2002 - England & France

AUSTRALIAN SECONDARY SCHOOLS RUGBY LEAGUE 18 YEARS AUSTRALIAN TEAM TO TOUR ENGLAND AND FRANCE 2002
Game One Vs British Students The first game of the tour was played at Whitehart Lane, New River Stadium, Tottenham, on a poorly lit and very wet field.

The first ten minutes were played at a competitive pace, however the Australian boys slowly wore the opposition with superior defence and team play structure to produce a fine try to Liam Fulton.

Further tries were scored by Tim Smith, Jermaine Ale, Tom Learoyd and Ryan Hoffman, three of these tries were converted by Tim Smith to give the team a 26-0 half time lead.

The second half was a much tighter affair with the conditions of the ground and the greasy ball restricting us to a lone converted try to Stephen Ross.
Try Scorers: Liam Fulton, Tim Smith, Jermaine Ale, Tom Learoyd, Ryan Hoffman and Stephen Ross. Conversions: Tim Smith 4 / 6

Player of Match Award - Steven Goodhew
Final Score 32-0


Game Two Vs BARLA Young Lions In fine, cool conditions on an immaculately prepared Halton Community Stadium game 2, saw another thirteen players represent their country for the first time. After the official presentations and a stirring rendition of Advance Australia Fair, we appeared to be a little awestruck by the occasion in the opening exchanges. A combination of nerves and some enthusiastic BARLA defence saw us commit some fundamental errors in attack. Our failure to secure good field position, compounded with penalties in defence, allowed our opponents to apply extended periods of pressure on our line. Through a combination of good scrambling defence and bad luck, BARLA were unable to capitalise on at least three try scoring opportunities.

As the first half reached its mid-point, our play began to settle. Some strong drives up the middle of the ruck, led by Keith Galloway, Ben Hannant and Justin Poore, saw us put on three tries before half time to go to the break leading 16 nil. Despite the calming influence of coach Mick McEntyre at half time, the second half began in a similar vein as the first. A loose pass during a promising attacking raid saw the ball fall into BARLA's hands, which ran fifty metres to score in the corner, much to delight of the fourteen hundred plus crowd.

The BARLA side were well and truly in the game up to this point, but this try seemed to signal a warning to the Aussies, who then played with a greater sense of purpose and composure. The scoreboard remained relatively close until the last ten minutes when a flurry of late tries saw the score somewhat flatter us, reaching 44 - 4 at the fulltime siren. Our opponents showed some glimpses of a style of play that we will encounter on the tour giving us reasons for concern and a need to prepare for the unexpected. Credit must go to the players and staff of the BARLA side for the manner and spirit in which the game was played. A little more luck in finishing some early opportunities in the game could have seen the possibility of an upset being on the cards. To our credit, we were able to hang in, settle down and play the football we are capable of playing. Everyone on tour has now had a start. The next two matches against BARLA will provide further opportunity for all players to put forward their case for selection in the squad for the Test matches against the Academy.

Try Scorers: Ben Green 2, Nick Fredericks, Ben Hannant, Keith Galloway, Justin Poore, Brad Wallace, Dimitri Pelo Conversions: Brad Wallace 5, Ben Green

Player of Match Award - Keith Galloway
Final Score 44 - 4

Game Three Vs BARLA Young Guns The game started under sunny skies, however a very strong and cold gale was blowing, by fulltime the skies were overcast and the wind stronger and colder.

The first half effort by the team was disappointing with the skill level affected by the lack of patience. Jesse Caine scored an early try for a 4-0 lead. However B.A.R.L.A. hit back with a penalty goal, field goal and a converted try to lead 9-4. Two late first half tries to Scott Russell and Tim Smith gave us a 12-9 half time lead.

After an inspirational half time speech by coach Mick Mc Entyre the team with the wind behind them, displayed greater ball control and patience to rattle 42 unanswered points through some brilliant team tries. The B.A.R.L.A. team had no answer to the
Aussies skill level and pattern of play.

Try Scorers: Jesse Caine 2, Scott Russell 2, Tim Smith 2, Tom Learoyd 2, Ben Green and Jermaine Ale 1 each.
Tim Smith 7 from 10 conversions

Player of Match Award - Tim Smith
Final Score 54-9

Game Four Vs BARLA Young Lions The final Test in the three Test series was played at South Leeds Stadium, Leeds in cool but dry conditions. For the second time in consecutive matches the Australian Schoolboys found themselves behind on the scoreboard early in the game. Another below par performance by the Australians saw BARLA convert ill-disciplined and sloppy play into points, leading 4 nil after six minutes. The first half failed to reach any great heights, as both sides performed multiple displays of poor handling. A try late in the half to Ryan Carmichael saw the visitors lead 6-4 at the break.

In what has been a repetitive theme throughout the BARLA series, coach Michael McEntyre once again remonstrated with his players to play with a greater urgency, discipline, depth and ball security. His words appeared to have the desired effect as the Schoolboys put on four tries by midway through the second half. Unlike the two earlier encounters, the late piling on of points against the homeside didn't eventuate and this remained the score at full-time.

This match saw the completion of the 3 Test series against BARLA, which saw the Australians win 3 nil, scoring 126 points for and 17 against. Despite the impressive appearance of these statistics, we are well aware that an improvement in many aspects of our play is needed if we are to be successful against the RFL Academy in the remaining 2 Test matches.

On behalf of everyone associated with the ASSRL Touring team we would like to extend our gratitude to BARLA for their hosting of us for the past two weeks. The quality of their support as well as the manner in which the matches have been conducted has made our tour to date extremely enjoyable.

