• Leeds Rhinos
  • 10 - 34

  • Wigan Warriors
  • Leeds Rhinos
  • HT 0 - 24
  • Wigan Warriors
4th March 2020 | KO 19:00 | Stanningley ARLFC | U18s Academy Championship

Season So Far

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Under-18s Preview: Wigan Warriors

Leeds Rhinos u16 vs Wigan Warriors U16 League Fixture at Stanningley RLFC, Stanningley, Leeds Picture by Stephen Gaunt/Touchlinepics.com

After starting the season off with a win against Newcastle Thunder in the North East, Chev Walker’s Leeds Rhinos Under-18s face rivals Wigan Warriors in their first home match of the season at Stanningley ARLFC, kick off 7pm.

Opposition Profile

The Wigan Warriors Academy has a proud history of producing and developing talented players and the latest cohort in the Under-18s is no exception; Umyla Hanley, Harry Rushton, Matty Nicholson, Alex Sutton and Jack Taylor all earning selection for the England Academy Performance Squad last month.

Last year, Leeds clashed with the Wigan Under-19s in the academy championship at Emerald Headingley.

KEY PLAYER: Following in the footsteps of his dad Jason, winger Joseph Robinson is definitely one to watch in this game. He was part of the same Siddal team and Huddersfield Giants’ scholarship side that included Will Pryce, son of Bradford legend Leon. Signing for Wigan’s academy in 2019, he joins up with Ellery Hanley’s son and England Academy international Umyla Hanley.

Team News

Four players will make their first Under-18s appearance of the season for the Rhinos in tonight’s match. Former Drighlington players Iwan Stephens and Lewis Delaney are set to get their first taste of academy action, with Delaney playing one match for Rob Burrow’s reserves team this year. Stephens hasn’t played since he scored twice against Newcastle Thunder in pre-season.

Sam Little is the latest 2020 academy signing set to make his Under-18s debut, having impressed with a try in this fixture for Mark Butterill’s Scholarship team last year. Nathan Snee, AJ Wallace, Ben Mayhew, Luca Atkinson and Joe Gibbons all retain their places in the 17-man squad after impressing defensively against Newcastle last week.

Last Time Out

In last year’s Under-19s fixture, Jack Broadbent scored a late try to seal a 18-16 result at Emerald Headingley. With the Warriors taking a 12-0 lead at the break, tries from Tyler Dupree and Liam Tindall sparked a second half comeback by the Rhinos, which was capped off by Broadbent’s 80 metre interception try.

More Information

Admission at Stanningley is £4 for Adults and £2 for concessions


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Leeds Rhinos U18 10 Wigan Warriors U18 34

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Leeds Rhinos U18 10 Wigan Warriors U18 34

After suffering four tries in the first half, Leeds Rhinos Under-18s left themselves too much to do in the second half, losing out 34-10 to Wigan Warriors Under-18s.

As expected, both sides came out to make an impact, producing big hits up in the opening exchanges. Marcus Cropper opened the scoring for the visitors after four minutes. Iwan Stephens, who was making his first academy appearance of the season, kicked the ball out on the full, gifting Wigan a set thirty metres out. Moving swiftly across the field, half back Logan Astley combined with Umyla Hanley to put Cropper in to score.

Hanley had an opportunity to extend the Warriors’ lead; the full back breaking free down the middle from a pass inside by Kieron Wilkinson for what looked to be a certain try but Iwan Stephens stopped him in his tracks. Joe Gibbons also shut down a break after Oli Field‘s cross field kick was reeled in by Alex Sutton.

The visitors finally turned their chances into points. Winning the ball back from Leeds when they were in an attacking position, Wigan trundled down field. Adam Lavin busted a hole in the young Rhinos’ defence to get his side on the Leeds try line. On the last tackle, a grubber kick from Kieron Wilkinson pinballed around the feet of TJ Barton and Gibbons before being grounded by Jack Taylor. Hanley converted to give Wigan a 12-0 lead.

England Academy back rower Matty Nicholson gave the Warriors a strong advantage with ten minutes left. Wilkinson once again set Hanley away down the middle with a well executed play for the full back to offload to the onrushing Thomas Forber. In clean space, the hooker passed inside for Nicholson to touch down under the sticks.

Toby Brandon completed the half with a fourth try for the Warriors, crashing over on the first play after Leeds were caught offside. Hanley continued his accurate kicking, slotting his fourth to make the score 24-0 at half time.


The visitors started the second half with two quick tries. Centre Alex Sutton benefitted from a break by Taylor to score in the corner before a cross field kick from Wilkinson found Ben O’Keefe on the edge, who in turn offloaded for winger Joe Robinson to score a the Warriors’ sixth try, giving Shane Eccles’ team a 34-0 advantage only eleven minutes into the new half.

Both sets of players started going down with cramp, but both sides still had opportunities to get over the whitewash. With ten minutes left, Leeds lost Stephens to the bench, prompting Joe Burton into the full back role. It proved a master stroke as he broke away down the middle and missed out Ben Sheils with his pass to find Coby Nichol, who managed to get the ball down for his second try in two weeks.

Sheils got Leeds’ second minutes later, capitalising on a break downfield by Burton, who shaped the ball outside for the centre to race over with minutes remaining. It was all too late for the Rhinos though as the final whistle sealed a 34-10 win for the Warriors.