Leeds Rhinos’ Under-18s Academy is geared up to extend their impressive run of victories as they face Hull FC at Stanningley this Friday night. Kick-off is scheduled for 7pm.
In their previous outing against Castleford, the young Rhinos demonstrated their prowess with a stunning display of ten tries, securing their third triumph of the season.
This victory marked their second consecutive win, propelling them up the league rankings. Presently occupying fifth place, Leeds is just trailing behind Hull, but with a game in hand due to the postponed clash against Wakefield.
Head coach Tony Smith may have the luxury of selecting all six players who were chosen to represent Yorkshire earlier this week.
Neil Tchamambe, Fergus McCormack, Jack Smith, and Leo Aliyu were among the try-scorers in their recent match against the Tigers. Additionally, Joe Phillips has delivered noteworthy performances in his last two games, rebounding strongly from an injury sustained in 2022.
Meanwhile, Ben Littlewood, absent from Academy games since the trip to Newcastle, played a pivotal role in last year’s Academy Grand Final triumph.
In their previous encounter with the black and whites, Leeds Rhinos triumphed with a five-try performance, securing two crucial league points on the east coast. The upcoming Friday match holds similar significance as two top Academy Championship contenders battle it out.
Hull FC, having reached the Academy semi-finals last year, have made a strong start to this season and currently sits in fourth place in the Academy Championship standings.
Under the guidance of coach Michael Shenton, Hull FC achieved victories in their first four matches against Bradford, Newcastle, London, and local rivals Hull KR. Impressively, they conceded a mere 28 points during these games.
Roman Dawson emerged as the leading try-scorer with nine tries, notably scoring four against Thunder. Furthermore, Ryan Westerman, Callum Shaw, and Kye Armstrong have exhibited excellent form, each notching four tries at the start of the season.
In their most recent outing, the black and whites fell short to Wigan Warriors, succumbing to a 32-14 defeat despite leading 10-0 at halftime. Shenton has also demonstrated a willingness to involve his players in Reserves action, with Armstrong and Shaw, in particular, featuring in a match against Leeds at Headingley in April.