Try Scorers: Ryan Carmichael, Russell Aitken, Ryan Hoffman, Keith Galloway, Dimitri Pelo
Goals: Ben Green 3, Brad Wallace

Player of Match Award - Ben Green
Final Score 28 - 4

Game Five Vs England Academy The first Test was played at Knowsley Road, St Helens, in cold but dry conditions. Once again the team suffered from ill disciplined play and lack of direction through team patterns. Two first half tries to Jermaine Ale and Stephen Ross saw us behind

16 -10 at the half-time break. The first was noticeable for the lop sided penalty count against the Aussie team and the sin binning of Stephen Goodhew.

The second half saw both teams score two tries each, which completed n historical first up victory to an English side over the Australian Schoolboys. The Academy side played a great game of football and in the long run deserved winners of a tight and keenly contested match. Congratulations to them on a great win.

Try Scorers: Stephen Ross 2, Jermaine Ale 2
Goals: Tim Smith 3

Player of Match Award - Michael Weyman
Final Score : English Academy 28 defeated Australia 22

Game Six Vs England Academy
The second Test in the two Test series against the English Academy was played at Headingley, Leeds. In a very close and tough game the English Academy won 22 points to 12 to clinch their first ever series win over the Australian Schoolboys. The Australian side began to game in a very confident manner and raced to a 6 nil lead after a great try to halfback Stephen Goodhew that was converted by fullback Ben Farrell. A number of other opportunities were created but the side was unable to capitalise on them. The last ten minutes of the first half was dominated by the Academy side and they went into the half time break leading 14 - 6. The second half was a torrid affair with both sides throwing everything they had at each other in an attempt to gain the ascendancy. Unfortunately the lead established by the Academy was too much and they ran out winners 22 points to 12.

The Australian team are now preparing for their trip to France and the final two test matches of the tour prior to returning to Australia on Sunday 22nd December.

Try Scorers: Stephen Goodhew, Tom Learoyd
Goals: Ben Farrell, Tim Smith

Player of Match Award - Tom Learoyd
Final Score : English Academy 22 defeated Australia 12

Game Seven Vs French Schoolboys The first game on French soil was played at Carcassonne on a field that promised fast and open football. After the heavy conditions of the English fields the team was looking forward to playing fast and attractive football. The team approached the game with determination in an attempt to put them back into the winner's circle after the disappointment of the English Test matches. After scoring an early try and an expectation that this was going to be an easy win the French side surprised the Australian side with their gutsy defence and kamikaze style running that resulted in a well deserved try to the French side. The promise of fast running football was realised through the efforts of Ryan Carmichael, Scott Russsell and Nick Fredericks who made a number of long breaks which kept the Australian side on the attack. As the side settled into a more constructive style of football they were able to finish off the good work and run away with game. However, the French side should be congratulated on their never say die attitude and commitment to the game.

The team is now looking forward to the final game and completing the tour on a winning note.

Try Scorers: Ryan Carmichael 2, Tim Smith, Scott Russell, Brad Wallace, Nick Fredericks, Ben Green
Goals: Brad Wallace 5, Tim Smith 2

Player of Match Award - Ryan Carmichael
Final Score : Australian Schoolboys 42 defeated French Schools 18

Game Eight Vs French Schoolboys The final game on French soil was played at Albi and it was a game that the Australian Schoolboys needed to win to ensure that their tour finished on a successful note. The match was played at the later time of 8.00 pm and a good crowd was in attendance. The game was played with all the intensity of a Test match with no quarter given or asked for. The defence was torrid and both sides played with commitment. However, each time the Australian side made a break or looked like establishing a lead, basic errors gave the French side good field position and a possibility to get back into the game. It was only outstanding defence by the Australian side that denied the French some scoring opportunities. The second half was a tight affair but the Australian were able to maintain their composure and run out 30-15 winners over a very competitive French side.

Try Scorers: Russell Aitken 2, Justin Poore, Jermaine Ale, Stephen Goodhew, Stephen Ross
Goals: Tim Smith 2, Brad Wallace

Player of Match Award - Stephen Goodhew
Albi Club Player of the Match - Tom Learoyd
Final Score : Australian Schoolboys 30 defeated French National Side 15

Squad: Aitken, Russ - Cronulla High School
Ale, Jermaine - Lambton High School
Caine, Jess - Woolooware High School
Carmichael, Ryan - Dickson College
Donovan, Drew - Kirwan State High School
Farrell, Ben - St Marys College, Toowoomba
Fredericks, Nick - Daramalan College
Fulton, Liam - Westfields Sports High School
Galloway, Keith - Marist College, Kogarah
Goodhew, Stephen - Kirwan State High School
Green, Ben - Cavendish Road State High School
Hannant, Ben - Palm Beach Currumbin
Hoffman, Ryan - St Gregorys College, Campbelltown
Lawrence, Brenton - Erindale College
Learoyd, Tom - Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School
L'Estrange, Heath - Terra Sancta College, Quakers Hill
Lillyman, Jacob - Kirwan State High School
Mercer, Luke - Hunter Sports High School
Pelo, Dimitri - Palm Beach Currumbin
Poore, Justin - Endeavour Sports High School
Ross, Steven - Kiama High School
Russell, Scott - St Dominics College, Penrith
Sims, Ashton - Kiama High School
Smith, Tim - Coombabah State High School
Wallace, Brad - All Saints College, Maitland
Weyman, Michael - Erindale College
Coach: Michael McEntyre (NSWCHS)
Team Manager: Dave Seeley (QSSRL)
Tour Manager: Simon Huntly (NSWCCC)
Trainer: Max Foord (NSWCHS)
Physiotherapist: Scott Thornton
Bruce Wallace President ASSRL
Phil Beecher Secretary ASSRL


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