Wyke junior product Scott helps England Academy seal series win
Wyke ARLFC product Cameron Scott captained the England Academy to a historic series whitewash over the Australia Schoolboys as they secured an 18-6 victory at Headingley last Friday.
Scott cut his teeth in the junior ranks at Wyke before signing a professional contract with Hull FC.
The centre played two games on loan at Dewsbury Rams last season — a 64-6 defeat at London Broncos and a 32-27 loss away to Rochdale — during which time he scored one try.
Scott also had a spell at League One side Doncaster and has played six Super League games for Hull but last Friday he helped the crop of England’s upcoming stars to victory over Australia.
The England Academy performance was full of grit, character and no little skill.
There were seven Leeds Rhinos players featuring on home turf as England secured back-to-back Test wins over the tourists.
Stylish St Helens full-back Jack Welsby delivered two classy first-half tries to set the tone for the hosts, helping establish a 16-6 interval lead they never truly looked like relinquishing.
Welsby got on the outside of Star To’a to accelerate away for his first and then did brilliantly to evade would-be tacklers to stretch over for his second.
Both scores came from incessant English pressure in defence forcing the visitors into mistakes in their own half.
It was a underlying theme of the overall display; determined England, for large parts, bullied their mainly bigger rivals into submission.
When the inevitable second half push did come from the tourists, time after time England found the energy and strength to repel them.
In the end, Australia simply ran out of ideas coming up against such a well-organised and efficient defence.
England’s pack was outstanding, led superbly by rugged Widnes Vikings second-row Sam Walters before his departure but followed on by the likes of Bradford Bulls prop Oliver Wilson, Halifax-born Morgan Smithies and some massive impacts from the bench by Leeds duo Muizz Mustapha and Thomas Holroyd.
Behind them, Harry Smith and Callum McLelland controlled and kicked admirably as the side, who won the first Test 14-8, once more showed their maturity and calm under pressure.
Smith gave England an early lead with a penalty but Australia did get their sole breakthrough soon after.
Huddersfield Giants winger Innes Senior missed a gilt-edged chance, juggling and then spilling after Welsby had found space for the first time and made the perfect pass.
Australia capitalised by moving upfield and scoring as To’a latched onto Tom Deardon’s flighted kick as England were caught dozing on their own line.
Deardon improved but then Welsby’s quality shone through, Smith improving both, and the visitors became increasingly fragile, tempers fraying at times as they clearly lost their cool.
Smith added another penalty on the stroke of half-time following Ryan Gray’s high tackle on Mustapha.
Smith’s third penalty after 49 minutes proved the only points of the second half as some determined defence denied an Australia fight back.