Smith and Oledzki feature in England Academy win
Leeds Rhinos youngsters Cameron Smith and Mikolaj Oledzki featured in a dramatic 19-18 win for the England Academy in France to end their season on a winning note.
Castleford Tigers’ Callum McLelland kicked a last-minute drop goal as England Academy downed France under 18s in breath-taking style at Le Bacares on Monday night.
France took an early 2-0 lead, but Danny Walker’s try, converted by Will Oakes, made it 6-2 to England.
In a hard-hitting game, both sets of forwards dominated the early stages. But France halfback Arthur Mourgue broke the game open close to half time with a score, converted by Romain Pallares.
However England struck back as Castleford Tigers’ Jake Trueman produced a slick pass to put Cameron Scott through a hole for a 10-8 lead.
But, in an end-to-end first 40, France had the final say as winger Shann Brugel went in, leaving France 12-10 up at the break.
With a tight game unfolding, Will Oakes knocked over an early second-half penalty to level the scores.
England then quickly went ahead again as Cameron Scott burst clear to send Joe Brown over for a try, making it 16-12 to the visitors.
Oakes made it 18-12 soon after with another penalty goal, after an incident which also saw France’s Thomas Malfaz sin binned.
Despite being down to 12 men, the hosts narrowed the gap to just two points thanks to two Pallares penalties.
They then levelled it up once Malfaz returned, Pallares with another penalty goal.
But it was McLelland who had the final say, notching a late drop-goal to secure the win for England.
William Dagger (Warrington Wolves, Castleford Panthers)
William Oakes (City of Hull Academy, Eastmoor Dragons)
James Worthington (Wigan Warriors)
Cameron Scott (City of Hull Academy, Wyke)
Joseph Brown (Wigan Warriors, Stanningley)
Callum McLelland (Castleford Tigers, Lock Lane)
Jacob Trueman (Castleford Tigers, West Bowling)
Mikolaj Oledzki (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)
Danny Walker (Widnes Vikings, Crosfields)
Oliver Partington (Wigan Warriors, Orrell St James)
Luis Johnson (Castleford Tigers, Oulton Raiders)
Joseph Shorrocks (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)
Cameron Smith (Leeds Rhinos, Lock Lane)
Owen Farnworth (Widnes Vikings, Chorley Panthers)
Samuel Kibula (Wigan Warriors, Leigh Miners Rangers)
Caine Barnes (Wigan Warriors, Seaton Rangers)
Calum Turner (Castleford Tigers, Lock Lane)