second half.”
Goulding admitted his liking of the different surroundings as the game was played at Wigan St. Judes ARLFC, an unfamiliar home ground for the U19s who normally play at Orrell or Robin Park.
“I’ve loved it to be honest,”Goulding said.
“I think it’s a bit different. Some of the lads, like Harry, probably enjoyed it because it’s where they played their rugby growing up. I think it’s brilliant and we got a lot of fans down and it was a different atmosphere and it’s a special occasion for the lads.”
In their last game of the league season, the Under-19s head to Castleford and Goulding spoke about the short turnaround and revealed he will be making changes to give other players an opportunity to impress.
“It’s one of them. I think people moan about it but if you ask the lads they’d rather play every day than train so I think they’ll be looking forward to it and there will be a lot of lads getting a chance.”
Click here to watch the full interview with Darrell and find out what Harry Smith had to say on Wigan TV.