John Duffy praises Wigan Warriors' youngsters for their display in the opening game of pre-season against Whitehaven

John Duffy believes Wigan Warriors’ youthful side performed “superbly" in their opening pre-season friendly once they had adjusted to the conditions.

The academy head coach oversaw the 22-14 victory over Whitehaven at the Recreation Ground, with a number of the players set to feature again in this Sunday’s meeting with Barrow Raiders (K.O. 3pm).

Duffy states the team just stuck to their game plan to eventually show what they are capable of.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: “It was a real stiff test, especially travelling to Cumbria as well.

John Duffy (Credit: Dean Williams)

“Some of the younger lads hadn’t done that journey so it was good for them to experience that.

“They were very nervous before the game, but I think as it went on they were superb.

“They rolled us a bit at the start of the game, because some of our lads were a bit startled and hadn’t played against men before.

“It’s always hard to adjust there, which is why Whitehaven win most of their home games.

A Wigan Warriors squad made up of academy and reserves players overcame Whitehaven (Credit: Dean Williams)

“It was really windy and heavy under foot, but we just stuck to our game plan at half time and it really shone because we scored some very good tries.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“As we got into it we showed some good glimpses.

“It’ll be really good for the lads who back up this week, seeing how they test mentally and physically.

“Barrow will offer a lot more than what Whitehaven did, so it will be a good test for us.”

Read More
Wigan Warriors' most famous fans including Manchester United and Liverpool legen...
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A number of individuals caught the eye of Duffy, including Logan Astley, who scored a brace as well as spending 10 minutes in the sin bin.

“Typical halfback, running over and gobbing off,” he added.

“He needs to learn, but I thought he was outstanding and he can be whatever he wants to be, he’s a superstar in the making.

“I thought Reagan (Sumner) was absolutely outstanding and carried really tough when they pinned us in that corner early on.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We can forget how young the likes of Harvie (Hill) and Junior (Nsemba) are as well.

“They stood up and were superb, alongside everyone else.

“You can see by looking at them both that they’ve put some really good weight on over the off-season and they will be two brilliant weapons for the club.”