• Leeds Rhinos
  • 40 - 10

  • Wigan Warriors
  • Leeds Rhinos
  • HT 10 - 10
  • Wigan Warriors
16th June 2021 | KO 18:30 | Emerald Headingley |

Season So Far

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Young squad named for Under-17s clash with Wigan

Picture courtesy of Craig Hawkhead Photography

Leeds Rhinos Under-17s are back in action this Wednesday night to take on Wigan Warriors Under-17s at Emerald Headingley, kick off 6:30pm. The match will be the first of two consecutive Academy and Scholarship matches to be played at the stadium this week, as Chev Walker’s Under-19s side prepare to take on Newcastle on Thursday evening.

Two weeks ago, Mark Butterill felt that his side, who are unbeaten in the two matches they have played so far in 2021, had made a big improvement in their 44-24 win over London Broncos and this week’s opponents Wigan will be another big test for the young Rhinos. The Warriors ran up 50 points against Huddersfield in their first game back since the pandemic halted the academy and scholarship programmes but come into this week’s game off the back of a close 32-28 defeat to local rivals St Helens.

For the clash, Butterill has selected a young squad, featuring twelve scholarship players. Nine of them featured for the Under-16s last week against Wakefield, including Jack Sinfield, who scored 22 points against Trinity and could partner Academy back Alfie Edgell again. Will Gatus can extend his record of scoring a try in every Under-17s game so far this season as he is included again while former Milford winger Kyden Frater could make his first appearance of 2021.

Back rower Toby Warren is also set to make his debut for Leeds after signing on loan from York City Knights on a month by month basis. Warren is a product of Heworth and came through the Knights’ excel programme before signing a three year deal for James Ford’s side last month.

The team in full is:


Watch the full match live on the official Leeds Rhinos YouTube account here:

Support the Rhinos Academy

Leeds Rhinos Academy and Scholarship programmes are funded by Rhinos 4 Life. In July 2020, Leeds Rhinos teamed up with new official Lottery partners, the National Youth & Community Development Association (NYCDA), which is a not for profit organisation committed to helping its partners raise funding for initiatives.

The money raised through the Leeds Rhinos draw will help develop and support the next generation of Rhinos on the player development pathway. Fans can join Rhinos 4 Life for just £1 per week and will be entered into the NYCDA Weekly Draw for a chance to win £1000s in cash prizes every week, whilst also helping to generate funds that will support the future of the club and its young players.

Click here to find out more.


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Leeds Rhinos U17 40 Wigan Warriors U17 10

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Leeds Rhinos U17 40 Wigan Warriors U17 10

Picture courtesy of Craig Hawkhead Photography

A brilliant second half performance saw Leeds Rhinos Under-17s defeat Wigan Warriors Under-17s 40-10 at Emerald Headingley.

In the bright sunshine and hot temperatures, there was nothing to separate the two sides in a close first half. The young Rhinos were on the board after only nine minutes thanks to captain Bailey Aldridge. With a seven tackle set under their belts, as Reece Bushell’s kick was collected by Riley Lumb in his own in goal area, Mark Butterill’s side shifted down the field and as Alfie Edgell went to attack the line, the half back put Tom Marris through a small hole before the centre offloaded away for Aldridge to break two tackles and get the ball down.

Wigan replied through Ethan Fitzgerald minutes later. A nice lateral move had opened up space for Nathan Evans to attack Leeds’ edge defenders but instead of passing for his winger Jacob Douglas, the centre kept hold of the ball and was tackled high by Jack Sinfield, giving the Warriors a repeat set close to the try line. Moving the ball across the line once again, Adam Smith and Reagan Sumner combined to put Fitzgerald in the corner.

The Rhinos looked the most threatening going forward with the ball and breaks from Lumb and Will Gatus could have produced points but errors forced the ball to be turned over. A knock on by Wigan prop Max Wood proved fatal to the visitors though as Leeds took their lead to six points after only 20 minutes. From the knock on, Marris picked up the ball and was immediately in a footrace with Sumner to the try line but the Leeds centre was caught. A penalty for offside also hampered the Warriors as Sinfield produced a great inside pass for Lumb, who beat three defenders to dive over the whitewash. Sinfield added the conversion to make the score 10-6.

Again the visitors matched Leeds to lock the scores up at the break. Following a break in play – Lumb receiving treatment following a hard tackle from a high bomb – Edgell looked to put Billy Davies through a gap but the loose forward fumbled the ball. Wigan immediately pounced on the opportunity as Ri’chards Nsemba picked up the loose ball and scored. Zach Eckersley converted to send the teams into half time with the score at 10-10.


In the second half, the Rhinos took over proceedings with five tries and kept their opponents scoreless. Wigan looked to have opened the scoring in the second period as Nsemba intercepted an offload from Marris to break away but Blake Morgan did well to track him down. Excited to take their chance, the Warriors chanced their arm with a play down the right edge but Sinfield read it well and produced his own interception to score under the posts.

The home side were back over the try line minutes later; Aldridge getting his second of the evening. Jack Johnson had been denied a try after Sinfield’s chip over the top ricocheted off the foot of Sumner and into the arms of Johnson but the referee determined that the back rower was in an offside position. It didn’t matter as from an Evans knock on, Johnson made a break down the sideline and passed inside for his captain to get his brace. Sinfield converted to make the score 22-10.

Leeds were then out of sight as Gatus took the Rhinos’ lead to 18 points. Wigan were beginning to tire and as Sinfield probed the defensive line, he threw an outrageous dummy and broke straight through to set up Gatus for his third try in successive Under-17s matches.

The Warriors had chances to respond but errors proved their downfall; Eckersley fumbling a pass from Billy Myers that would have put Fitzgerald in for a second try. An incorrect play of the ball also resulted in more possession for the Rhinos and substitute hooker Alfie Beresford took his chance from close range to get Leeds’ sixth try of the night.

As the match wound down in the final moments, Gatus put the icing on the cake, cutting through a big hole behind the play of the ball to round off a successful evening for the Under-17s; Sinfield adding his sixth conversion to make the final score 40-10.

Team Performance







Player Performance

Riley Lumb1000000
Kyden Frater0000000
Tom Marris0000000
Will Gatus2000000
Jacob Mitchell0000000
Alfie Edgell0000000
Jack Sinfield1600000
Tobias Gibson0000000
Bailey Aldridge2000000
Jude Thompson0000000
Jack Johnson0000000
Toby Warren0000000
Billy Davies0000000
Alfie Marshall0000000
Blake Morgan0000000
Alfie Beresford1000000
Dylan Proud0000000
Reagan Sumner0000000
Ethan Fitzgerald1000000
Nathan Evans0000000
Zach Eckersley0100000
Jacob Douglas0000000
Reece Bushell0000000
Adam Smith0000000
Max Wood0000000
Lewis Pinder0000000
Finley Beardsworth0000000
Reece Stanton0000000
Junior Nsemba1000000
Ellis Hobson0000000
Billy Myers0000000
Maddox Jeffery0000000
George Hough0000000
Joe Baldwin0000000
Owen Draper0000000
Tom Ratchford0000000
Stats Key
  • TR: Tries
  • RD: Red Cards
  • GL: Goals
  • I+: Interchange On
  • DG: Drop Goals
  • I-: Interchange Off
  • YC: Yellow Cards