Written by Rugby Football League
Origin Academy Rugby League returned from an enforced two-year hiatus in the shape of a thoroughly dominant performance from the White Rose county.
Lancashire had their moments – the impressive Wigan Warriors’ stand-off Logan Astley laid on the undoubted try of the match for his club colleague Jacob Kilner-Douglas – but for the most part had little answer to Yorkshire’s determined, well-organised defence and clinical finishing.
A late, Covid-enforced reshuffle left Lancashire looking clunky in attack and vulnerable in defence, especially down their right edge, but nothing should detract from a highly impressive showing by the home side.
Yorkshire dominated from the off, forcing repeated errors and hitting Lancashire with three tries inside the first 12 minutes. Castleford Tigers winger Balame Qareqare was first to cross as early as the second minute, with Denive Balmforth and Tom Nicholson-Watton quickly following suit.
With Hull FC’s Jacob Hookem and Warrington Wolves’ Balmforth orchestrating operations, Yorkshire found themselves 14-0 to the good before Lancashire finally gained some kind of foothold in the game through a Tom Whitehead try.
🏵️ Yorkshire Academy 𝟒𝟎-𝟏𝟎 Lancashire Academy 🌹
👏 A dominant victory for Yorkshire, live on #OURLEAGUE! pic.twitter.com/UCMPfsNP0D
— Rugby Football League (@TheRFL) August 4, 2021
Astley showed superb vision to kick cross-field for Kilner-Douglas to score on 33 minutes, but tries either side of that through Levi Edwards and Kieran Rush meant the visitors were always chasing the game.
Edwards, the Leeds Rhinos and former Sidall centre, was a constant threat throughout and a deserved player of the match on the back of an outstanding second half performance.
Yorkshire had turned around 24-10 to the good and Edwards quickly extinguished any hopes of a Red Rose resurgence, punching a gaping hole through a backtracking Lancashire defence before his Rhinos teammate Will Gatus crossed wide on the right.
Minutes later it was Edwards again who proved too hot to handle, his devastating running creating the space for Bradford Bulls stand-off Lewis Camden to cross.
With the final hooter in sight Hookem chased his own grubber to touch down – just reward for an industrious and hard-working performance – and converted himself to secure a 40-10 victory.
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