Prior and Leeming help All Stars to victory
All Stars' Jackson Hastings holds the winners trophy aloft after his side's victory over England.
The Leeds Rhinos pair of Matt Prior and Kruise Leeming helped Tim Sheens Combined Nations All Stars to a well earned 24-22 win over Shaun Wane’s England team at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in the mid-season international.
Wane, taking charge of his first game a full 16 months since his appointment, had spoke about his huge excitement before the content.
But it was Sheens’ All Stars who made the fast start, with Ken Sio and Peter Mata’utia crossing – in between Liam Farrell’s double – to give the All Stars a first half lead.
Jermaine McGillvary and Sio’s second extended the lead after the break, and despite scores from debutants Morgan Knowles and Tom Davies, it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback.
Matt Prior started for the All Stars as co-captain alongside Wigan’s Jackson Hastings whilst Kruise Leeming impressed off the bench for the invitational side, including coming up with an important 40:20 kick in the second half.
Luke Gale started in the halves for England making his first appearance for the national side since the 2017 World Cup Final in Brisbane whilst Mikolaj Oledzki and Ash Handley made their first appearances for England off the bench. It was a short night for Handley unfortunately as he was forced off the field following a head clash with his own team mate Joe Philbin. He failed the subsequent HIA and will now be stood down for the mandatory seven day period for the Rhinos.
England boss Wane said on Sky Sports: “Loads of positives. We played tough and had energy, but didn’t have that killer instinct in the last third.
“Lots of things we practiced, we did. Played a bit dumb at times, could have had more movements, but overall ecstatic about our efforts.
“They’re a good team, my players are brave and tough, no question about that, we just need to be a bit smarter with the ball.”
England: Sam Tomkins, Tom Davies, Ben Currie, Reece Lyne, Tommy Makinson, Stefan Ratchford, Luke Gale, Morgan Knowles, Paul McShane, Mike Cooper, John Bateman, Liam Farrell, Joe Westerman
Interchanges: Ash Handley, Daryl Clark, Mikolaj Oledzki, Joe Philbin
England Tries: Liam Farrell (x2), Morgan Knowles, Tom Davies
England Goals: Stefan Ratchford (x4)
Combined Nations All Stars: Jake Connor, Ken Sio, Peter Mata’utia, Ricky Leutele, Jermaine McGillvary, Jackson Hastings, Aidan Sezer, Matt Prior, Nathan Peats, Tevita Satae, Kenny Edwards, Kelepe Tanagnoa, Luke Yates
Interchanges: Kruise Leeming, Pauli Pauli, Suaia Matagi, Andre Savelio
All Stars Tries: Ken Sio (x2), Peter Mata’utia, Jermaine McGillvary
All Stars Goals: Aidan Sezer (x5)