Wolves edge out Souths in first official trial

It was a game that went down to the wire, and one that could have gone either way – with ESL side, the Warrington Wolves coming out on top over NRL side, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, is a closely fought contest.

The occasion of the trial, Return to Redfern, signalled just that – the return of football to the iconic NRL stadium, Redfern Oval.

Fans were treated to a nail-biter, and with the scores locked at 28-all, it was a try to Wolves player Gareth O’Brien that sealed the win, 34-28.

Heading into the game, all the pressure was on the young halves pairing of Adam Reynolds and Ryan Carr – who were both fighting for that vacant halfback spot, following the departure of Chris Sandow.

On the whole, according to Souths coach Michael Maguire and team-mate Matt King, for his first appearance in a Souths jersey, Reynolds carried himself well, with the likely halfback kicking two 40/20’s over the course of the game.

“He played well, two 40/20s and I thought he defended well. Obviously that’s going to be the test for Reyno, he’s only a little fella,” King said.

“Trent Waterhouse is twice the size of him and he had him running at him all day. That’s going to happen week-in week-out for 24 weeks, so he’s going to have to get used to that.

“But I thought he handled today really well. I tip my cap to him, but that’s not discounting Ryan Carr either. Everyone’s been questioning our options in the halves but I think we’re in good shape.”

Whilst the Souths side had some experienced players present, Maguire wanted the rookies to be the centre of attention – with Brendan McKinnon, Neccrom Areaiiti, Shaune Corrigan, and both Reynolds and Carr, who almost gave the Bunnies a fighting chance to win.

“I’m pleased. There was some good character shown and, all in all, I’m happy with that as a first hit-out,” Maguire said.

“At the end of the day, Warrington’s a fair team and they’ve got a lot of quality names, so it was great to see our young boys perform the way they did at the back end.

“To look down and see the number of quality players I had sitting down on the sideline, I’m obviously looking forward to our next trial.”

With all the pressure on Reynolds to perform at the NRL level, he does have a former talented half in his corner, with former Knights and Sharks half Matthew Johns, acting as a mentor of sorts for the young and budding halfback.

“For a start, I’m not coaching the kid. I’ve been along and watched a few training sessions but I haven’t gone out in the field and worked with him,” Johns said.

“Having said that, I’ve had some good conversations with him.

“For a kid, he’s very composed and very humble.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that he can play. But because of his injury history and the fact he’s only young, people shouldn’t put too much pressure on him.”

Warrington Wolves 34 (Rhys Evans, Simon Grix, Rhys Williams, Ryan Atkins, Chris Bridge, Gareth O’Brien tries; Lee Briers 4, Richie Myler goals)

defeated

South Sydney Rabbitohs 28 (Shaune Corrigan 2, Brendan McKinnon, Ryan Carr, Nathan Peats tries; Adam Reynolds 4 goals)

The Warrington Wolves’ Return to Redfern 2012 team is:

2) Chris Riley
5) Joel Monaghan
18) Matty Blythe
4) Ryan Atkins
22) Rhys Williams
6) Lee Briers
19) Stefan Ratchford
15) Simon Grix
12) Ben Westwood
11) Trent Waterhouse
10) Garreth Carvell
9) Michael Monaghan
8) Adrian Morley (c)

Interchange:

3) Chris Bridge
13) Ben Harrison

14) Mickey Higham
16) Paul Wood
17) Mike Cooper
20) Chris Hill
21) Tyrone McCarthy
23) Rhys Evans
24) Gareth O’Brien

Coach – Tony Smith

1) Justin Hunt
2) Chris McQueen
3) Shaune Corrigan
4) Matt King
5) Fetuli Talanoa
6) Ryan Carr
7) Adam Reynolds
8) Scott Geddes
9) Nathan Peats
10) Josh Starling
11) Eddy Pettybourne
12) Dave Tyrrell
13) Jason Clark

Interchange:

14) Brendan McKinnon

15) Curtis Johnston
16) George Burgess
17) Neccrom Areaiiti
18) Blake Judd
19) Andrew Everingham

Coach – Michael Maguire

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