The Service Area Season 2004 has just concluded. Read on to find out how the Warrington sides faired.
It is a measure of the progress of the Wolves Service Area that they are now grouped with Service Areas from Clubs with proven track records of player development – Wigan, Saints, and the country’s biggest Service Area, Wakefield (which incorporates a huge chunk of Yorkshire).
The primary purpose of Service Area Rugby League is player Development but the match results can provide a useful playing standard indicator.
Over the 4 age groups, 20 matches were played – 10 won, 8 lost and 2 drawn.
The U12’s had their first taste of Service Area Rugby and acquitted themselves very well. Amongst very good team efforts, individual performances from backs Gareth O’Brien, Jordan Burke and James Mendeika as well as hard-working forward Joe Clarke stood out.
Defeated only by St Helens, the U13’s produced quite a few magic moments, including a last play equalising try at Oldham, but also suffered at times from apparent ‘Kevin and Perry’ style lethargy. Several players shone – in particular commanding half-back, Ashley Cornelia (Brother of Wolves’ Craig) – Joe Mellor, and stand-off who scored in each game, lightening centre, Tom Rigby and hard working full-back, Matt Lomax. Strong running prop, Anthony Britton added essential impetus to the pack as did the tireless work of hooker Richard Taylor and loose-forward, Jack Reid.
The U14’s suffered from lack of size but in the one fixture in which they achieved a level of physical parity, against Oldham, their undoubted skills came to the fore. All players showed great character and a willingness to learn and improve. The performances of Andy Dixon, Danny Brown, Liam Duffy and very encouragingly, new find, Danny Martin, suggest that there is plenty of talent in the age group.
The U15’s first match was a loss to Widnes. This was possibly the best way of ensuring that the players fused together as a team. The side then put an impressive run of results together beating Wigan, Saints, Oldham and Wakefield. Coach, Brian Chambers states this team of Warrington-born players is possibly the best U15’s in the Country and the overall standard of personnel bodes very well for the future of the club.
The starting pack of Mike Cooper, Joe Gandy, Ben Mellor, Jake Emmitt, Steve Moorcroft and Lee Mitchell provided plenty of go-forward and solid defence. While backs and utility players Matty Blythe, Craig Howard, Anthony Kelly, Daren Hill, Anthony Rourke, Ashley Faulkner, Jono Smith and Ste Fisher constantly impressed.
The Service Area games will be used to assist recruitment for next years Scholarship squads and it is important that every effort is made to ensure that these kids are ‘Wolfed Up’. Andy Dixon of the U14’s has been enticed to St Helens and while we have regularly attracted plenty of talent from local rivals, we do not want to lose any of the young players that we have worked so hard to develop.
Watch out for these names being mentioned through upcoming Squadbuilder events and club announcements.
The future may yet be Primrose and Blue.