MATCH REPORT: Newcastle Thunder 16 – 6 Wakefield Trinity

Newcastle Thunder got their 2019 pre-season off to a fantastic start on Saturday afternoon, as the recorded a 16-6 win over Wakefield Trinity at Kingston Park Stadium.

Thunder showed true class in a performance as  both sides gave game time to experienced stagers and young guns.

Thunder started the game in emphatic fashion with a strong opening set that took them to within inches of an opening score, before academy product Alex Clegg punishes a knock on by the visitors as they attempted to play their way out of trouble.

The try was created as new signing Liam Finn switched the angle of attack as his pass found support runners coming from deep, allowing Clegg to make an angled run. 

Recently signing after finishing with the club’s junior teams, the young fullback doubled his tally after making an acrobatic leap to catch new signing Jy-Mel Coleman’s high kick into the corner as Thunder made all the running in the opening stages.

The hosts kept applying the pressure both offensively and defensively before Wakefield cracked again this time through a dropped ball.

Pushing to make a break of their own, Trinity put too much into the pass and as it went awry and onto the deck, Lewis Young was the quickest to react.

Scooping the ball on the move as he broke into clear air, there was no stopping the man who has consistently been one of the clubs most exciting players for the last three years as he made a 60 meter dash to extend Thunder’s lead.

With Jason Payne’s side restricting the visitors to only fleeting moments in the front foot, there was a palpable buzz around the stadium as the home team took a 16-0 lead into half time.

A balanced start to the second half saw both sides put in impressive attacking sets which were matched with equally impressive defensive actions.

15 minutes into the second half, history was made as Alex Donaghy took to the field for the first time in a first team game, officially becoming the youngest ever academy graduate to do. Rhys Clarke who Alex joined on the field, still remains the youngest player to ever have played for Newcastle Thunder.

As the game developed Thunder looked to be in complete control until a spill of the ball on Wakefield’s line was capitalised by Connor Bailey, who ran the full 100 meters to get Wakefield on the scoreboard. 

Luke Hooley converted and the momentum started to swing Wakefield’s way, with heavy attacking pressure placed on Thunder on their own line afterwards.

The hosts however showed their strength of character, and held firm until the final whistle as the game remained without any further scores until its end.

Newcastle Thunder will look to take this form into their next two pre-season fixtures where they travel to Oldham and Whitehaven before eventually starting their League One season against Doncaster on February 16th, in a highly anticipated Double Header that will also see Toronto Wolfpack face Widnes Vikings at Kingston Park.

Newcastle Thunder Squad:

Lewis Young, Joe Brown, Misi Taulapapa, Tyler Craig, Alex Clegg, Liam Finn, Jy-Mel Coleman, Jack Aldous, Evan Simons, Liam McAvoy, Aaron Ollett, Rhys Clarke, Sam Luckley, Alex Donaghy, Conor Fitzsimons, Alex Rowe, Jared Blanke, Jed Charlton, Harry Aldous, Sean Croston, Connor Clayton, Kieran Hudson

Try – Clegg (2), Young

Goal – Finn (2)

Wakefield Squad:

Luke Hooley, Lee Kershaw, Oliver Greensmith, Jack Croft, Harrison van der Val, Ben Reynolds, Owen Hughes, Jordan Baldwinson, Kyle Wood, Keegan Hirst, Justin Horo, Pauli Pauli, Titus Tendai Gwaze, Daniel Barcode, Christopher Annakin, Lewis Wray, Yusuf Aydin, Lewis Teale, Tom Ashen, Connor Bailey, Harry Dodd, Jacob Jones

Try – Connor Bailey

Goal – Luke Hooley

Attendance – 702

Tickets for the double header can be found through our website, calling 0871 2266060 or by visiting the Kingston Park ticket office.