Thursday 26 December
Ollie Partington insists he has no intention of changing has approach to playing after a break out season for Wigan in 2019. The young prop never took a backward step and intends to carry on riling up opposition players. He told Wigan Today’s Phil Wilkinson: “It’s something rugby needs in general. You can’t lose that side of the game – and I don’t think they’ll ever coach it out of me and Morgs (Morgan Smithies). It’s all part of the game, there’s no harm in it and the game needs that.”
Bradford Bulls impressed in their Boxing Day hit out by beating Castleford Tigers 14-20 in pre-season at the Jungle in a performance made impressive by their defensive resilience, according to Telegraph & Argus’ Bill Marshall. “Left winger Joe Brown bagged two of the Bulls’ four tries, with the others coming from Sam Hallas and Rowan Milnes, who added two goals. Tigers replied with tries by new signing Danny Richardson, Joe Summers and Jacob Doyle, with Calum Turner tagging on a goal,”
Luke Gale made an impressive return to action in Leeds colours as the Rhinos triumphed over Wakefield in their annual Boxing Day fixture 30-4. The scrum half controlled proceedings well and stood out alongside new captain Stevie Ward whilst Trinity lost George King to injury. “We knew we definitely would not be the finished article and there’s lots we can brush up on, but I thought collectively we worked hard for each other,” Richard Agar told The Yorkshire Post’s Peter Smith.
The Heavy Woollen Derby saw the spoils shared between Dewsbury and Batley, with the contest finishing 14-14. The Bulldogs took a 12-6 half time lead thanks to tries from Alistair Leak and Mike Ward before a tries to Will Oakes and Adam Ryder put the Rams ahead only for a late Dale Morton penalty against his old club earning the visitors a draw in both club’s first run out ahead of the 2020 season.