England Academy defeat France 52-28
England Academy completed a 52-28 victory over France Under-18s in La Reoule yesterday (Saturday May 25).
The Academy scored nine tries against their French counterparts in the Bordeaux sunshine with debutant Jake Connor of Huddersfield Giants claiming the man of the match award with a well-taken first-half hat-trick.
Connor played a pivotal role as England raced into an early 28-0 lead and the visitors extended their advantage with further unanswered tries from Joe Burgess and Ryan Hampshire before the break.
A late response from France restored the scoreline to 28-12 as the teams went into the interval.
Hampshire, who has a prolific try-scoring record for the Academy, added a second following the break before Wigan’s Ben Austin, Leeds’s Elliot Minchella and England Academy captain and Rhinos forward Jordan Baldwinson all got their names on the scoreboard.
“I’m extremely pleased with the result and the performance that the group put in, not just on the pitch but in camp this week as well,” said England Academy coach Dave Elliott.
“The lads adapted well to the change in culture and the weather was very warm and challenging and it was good to see them come together to perform as they did by scoring 50 points away from home.
“The new lads in the squad really stepped up to the plate and put in big performances. George Williams came off early after picking up a knock and that affected our systems; Nathan Conroy, Ben Austin and the other debutants all raised their game and put in some big efforts.
“The experienced heads in the squad also stepped up and really took a hold of the game. Hampshire, Jordan Baldwinson and Lewis Tierney have been in the Academy set up for a few years and they’re all showing real signs of being ready to make the next step up through the ranks.
“We’re travelling home in a good spirits and pleased with how it all came together.”
England Academy v France Under-18s (professional and community clubs in brackets):
1 Lewis Tierney (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Pats)
2 Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Pats)
3 Jake Connor (Huddersfield Giants, Siddal)
4 Thomas Minns (Leeds Rhinos, Whinmoor Warriors)
5 Joe Burgess (Wigan Warriors, Ince Rose Bridge)
6 Ryan Hampshire (Wigan Warriors, Normanton Knights)
7 George Williams (Wigan Warriors, Ince Rose Bridge)
8 Ryan Sutton (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Pats)
9 Nathan Conroy (Bradford Bulls, West Bowling)
10 Ben Austin (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Pats)
11 Jordan Baldwinson (C) (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)
12 Oliver Roberts (Bradford Bulls, Siddal)
13 Rob Lever (Wigan Warriors, Pilkington Recs)
14 Jack Miller (Huddersfield Giants, Smallthorne Panthers)
15 Elliot Minchella (Leeds Rhinos, Siddal)
16 Tom Walker (Warrington Wolves, Broughton Red Rose)
17 Bobby Tyson Wilson (Hull FC, West Hull)
Tries: Burgess, Connor 3, Hampshire 2, Minchella, Baldwinson, Austin
Goals: Hampshire 8