Connor Hunter, Cole Keffer
Nathan Hill (3), Keiron Jones, Sam Ottewell, Martyn Reilly, Gavin Rodden
Wes Wong 1/2
Keiren Jones 2/5
Joe Bold 2/2
CANADA YOUNG WOLVERINES VS BARLA U23
It was perfect weather and a high quality field fit for such an important game for Canada Rugby League.
In the memories of many fans was the result from the 2014 Commonwealth Championships in Glasgow when Canada Under 19s were convincing winners over the highly fancied England team 24-4. The Canada team only had 4 players from that team in 2014, with a lot of injuries and players being away & not available.
The first 15 minutes was one way traffic with the smaller Canada team running over the top of the Lions.
After 4 minutes clever lock forward Connor Hunter threw a dummy pass and made his way through the Lions defence to score the first try by planting the ball on the try line. Wes Wong could not convert but it looked like Canada were on a roll.
After 10 minutes Nathaniel Silva spoilt his perfect game by giving a poor pass to his winger which went to ground. Nathaniel's game all day was absolutely fantastic both in attack and defence, being a danger every time he touched the ball. After 14 minutes, speed sensation Billy Gemmell ran 80 metres on a long run down the field before stepping inside the Lions Full Back only 15 metres short of the try line, having his foot buckle under him and stop so agonizingly close to the line
That was the end of the game for him as he was helped from the field. These opportunities were going to come back and haunt Canada later in the game. Gemmell had only just been replaced when England's Nathan Hill finished off a long range try out wide. It was not converted so the scores did not reflect the game with everything being locked up at 4-4.
The Young Wolverines bounced back very quickly with a quick bit of work by Cole Keffer scoring near the posts and allowing Wes Wong an easy conversion. Up 10-4, the only way England could get through the strong Canada defence was by going wide and scored two tries before halftime.
Martin Reilly scored first and his was converted by Joe Bold and then Nathan Hill crossed the line in the corner & this conversion attempt was not successful. The Junior Wolverines went close to scoring a couple of times before Half Time but the score remained 14-10 in favour of the England Young Lions at half time.
England came out swinging, in more ways than one, in the 2nd half and were pushing referee Yasha Rahmati to his limits with their behaviour. Two Canada players were taken off with concussions and then in a nasty moment a Lions player was called out and put on report for a biting incident on Tyler Hergott from Canada.
The Wolverines were running low on players after these injuries and England took advantage with a converted try to Sam Ottewell early in the 2nd half. The score remained 20-10 until the final 20 minutes but the Lions had clicked into another gear and scored two tries in a 10 minute gap to increase the lead to 30-10.
Nathan Hill scored a converted try out wide to bring up his hat trick before Gavin Roddin scored but was not converted. The last minutes saw a battle weary Canada team still putting everything they had into their defence and their goal line tackling was incredible.
There was going to be no soft tries for England so they produced a length of the field special effort just on the full time siren to win 36-10. Kieran Jones finished off the try & kicked the conversion.
At the presentation after the game, glowing comments come from officials of both teams on what a fantastic performance the Canada boys had put in.
Nathan Hill scored 3 tries in a International which was always going to win him the Canada Coach's award for best on the England Young Lions team. In an easy selection, the England Coaching staff selected Canada Full Back Nathaniel Silva as Canada's Man of the Match. He was probably best on the Field according to many experts.
Also strong for Canada were Noah Jensen, Justin Fish, Kyle Morrison, Scyler Dumas, Tyler Hergott, Connor Hunter while the two players with concussions Terry Lok & Cole Keffer were both dangerous until forced off.
CANADA YOUNG WOLVERINES
Nathaniel Silva, Billy Gemmell, Terry Lok, Nick Allen, Noah Jensen, Justin Fish, Wes Wong, Kyle Morrison, Jason Hignell, Erick Alvarado, Tyler Hergott, Scyler Dumas, Connor Hunter, Lukas Silver, Cole Keffer, Nolan Howell, Ryley Nagy, Jackson Boyle, Hans Stander
Sam Ottewell, Nathan Hill, Jordan Woodend, Brandan French, Luke Davison, Kieren Jones, Joe Bold, Kieron Atherton, Ben Arbon, Alistair McEwen, Charles Tyson, Toby Richardson, Gavin Rodden, Tom Wilkinson, Ryan Bowie, Jordan Siddons, Martyn Reilly, Connor Ratcliffe, Braden Hunter