Wildcats Assistant Coach, Glenn Morrison, thought the youngsters on show against Sheffield Eagles stood up to be counted on Friday night.
A squad with thirteen full-time members of the first team squad were up against last season’s Championship Grand Finalists and despite the comparative lack of experience, the young Wildcats put in an assured display and ran out 38-24 winners in Morrison’s first game in charge.
“It was a game that we needed,” said the former Wildcats skipper.
“Before the game we knew it was going to be a good hit-out. They had some good players, big boys and I thought we stood up really well.
“Against Leeds we said we had to work on some defence and I thought that was our best part of the game tonight.
“There was good contact, we got three men into the tackle and really impressed.”
Matty Wildie was named man of the match thanks to a good all-round performance and a brace of tries but it was an Academy forward that caught the eye of Morrison.
“I thought Tom Lillycrop did well. He’s only had one training run with the other full-time boys and I thought he was one of the best forwards in the park and I’d probably have given him my man of the match.
“I said before the game to them that Rich (Agar) is here watching you and you’ve got to stand up and do your best, and he definitely did that.
“He came in the back end of last year (from Bradford) and he’s had a big off season and he’s at the front of all the fitness drills in training.
“It pays off if you’ve got a middle man who can put in the minutes and take two hit ups in a set of six then that’s what you’re after.”
On a night where a swirling wind and persistent rain made handling conditions difficult the performance of Liam Kay also drew praise from the Assistant Coach on a night where all the young Wildcats took their chance to impress.
“It was a tough one for full-backs,” admitted Morrison.
“Liam came into us half-way through the pre-season and although he’s usually a six he said he wanted to try full-back and I thought he did a really good job in organising the defensive line and getting the spaces right.
“Everyone played pretty good. There’s still some things to work on but it’s good to get the win and see the improvements each week.”
Morrison confirmed that Adam Slater had nothing more than a sore jaw after taking a high shot midway through the second half.
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