Our weekly feature - The Armchair Expert - returns just in time for the finals!
This week we look a...
16 mins ago
The England Academy showed the senior Great Britain side the way forward with a resounding 30-10 victory to level the Two Series 1-1. The side led 28-0 at half time producing five scintillating tries and although the Australian Institute of Sport came back with two tries to win the second half 10-2 England centre Steve Tyrer had the last word with a penalty ten minutes from time to finish with a personal tally of 14 points.
In a team superb effort by England loose forward Paul Clough was outstanding never taking a backward step making massive holes in the Institute defence in creating tries for his side. Scrum half Thomas Lee linked well with his partner stand off Scott Moore bringing the backs and forwards together and he capped his performance with a brace of tries.
The early moments of the game were scrappy with loose ball by both sides but England Academy opened the scoring after four minutes when Lee finished off a move following a penalty which they decide to run rather than kick for goal. Tyrer added the extras.
They doubled the lead four minutes later when Clough made a break down the short side and he passed inside to substitute Thomas Coyle who had come on for a blood spattered Moore, and he passed to fullback Chris Frodsham who scored to the left of the posts and the conversion made it 12-0.
Clough made two further break down the middle of the defence and his fellow forwards Sam Burgess, Joe Walsh, Steve Bannister served him well and Michael Mllorum quick play the balls gave them the go forward they required.
In the 17 minute Clough made another 25 meter break down the middle and on the next tackle Lee combined with Bannister to put Tyrer through for an angled run to the corner and he converted his kick as England were scoring at a point a minute.
The Institute although initially shell shocked dug in as stand off Joel Moon and scrum half Bradley Payne tried to get his troops moving and props David Taylor and Alex Switzer certainly put themselves about as did substitute Nathan Strudwick. Matt Smith?s introduction helped his sides go forward with some probing kicks.
Moore who had returned to the fray was prominent with his kick and chase game for England and put in some shuddering tackles on his opponents who went down to twelve men on 33 minutes when Strudwick was sin binned by referee Craig Halloran.
The Academy again decided to run the penalty and were rewarded for there enterprise on the second tackle when Mllorum?s quick play the ball saw his pass find centre Sean Gleeson who flicked the ball out to Riley who scored in the corner to make it 22-0.
Three minutes from the break England scored the decisive try when more indiscipline from the Institute saw another penalty against them and Lee took the ball up from the play the ball and scooted over from 20 meters. Tyrer?s conversion made it an impressive and unbelievable 28-0. The first had had shown England?s attack and sliding defence at it?s best.
In the second half the Institute took the game to England and they were rewarded when winger Mitchell Griffiths went in at the corner, following a move down the line by Switzer, Smith and Zac Russ. Talon couldn?t add the extras and the Academy were still in control.
They then took the game to England and during this spell sloppy passing let the Academy down giving the Institute the initiative and good field position. Indiscipline came into the England ranks and following this the Institute scored a converted try on the hour. Following two quick penalties Smith put a grubber kick into the in goal behind the posts and Talon reacted quickest to touch down and he added the extras to make it 28-10.
With the Institute comeback in the First Test from 14-4 down to a 28-14 lead England coach Lee Crooks must have had a feeling of de javu, but his side buckled down with a strong defensive stint in the final quarter, although at times they lost the ball in good positions in the final twenty of the Institute?s half.
With ten minutes remaining they made sure there was to be no comeback when they were awarded another penalty. This time they decide to go for goal rather than run with it and Tyrer duly obliged from 35 meters out to put the final points of the game on the board.
It got a little fractious towards the end but as the whistle blew for fulltime it was time for England celebrations in front of 700 happy England supporters.
The Australian Institute of Sport Man of the Match was awarded to Joel Moon and Paul Clough was awarded the England man of the Match.
England Academy second row forward Steve Bannister who had two cracking games for the side was named as the Man of the Series.
ENGLAND ACADEMY U/17S: 1. Chris Frodsham (St Helens), 2. Chris Riley (Warrington Wolves), 3. Sean Gleeson (Wigan Warriors), 4. Steve Tyrer (St Helens), 5. Dean McGilvray, 6. Scott Moore (St Helens), 7. Thomas Lee, 8. Sam Burgess (Bradford Bulls, 9. Michael Mcllorum (Wigan Warriors), 10. Joe Walsh (Leeds Rhinos), 11. Steve Bannister (St Helens), 12. Danny Colquitt (Warrington Wolves), 13. Paul Clough (St Helens), 14. Thomas Coyle (Wigan Warriors), 15. Dale Ferguson (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), 16. Michael Cooper (Warrington Wolves), 17. Ben Kavanagh (Wigan Warriors).
Tries: Lee 2, Frodsham, Tyrer, Riley
Goals: Tyrer 5/6
AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF SPORT: 1. Zac Russ, 2. Daniel Greaves, 3. Alex Talon, 4. Isillell Folan, 5. Mitchell Griffiths, 6. Joel Moon, 7. Bradey Payne, 8. David Taylor, 9. Harry Witt, 10. Alexander Switzer, 11. Martin Lewis 12. Mitchell Aubusson, 13. Nathan Beckett, 14. Matthew Smith, 15. Nathen Strudwick, 16. Zachary Padzkowski, 17. Jay Aston.
Tries: Griffiths, Talon
Goals: Talon 1/2