MK WOLVES secured their first ever rugby league win on Saturday – and they did it in style by seeing off the previously unbeaten league leaders.
The St Ives Roosters arrived at Emerson Valley boasting a 100 per cent record this season, seeing them sit proudly top of the East Regional Division.
However, they came unstuck against a Wolves side who earned their first success at the fifth attempt this term with a 38-24 victory – a week after earning their maiden draw at home to the Kings Lynn Black Knights.
From the off it was difficult to tell which side was supposedly unbeaten and top of the table, and which was winless and sat bottom of the pile – Richard Hill crashing over the line for the first try of the day on his Wolves debut.
St Ives have handed out some heavy defeats this season, and they quickly hit back with three unanswered tries to open up a 16-4 advantage. But Wolves weren’t willing to lie down and battled back with four tries of their own to take a 22-16 lead into half time.
The visitors scored twice to re-take the lead early in the second half at 24-22, but Wolves wouldn’t be denied and secured a memorable win with three further tries in the last 15 minutes – the pick of the bunch coming from captain Kieran McConnell as he charged 50 yards to cross the line.
Next up is an away trip to face Kings Lynn, and head coach Gareth Edwards hopes his Wolves can build on their win and avoid a bottom place finish in their first ever season.
He said: “I knew a win was coming, but honestly didn’t expect it against the side who hadn’t lost a game all season.
“I’m delighted. We’ve worked so hard in our games and come so close, but you could see how we have been improving in every game, and it’s finally paid off.
“I know the lads were getting frustrated having put in all that effort and remained winless, but that shows that we have the talent to compete against the very best. Let’s hope it gives us an appetite for victory.”
Meanwhile Wolves fielded their first ever U16s side in a friendly against Northampton on Tuesday evening.
In an initiative spearheaded by Edwards, who teaches rugby league at Radcliffe School and Stantonbury Campus, the club brought his young charges together under the MK Wolves banner so they can get used to playing for the city before they make their step up to the first team rugby in a couple of years.
“Rugby league is a great sport, and these youngsters have loved playing it at school, but there just aren’t enough schools playing it in the area to give them regular games,” said Edwards.
“By bringing these very talented young players under the MK Wolves banner, we can hopefully give them some decent game time, while also building a Milton Keynes squad for the future.
“Also, we can give an opportunity to those young people who want to take up the sport, but who don’t play it in school. Maybe we can discover the next Sam Tomkins here in MK.”
While plans for regular U16 training are well underway, any over 16s who would like to play the sport are welcome to join training on Wednesday evenings at the Emerson Valley Sports Pavilion. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.