15th December 2018, 17:22 | englandrl

Elliott hails 'special bunch' after England Academy triumph

Elliott hails 'special bunch' after England Academy triumph

England Academy Head Coach Dave Elliott belives the current crop of youngsters are a 'special bunch' after his side completed a series whitewash over the Australian Schoolboys at Emerald Headingley on Friday night.

A Jack Welsby brace, coupled with ten points from the boot of Harry Smith, saw England take the spoils in a 18-6 win.

"This team is a special bunch," he commented after the game.

"Eight of them aren't even 18 yet so can play at this level for another year which is a scary prospect!

"They've bought into the England programme right from the start. The philosophy we have from under 16s, these 18s, the Women, Knights and Elite squad - and it's paid off for them."

The Academy side went ahead early on after a Smith penalty, but Star To'a's try, converted by Stephen Crichton, put the visitors in front.

However, led by a dominant forward pack, they got back on top before pulling 12 points clear.

"It mirrored the first game" said Elliott.

"In the first half, we were dominant defensively and set the platform. We took our foot off the gas a little bit in the second half and let them into it a bit, but our middles were outstanding.

"Morgan Smithies, Tom Holroyd were both great. Corey Johnson played big minutes at hooker and they all did the job we asked of them.

"We knew Australia wouldn't lie down, they would always ask us some questions, but our communication and composure was first class.

"We have a strapline of 'whatever it takes' and that's what we thought about, keeping to the plan."

"We matched them physically, more than matched them technically, and that got us over the line."