On Sunday, Wigan Warriors’ youngsters had enough to defeat Whitehaven in a pre-season friendly and coach John Duffy was left impressed by the young men.
“It was a real stiff test on Sunday, travelling to Cumbria as well. Some of the younger lads haven’t done that kind of travel so it was good for them to experience that,” he said on the club’s website.
“I think there were a lot of nerves before the match, and you could feel that a bit in the first half but once the game went on and especially the second half, I thought they were superb.
“It’s always difficult to judge in Whitehaven, it was about adjusting as the game went on. It was windy, heavy underfoot as you will have seen and we adjusted our game plan at half time which really shone in the final forty. We stuck to it and scored some very good tries.
“They rolled us a bit at the start of the game and I think our lads were quite startled, some of them hadn’t played against men before – there was some 16-year olds on the bench for us. It startled us a little bit but once we got into the game I thought we showed some really good stuff with some classy touches.”
He also picked out five young players who impressed him in the fixture who could be knocking on the door for 2023 including fullback Reagan Sumner and forwards Junior Nsemba and Harvie Hill:
“I thought Reagan Sumner was outstanding, he carried tough and they really pinned us in the bottom corner early on so he had to take some tough carries in with Zach Eckersley and Jacob Douglas.
“I think we forget sometimes how young they still are, they stood up and were superb, as was everyone else but I think you can see by looking at them Junior Nsemba and Harvie Hill that they’ve sized up in the off-season, they’ve been working hard and thickened up.”