Academy seal series win over Australia

England Academy 34 Australia Schoolboys 22
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The Independent Online

England's youngsters became the first since 2002 to beat their Australian contemporaries in a series, thanks to an assured team display at Leigh last night.

Playing some outstanding rugby, the home team came back from an early deficit to beat a dangerous-looking touring side even more convincingly than the scoreline shows.

England, with a 38-30 win a week ago under their belts, dominated the early stages by forcing mistakes with committed defence, but ominously the first time Australia attacked, they scored, their outstanding scrum-half, Harry Siejka, releasing the pacy full-back, Henare Wells.

The rest of the first half belonged to the Englishmen. Wigan's Sam Powell started it with a 40/20 kick and a dive onto Gareth O'Brien's grubber.

Castleford's Jordan Thompson got the second, when an Australian interception attempt deflected a pass to him.

Powell's pass then put Ben Evans over and England could hardly believe the extent to which they were in control when Matthew Russell scored their fourth just before the break.

Thompson's second, after some exhilarating ball-handling, seemed to put the issue beyond doubt, but in between two disallowed England tries, the Aussies started a fightback through Jakob Gagan.

When Paul Carter also went in, alarm bells were ringing, but a brilliant solo try from Warrington's adopted Welshman, Rhys Evans, bursting through from dummy half and going 60 metres, calmed the nerves.

Trent Jennings sustained the Aussie challenge, but England clung on to a well-deserved win.