15 May 2022

Advantage Lancashire as Academy Origin Series returns

Advantage Lancashire as Academy Origin Series returns

Academy Origin returned in a sometimes frantic but always entertaining fashion, as Lancashire and Yorkshire shared 17 tries between them at Widnes Vikings’ DCBL Stadium.  

On a fast 4G surface the game rattled along at more than a point a minute throughout, with Yorkshire opening the scoring as early as the third minute through Lucas Green and closing it through Lewis Martin as the final hooter loomed.  

But in between those two tries for the White Rose, Lancashire scored five either side of the interval to take a one-nil lead in the three-match series.       

Lancashire had a first half hat-trick from the outstanding Wigan Warriors second-row Junior Nsemba to thank for a 28-16 half-time advantage, while Yorkshire can thank Hull FC winger Lewis Martin for just about keeping his side in contention through a hat trick of his own in the second half.  

The game was graced with eye-catching tries, moments of brilliance and occasionally eye-watering defence from players on both sides, but the respective coaches were nevertheless left with plenty to ponder as enthusiasm and emotion sometimes played havoc with best-laid game plans.  

“We’ve only had a couple of games together”, explained Yorkshire head coach Chev Walker, “and I’ve now more of a picture of where my players are. They’ve worked hard in camp and today, but they’ve also shown that they are not quite ready for the next level. The intensity is greater at this level and the fitness needs to match. We ran out of gas. There’s no question about talent and when we strung sets together we showed that we can score points. We’ll be better for this.”  

Walker’s opposite number, Lancashire’s Shane Eccles, was naturally the happier of the two coaches. “As a youth coach it’s more about the development – although it’s also pleasing to win. It’s the highest standard these lads have played at and we scored some really good tries. The players really expressed themselves and we had fluidity in attack. If we get a point a minute next time and they don’t score I’ll be very happy.” 

England RL Academy is part of the RFL’s talent pathway, which also includes England Knights and the senior men’s squad.  

Paul Anderson, Head of England Pathways, said: 
“I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen from both coaches in camp this week, and with greater connectivity within playing groups and stronger relationships between staff and players things will get even better. Today has been a real learning curve for the players. A 56-34 score line tells us that there are some key areas to work on, but we’ll have a much better understanding of where we are at after game three.”   

Yorkshire = former England and Great Britain player Chev Walker, Academy Head Coach at Leeds  

Game two will be played at Salford’s AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday 26 June, with the third and final encounter taking place at Wakefield on Sunday 24 July.  


Half time: Lancashire 28 Yorkshire 16 

Full time: Lancashire 56 Yorkshire 34   


Tries: Nsemba (3); Doolan (2), Lane; Haynes; Thewliss; Hayes; Hill  

Goals: Hayes 8 


Tries: Green; Smith (2); Holroyd; Martin (3)  

Goals: Medforth 3 



  1. Ben Lane (St Helens) 

  1. Jacob Douglas (Wigan Warriors) 

  1. Sam Haynes (St Helens)  

  1. Jack Darbyshire (Warrington Wolves)  

  1. Jake Thewlis (Warrington Wolves)  

  1. Billy Myers (Wigan Warriors)  

  1. Leon Hayes (Warrington, Captain)  

  1. Harvie Hill (Wigan Warriors) 

  1. Aiden Doolan (Warrington Wolves)  

  1. George Delaney (St Helens)  

  1. Junior Nsemba (Wigan Warriors) 

  1. Mckenzie Buckley (St Helens)  

  1. Kalan Devine (St Helens)  

Interchange: Ciaran Nolan (St Helens); Nolan Tupaea (Warrington Wolves); Leunbou Bardyel Wells (St Helens); Max Wood (Wigan Warriors) 


  1. George Flanagan Jr (Bradford Bulls)  

  1. Jack Smith (Leeds Rhinos)  

  1. Max Simpson (Leeds Rhinos) 

  1. Connor Barley (Hull KR) 

  1. Lewis Martin (Hull FC)  

  1. Sullivan Medforth (Hull FC)  

  1. Kai Morgan (Leeds Rhinos, Captain)  

  1. Matthew Laidlaw (Hull FC)  

  1. Denive Balmforth (Hull FC)  

  1. Jake Higgins (Leeds Rhinos)  

  1. Luke Mearns (Wakefield Trinity) 

  1. Adam Holroyd (Warrington Wolves)  

17.  Lucas Green (Warrington Wolves)  

Interchange: Sonny Cooper (Hull KR); Leo Tennison (Hull KR); Xander Nash (Huddersfield Giants); Mano Wacokecoke (Hull FC)