The England Academy have handed the Australian Schoolboys their first tour defeat with a 14-8 win at Leigh Sports Village.
Wigan halfback Harry Smith put on a Man of the Match performance for England, scoring 10 of his side’s 14 points.
England jumped out to an early lead after centre Harry Newman burrowed over from dummy half.
Five minutes before the break, Smith scored off an error from a kick that he put up to give the home side a 12-0 half time lead.
Shortly after the break Smith added two more points to the lead, converting a penalty goal from directly in front.
The Australians found it difficult to get going in cold and wet conditions, unable to score a try until the 62nd minute when Stephen Crichton crossed after a slick back line play.
The tourists gave themselves a late chance when a Jalal Bazzaz short ball sent Timanu Alexander over to score with five minutes to play but England would hold on to take the first game of the series.
The second game of the series, and Australia’s last tour game, will take place on Saturday, 15 December at Leeds’ Emerald Headingley Stadium, with kickoff at 6:30am (AEDT).
England Academy 14 (Harry Newman, Harry Smith tries; Harry Smith 3/3 goals) def. Australian Schoolboys 8 (Timanu Alexander, Stephen Crichton tries; Jock Madden 0/2 goals) at Leigh Sports Village. Man of the Match: Harry Smith (England Academy).
England Academy: 1 Jack Welsby, 2 Innes Senior, 3 Cameron Scott (c), 4 Harry Newman, 5 Louis Senior, 6 Callum McLelland, 7 Harry Smith, 8 Oliver Wilson, 9 Corey Johnson, 10 Ethan Havard, 11 Sam Walters, 12 James McDonnell, 13 Morgan Smithies. Interchange: 14 Muizz Mustapha, 15 Joe Shorrocks, 16 Tom Holroyd, 17 Owen Trout. Coach: Dave Elliot.
Australian Schoolboys: 1 Fanitesi Niu, 2 Stephen Crichton, 3 Bradman Best, 4 Starford To’a, 5 Zac Cini, 6 Jock Madden (c), 7 Tom Dearden, 8 Ratu Nanovo, 9 Ryan Gray, 10 Jayden Tanner, 11 Juwan Compain, 12 Matthew Dragisic, 13 Jalal Bazzaz. Interchange: 14 Tommy Talau, 15 Timanu Alexander, 16 Penisimani Teaupa, 17 Franklin Pele. Coach: Tony Adam.