Early slip is wake-up call for Warriors

Leyland Warriors U14s (vs Wigan St Pats)
Leyland Warriors U14s (vs Wigan St Pats)
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Warriors may have beaten the weather at the weekend, but they couldn’t have got off to a worse start, conceding a try in the first minute of the game.

Unbowed, Leyland hit back quickly, when a strong drive by Matt Clegg took them close, and Ellis Pocklington dived over from dummy-half.

Leyland took the lead after Ryan Catterall powered upfield, and a quick play-the-ball saw Pocklington and Declan Roberts work the ball quickly left to Cory Bennie, who proved unstoppable from close range.

The Warriors followed this up when Billy Bishop put a perfect delayed pass out to Adam Watkinson, who ran a great line to beat the cover from 30 metres out.

Not to be outdone, St Pat’s hit back with a converted try.

Watkinson again broke down the right, and fast hands saw Clegg take the ball in centre field, throw an outrageous dummy, and score untouched from 20 metres.

Leyland seemed to switch off in defence, and Pat’s hit back with two well-worked tries to make it 24-22 at the break. Warriors were determined not to lighten up their defence in the second half, and were as good as their word. The home side increased their lead when Rory Brand chased his own bomb on the last, and with the St Pats defence hesitant, he pounced for a well-taken try.

Leyland scored again when strong drives from Clegg and Bennie took them 10 metres out, and Jamie Anderson drifted right, handing off two defenders, before straightening up to storm over the line.

Warriors looked in complete control when Brand took a tap penalty on half-way, danced through the defence, and stepped the full-back, racing away for a great solo try.

A good kick-chase from Curtis Middlehurst earned Leyland a repeat set, and after drives from Bishop and Josh Walmsley, the ball was worked left, before Brand put Bennie in near the corner.

Brand was unfortunate that his touchline conversion attempt hit the crossbar, but he still finished with a very good six from eight attempts. The only blot on Leyland’s second half copy book was a consolation try from a determined St Pat’s, who never gave up.

A slow start in defence again from the Warriors, but there was no panic in the ranks, and a much-improved second half set them up nicely for next week’s match.