England 18 Combined Nations All Stars 4: Injury scare for Leeds Rhinos in mid-season international

There was an injury scare for Leeds Rhinos as England beat Combined Nations All Stars 18-4 in Saturday’s mid-season international at Warrington.

By Peter Smith
Sunday, 19th June 2022, 10:42 am

Rhinos’ Matt Prior, playing at loose-forward for Combined Nations, suffered a bang to his sternum and went off after just 15 minutes.

He did not return to the action, despite attempting a brief warm-up on the sideline before half-time.

That is a serious concern for Leeds, who resume their Betfred Super League campaign - following a 13-day break - away to champions St Helens on Thursday.

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George Williams dashes clear to score for England. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

England will have been happy with a solid workout in one of only two warm-up games ahead of this autumn’s World Cup.

They made some errors and their lack of time together was obvious, but - in front of a crowd of 9,393 - England were quite clinical on attack and rarely troubled in defence.

Mikolaj Oledzki, Rhinos’ only representative in England’s 17, had a 30-minute stint off the bench either side of the interval and hit the ball up strongly.

All Stars looked better when Rhinos’ Kruise Leeming came off the bench to play at hooker after 35 minutes.

Kruise Leeming, playing for Combined Nations, gets a pass away to Rhinos teammate Zane Tetevano. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

He was generally lively and made a nice break in the second half.

Rhyse Martin worked hard out of position in the right-centre and the fourth Leeds player in the All Stars’ squad, prop Zane Tetevano, had a strong start, but got only limited game time.

Wakefield Trinity’s Kelepi Tanginoa created a chance with a strong run early in the second period, but England were generally in control after Brodie Croft had missed an early chance for the Combined Nations.

England opened the scoring after nine minutes when Jake Wardle crossed from a pass by Sam Tomkins, who landed the first of his three conversions.

England celebrate their win over Combined Nations. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

On 29 minutes John Bateman - who had a terrific game at loose-forward - made a clean break through the middle and George Williams was in support to cross on his home turf.

That completed the first half scoring, but England got off to a flier after the break, Bateman twisting over and managing to get the ball down inside three minutes.

The conversion made it 18-0 and the next try didn’t come until 14 minutes from time when England finally cracked after conceding three successive penalties.

The third of those came when Kallum Watkins intercepted a pass from Leeming, but was judged to be offside and from the tap the Leeds hooker fed Shaun Kenny-Dowall who put Ken Sio over.

Martin’s touchline kick drifted wide. The Rhinos man got over England’s line two minutes from time, but the touchdown was ruled out for a double-movement after Tomkins and Tommy Makinson had made the tackle.