A difficult double header for Wire's women and academy

Sammi Simpson scores Wire's only try in the Women's Super League loss to Wigan <i>(Image: John Baldwin Photography)</i>
Sammi Simpson scores Wire's only try in the Women's Super League loss to Wigan (Image: John Baldwin Photography)

THE two neighbours meet in Super League on Saturday, but The Halliwell Jones Stadium hosted a Warrington Wolves-Wigan Warriors double header at the weekend.

And everyone of a Wire persuasion will hope it goes much better for them this time around after both matches ended in Wigan victories.

The women’s team were beaten 40-4 by a Warriors side who continued their perfect start to the Betfred Women’s Super League campaign by running seven tries past Armani Sharrock’s side.

Their sole try came after an hour with the game already firmly in Wigan’s grasp as Sammi Simpson crashed over in the corner to finish a neat handling move.

By that point, however, the visitors were already 28-0 up thanks to tries from Rachel Thompson, Isabel Rowe, Mary Coleman, Elise Derbyshire and Anna Davies.

Bethany Hayes and Davies’ second try put the seal on the Wigan win, with Warrington now preparing for a trip to defending champions York Valkyrie on Sunday.

Wolves: Anna Dennis; Abigail Johnston, Nicole Barnett, Samantha Simpson, Rebecca Nixon; Millie Bell, Charlize MaGraw; Abigail Latchford, Danielle Bound, Grace Burnett, Katie May Williams, Emily Baggaley, Emily Downs. Subs: Jasmine Wilson, Helena Turner, Megan Condliffe, Lucy Johnson. 18th: Ellie Jelves

A meeting between the two clubs’ academy sides followed, with both coming into the game with identical records having won four of their first five games.

However, it was Wigan who earned a 44-22 victory with Warrington head of youth Ryan O’Brien saying the game “highlighted frailties he hadn’t seen before.”

After tries from Finlay Yeomans and Austin Daniel got the visitors off to a flying start, Wire got a foothold as Tom McKinney powered his way over, with Joe Hickey’s conversion making the score 10-6.

However, Josh Cartwright and Jack Purtill touched down to re-establish command for Wigan before the break before Leo Wadsworth and Dylan Kelly-Duffy crossed to effectively seal victory after it.

There was to be a Warrington riposte, though, and three tries in five minutes sparked hopes of an unlikely fightback.

Hickey collected his own kick to touch down before Lewis Barratt raced clear from dummy-half to further narrow the gap.

Then, once Cai Taylor-Wray’s break from the restart resulted in Daniel Hackney touching down, the lead was reduced to 12 points with 17 minutes still remaining.

Unfortunately, that was as a close as they got as Nathan Lowe’s try put paid to their hopes before Daniel put gloss on the scoreline with his second touchdown.

A late skirmish then saw both sides have a man each sent off, with Zack Gardner seeing red for Wire along with Cartwright for Wigan, who also had Charlie Yeomans sin-binned.

“The performance highlighted some frailties in our game that I haven’t seen before in us,” O’Brien said.

“Wigan are a top side and we have no other option but to take the intensity of our training to another level to close the gap when we play them again.”

The next academy fixture is on Saturday, June 22, when The Wire travel to Hull FC.

Wolves: Cai Taylor-Wray; Frank Sergent, Deacon Connolly, Zack Gardner, Lachlan Webster; Joe Hickey, Junior Westwood; Charlie McKler, Lewis Barratt, Tom McKinney, Daniel Hackney, Kian Stanton, Jake Ramsden. Subs: Oliver Morgan, Alfie Mather, Daniel Regan, Sam Roberts. 18th: Ben Pearce