Leeds Rhinos academy make winning start at Newcastle Thunder

Second-row Ben Mayhew was singled out for special praise after Leeds Rhinos’ academy side began their season with a 28-18 win at Newcastle Thunder.
Chev Walker. Picture by Simon Hulme.Chev Walker. Picture by Simon Hulme.
Chev Walker. Picture by Simon Hulme.

Joe Burton crossed twice for Leeds, who led 24-6 at half-time.

Other try scorers were Coby Nichol, Jonah Parsons, Oli Field and Andrew Stewart. Jack Mallinson kicked two goals.

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It was Chev Walker’s first game as under-18s coach and he hailed a star turn by Mayhew.

“He does all the little things right for long, long periods,” Walker said.

“When you’ve got players like that in your team it makes people’s jobs easier.”

Walker was happy with the win, but admitted Rhinos need to take lessons from their second half performance.

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He said: “The first half was really good, there was a real desire to defend our line and defend our mistakes.

“There’s a lot of positives to take from it, but also a lot of learning.

“In the second half we lost our way and brought them into the game and made far too many mistakes.

“We have got to enjoy the wins, they have earned it, they’ve had a good pre-season. It is just a matter of ironing out some creases in the performances, but the positive is they’ve got that will to work for each other.”

Rhinos’ under-18s are back in action on Wednesday when they face Wigan Warriors at Stanningley (7pm).

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