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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Wath Brow coach praises brave players after cup defeat

Coach Ian Rudd hailed Wath Brow’s young guns after the amateur trailblazers handed Challenge Cup debuts to seven players in yesterday’s third round clash with Championship outfit Leigh Centurions.

The plucky Hornets went down 52-4 at the Sports Village but Rudd reckons the cup experience can only be good news for the club.

“Four or five of the seven were aged 19 and under,” he said.

“It was marvellous experience for those kids.

“You can’t go to Woolies and buy experience like that, you build it.

“Young Dale Bell for example at left centre was exposed to those plays from Robbie Paul, and defensively he was outstanding.

“At the start of the year he played on the wing and then came in to centre for the injured Andrew Stables and has been superb. And he’s only 19. These kids have been exposed to high quality rugby, and that’s what you need.”

Wath Brow led 4-0 in the opening moments, courtesy of a try from another teenager Peter Caddy, but the amateurs were dealt a massive early blow when losing long-serving stand-off Craig Johnstone to injury.

“I’m happy, but we could have done better, to be honest,” Rudd added.

“There were key phases we didn’t execute well, and if Craig had been on, that might have been different.

“I’m not saying the other lads didn’t do well, but Craig has a lot of experience of these big games and was a big loss.

“We believed at half-time we could score one or two tries in the second-half, provided we forced a few errors, and while we didn’t really do that, we did well and kept going.”

Leigh boss Ian Millward complemented Wath Brow’s determination.

He said: “In my eyes there’s a big gulf between the leagues but they tried real hard.

“We lacked a little cohesion and intensity in our game, but having said that, the Challenge Cup is all about winning the game. I’m pretty happy with that.”

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