Johnson’s drop of magic seals dramatic win for Furness Raiders
FURNESS RAIDERS 25 WAKEFIELD COLLEGE 24
RYAN Johnson became an instant hero when his dramatic last-gasp 35-metre drop kick earned the narrowest of wins for Furness Raiders over Wakefield College at Craven Park on Wednesday.
The successful kick sparked celebrations on the pitch as the final whistle went and saw the academy kids make it two College Rugby League Premier Division wins out of two.
Moment earlier Wakefield must have thought victory was in the bag when Zayne Cloete went over for his hat-trick of tries – the visitors sixth – but following Jake Carter’s short restart Johnson, who had already kicked four conversions, showed nerves of steel to slot over the winner.
Raiders head coach Darren Carter was delighted with the win following on from the 29-16 victory against Midland Hurricanes at Loughborough last week.
“It was dramatic to say the least I think,” he said after the latest win. “I think to be fair that drop goal was the right result, we definitely edged the game, but they were a really good side as well.
“It’s about playing against teams where you go out of your comfort zone a little bit and you don’t know who is going to win.
“It’s no good running away with games it’s much better when you have proper competition and play against good teams, and they were a really good side I thought, well coached, a good group of lads.
“They are the feeder team for the Wakefield academy.”
Wakefield came out of the starting blocks to build up an 8-0 lead but minutes before the break an outrageous dummy from Johnson left the visiting defence flat-footed for him to score near the posts and adding the kick to put Furness Raiders just two points adrift.
The visitors added to their try tally with Callum Hudson on the end of a flowing move but Mattie Brown struck back to score with Johnson again on target.
Strong performances from the outstanding Scott Beattie and Ethan Furness always meant the home side were in contention and even when the visitors added a further try, Furness Raiders stayed in the hunt with Tyler Batty scoring.
The young Barrow side must have thought victory was theirs when Danny Wright scored late in the game, but there were further twists to come. When Colete went over Wakefield must have thought they had won – until Johnson’s boot came to the rescue.
Carter added: “We kept our composure and we have come back again and won this from behind like we did last week.
“Ryan was on fire with his goalkicking. Overall it was a really outstanding win.”
He added: “It is not always about winning and losing, if it had been a draw it wouldn’t have been the end of the world we would have still gone forward from this, but the fact you get a win does make it a bit more rewarding.
“The kids are in the changing room now buzzing and it’s one of those that just shows you never give up. We were behind the posts with a minute on the clock and I was saying to the lads ‘look we can still get this if we kick off, get the ball back we can drop a goal’ and that’s exactly what happened. The fact that they never gave up saw them get their just rewards in the end.”
He added: “I am pleased for these lads win, lose or draw because they show great attitude in training and towards everything. They are a good bunch, they stick together as a team, I am really pleased that they won.”
Carter said the Wakefield coach was enthusiastic about the Furness Raiders players, adding: “He was really impressed with the standard that we have got, he said it was definitely the right result and that we have got some really talented players.”
FURNESS RAIDERS: Jake Stockdale, Aidan Wright, Tyler Lancaster, Owen Myers, James Lashmar, Jake Carter, Ryan Johnson, Scott Beattie, Rowan Smeadly, Ben Atkinson, Eric Hill, Ethan Furness, Declan Rodgers. Subs: Blain Marwood, Tyler Batty, Matty Brown, Danny Wright, Josh Rankin.
WAKEFIELD COLLEGE: Kian Morgan, Junior Ngogngog, Ryan Strafford, Zayne Cloete, Callum Hudson, Coleby Colthorpe, Stephen Gibbs, Anvydas Serinka, Henry Hiddlestone, Aaron Yorke, Nathan Newbound, Charlie Frost, Shaun Jordan. Subs: Tom Halliwell, Jacob Jones, Bob Jowitt, James Szlvick, Tyrone Mashanwarg, Lee Kershaw, Adam Golding.