With the 2017 Super League only 10 days away, quite a few teams played their last warm up matches over the weekend! On Saturday, Wigan were at the Stade Gilbert Brutus to take on Catalan and, with both teams looking for an improvement from the previous week, both teams fielded strong sides.
Wigan had the best of the first half, going in 20 -6 at the break with a couple of tries to the returning Joe Burgess, Lewis Tierney and Liam Marshall. For the Dragons, Kiwi front rower Sam Moa had opened the scoring when he crashed over early in the game. The second half took a different pattern, as Wigan boss Shaun Wane rang the changes as two tries from Kristen Inu, and one to Fouad Yaha brought Catalan back into the match. Wigan’s Academy player of the year Tom Davies then scored their only second half try that, in the end, would prove the difference as Wigan took the spoils with a 22-26 victory. This was their last game before the defence of their Super League crown starts at Salford in 12 days’ time.
Over at Manchester Regional Arena, Rochdale Hornets entertained a strong Warrington team, that included a number of 1st team regulars. But it was the part timers that looked like they would gain a famous victory, until a last minute try from Wolves’ winger Ryan Jones and the following touchline conversation from Harvey Livett snatched the victory away from the Championship new boys 22-24.
Rochdale had taken the half time lead 12-8 thanks to two converted tries from Greenwood and Jake Ecclestone, with Lewis Palfrey adding the extras. For the Wolves, England International Daryl Clark and returning three quarter Matt Blythe replied, with Declan Patton having an off day with the boot. After the restart, Dwyer and Toby King both scored to give last year’s Challenge Cup and Grand Final runners the lead. Only for the Hornets to sneak back in front until the 80th minute, when Jones sneaked over on the left edge and Livett sent the ball over the black dot.