• Wigan Warriors
  • 24 - 10

  • Leeds Rhinos
  • Wigan Warriors
  • HT 18 - 00
  • Leeds Rhinos
8th June 2019 | KO 12:30 | Robin Park Arena | U19 Academy fixtures 2019

Season So Far

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Under 19s Preview – Wigan Warriors

After producing one of their best performances against Warrington Wolves last weekend, Leeds Rhinos Under 19s will travel over the Pennines with confidence to face the league leaders Wigan Warriors Under 19s at Robin Park Arena, kick off 12:30pm.

Only the loss at Emerald Headingley has blotted Wigan’s perfect record this season as Shane Eccles’ side sit two points ahead of Leeds, who are in second place. The stakes for the two points therefore are high before both sides go into the final break for the Academy Origin decider next weekend.

Opposition Profile

Heading into Saturday’s fixture, Wigan Warriors have continued their control at the top of the table; a place where they have finished for the last two seasons. Prided on their defensive efforts, Eccles’ side have only conceded 158 points so far in 2019, 30 points less than Leeds and 32 less than St Helens.

Their attack is equally as potent. Over a three week stint, the Warriors racked up 32 tries with dominant wins against Wakefield Trinity, Castleford Tigers and Newcastle Thunder. 22 different players have crossed the try line for them in 2019, contributing to over 470 points.

Joe Shorrocks played a part in all three of Wigan’s tries at Emerald Headingley, despite being sin binned after ten minutes. He has also played for the first team in 2019, coming off the bench in the 30-20 defeat to Wakefield at the Mobile Rocket Stadium.

Most of the Cherry and Whites tries have come through loose forward Harry Rushton, who has seven for the season. The former Shevington Sharks player progress into the under 19s in 2018 and has been a powerful addition to Shane Eccles’ side.

Rushton is also one of six players to be selected at county level as well. Sam Halsall, Umyla Hanley, Ethan Havard, Reece Hamlett have all worn the red rose of Lancashire whilst Halifax-born Morgan Smithies, who signed a four year contract with the club this week, is with the Yorkshire squad.

Last Time Out

Last year, Leeds suffered their fifth loss of the season when they visited Wigan St Judes. A clinical Wigan side took the Rhinos apart, keeping their visitors nilled for the full eighty minutes. The two sides would face off again in the Grand Final, with Wigan claiming the championship title for a second consecutive season.

Team News

Academy head coach Rob Burrow has named an unchanged squad to face Wigan. Three under 19s players featured for Featherstone Rovers on Wednesday night in the 1895 trophy. McLelland started the game for the Rovers whilst hooker Corey Johnson and second rower Owen Trout were on the bench. Both of the substitutes keep their starting places this week.

Liam Whitton is currently the top try scorer for the young Rhinos this season and the full back has scored twice in each of the last three games. Jack Broadbent won the match against Wigan at Emerald Headingley and will partner Iwan Stephens for the sixth time in 2019.

Brad Martin makes his second appearance off the bench since a hamstring injury. Ben Markland also keeps his place on the wing after scoring twice against Warrington. 

Team: 1. Liam Whitton, 2. Ben Markland, 3. Joe Burton, 4. Jack Broadbent, 5. Iwan Stephens; 6. Harvey Spence, 7. Callum McLelland; 8. Harry Georgiou, 9. Corey Johnson, 10, Muizz Mustapha, 11. Sam Walters, 12. Owen Trout, 13. Loui McConnell Bench: 14. Oli Burton, 15. Brad Martin, 16. Jarrod O’Connor, 17. Sam Moorhouse

Player Focus

The ever-present Loui McConnell was this weeks feature interview after the loose forward scored twice against Warrington. McConnell discussed what nilling the Wolves meant to the squad and how it has impacted training ahead of their visit to Robin Park on Saturday.

Coaches Quotes

Ahead of this weeks under 19s fixture, Academy head coach Rob Burrow has highlighted the impact this match can have on the young Rhinos’ season and why their form over the last three fixtures has been crucial in the build up to the game.

“When you get the fixture list each year, you look for the Wigan games and circle them,” said Burrow. “You know that these games are the most intense games these Academy lads will play in and you just hope the team is in some form heading into it. Thankfully we are gaining some momentum going in.”


In terms of the last five games, both Leeds and Wigan are inseparable in terms of their form. Wigan’s only defeat of the season came against the Rhinos but since then, the Warriors have won their last four, edging past Widnes 10-6 last week to remain unbeaten at home.

Both of Leeds’ losses on the other hand have come at home. City of Hull and Huddersfield have both left Stanningley with two points, seeing Leeds fall two points behind Saturday’s opponents. The squad can pride themselves on their away form though, winning all four games on the road.

Further Information

Entry to Robin Park Arena costs £5 for adults and £3 for juniors.


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Wigan Warriors U19s 24 Leeds Rhinos U19s 10

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Wigan Warriors U19s 24 Leeds Rhinos U19s 10

Leeds Rhinos Under 19s couldn’t match their opponents or weather conditions as Rob Burrow’s side were defeated 24-10 by Wigan Warriors Under 19s at Robin Park Arena.

The home side dominated the first half, despite the wet surface, and left Leeds with limited opportunities near the try line. Cian Tyrer got Wigan on the scoreboard after five minutes to settle the nerves. A sweeping move to the right edge caught the Leeds defence short on numbers, allowing Tyrer to dive in the corner and score. Smith converted to give Wigan an early 6-0 lead.

The young Rhinos tried to get back into the match; Muizz Mustapha coming the closest to finding an equaliser but the Warriors’ defence stood strong. Their efforts were rewarded when Aiden Roden burrowed his way over after twenty minutes to double the Warriors’ lead. As Leeds allowed Wigan to get near the try line once again, a quick play of the ball on the fifth tackle caught the blue and amber defensive line napping, allowing Roden to get over for Wigan’s second try.

As the half came to a close, Wigan added a third try to their tally. With Leeds’ camped on their one line once again, a flat pass from Smith sent second rower James McDonnell clean through to touchdown. Smith converted to make the score 18-00 to the home side at half time.


The second half saw Wigan continue to dominated, eventually getting on the board for a fourth time. As Leeds were once again making errors in possession, the Warriors capitalised as substitute Amir Bourouh darted from dummy half to get his name on the scoresheet.

Leeds would hold Wigan out for the remainder of the game and try make their way back into the match. With twenty minutes left to go, Owen Trout made the breakthrough for Leeds. After Harvey Spence was held up short, Johnson passed the ball short to the second rower, who out-muscled the defence to get Leeds’ first points of the game.

Within minutes the Rhinos had a second score, this time Johnson turned from provider to scorer. After Leeds pushed close to the line through Mustapha, the hooker saw space behind the ruck to touchdown. Spence converted to make the score 24-10.

Despite Leeds losing Mustapha to the sin bin for a dangerous lift, Wigan failed pierce through the Leeds line as the wet surface and ball continued produce errors from both sides. A late drop goal attempt by Harry Smith was the closest the home side got to adding points to the scoreline as the final whistle sounded, Wigan extending their lead at the top of the table with a 24-10 win.