2nd February 2020, 15:14 | university
North secured the fifth annual University Rugby League Origin game, grinding out a 26-4 over a dogged South team, with England Universities coaching duo Richard Tate and Kevin Deighton now having the unenviable task of identifying their 26 man England squad for the 2020 campaign.
In blustery conditions, it was the South who started strongest, with fullback Nathan Redmond out jumping the North defence from the high kick to open the Blues' account after just 2 minutes. He was unable to land the conversion, but receiving the ball from the kick off, the South continued to pressure, with strong runs from Brett Davies and Will Budd troubling the Marroons' defence.
Tom Wilcox was denied an equaliser on the quarter of an hour mark for obstruction and the scores remained level until Elias Harrison jinked out of dummy-half to dive over close to the line. Richard Pogson was unable to convert in the wind.
Having lost Nathan Taylor to injury, the North struggled to find a groove, but despite constant pressure, the South were unable to finish anything further and it was all square at the break.
Head Coach Adam Houston's half time words of wisdom did wonders for the North in the second half, coming out firing with centre Ryan Johnson finding space out wide in their first set. Pogson this time was on target with boot. Anthony Dyne scored the most visually impressive try of the day, diving in at the corner to ground the ball, Pogson again on the mark.
The Marroons had the bit between their teeth now, as Ben Tatton raced in on the left wing to keep the score ticking over, although Pogson was unable to convert. The Blue rallied, with Davies coming close on two occasions, but the final word went to Wilcox who crashed through at the line with ten minutes to go, Pogson adding the easy extras.
North: Nathan Taylor, Ben Tatton, Ryan Johnson, Tom Wilcox, Anthony Dyne, Stephen Gibbs, Richard Pogson, Hassan Hussain, Jack Earl, Luke Nelmes, Cameron Moore, Jordan Bull, Sam Ajayi. Interchanges: Elias Harrison, Joshua Bull, Ben Bradshaw, Charlie Tod, Eoin Bowie, Ben Foskett.
Tries: Elias Harrison (28), Ryan Johnson (42), Anthony Dyne (54), Ben Tatton (58), Wilcox (70)
Goals: Richard Pogson 3/5
South: Nathan Redmond, Mike Holden, Josh Frost, Luke Kilford, Jake Lavin, Isaac Greene, Sam Bloomer, Will Budd, Sam Gilder, Rob Branton, Luke Shaw, Brett Davies, Caley Gray. Interchanges: Ciaran Dean, James Cowen, Marcus Hockey, Sam Jones, George Prewitt, Marc Sellars, Alex Chapman.
Tries: Nathan Redmond (2)
Goals: Nathan Redmond 0/1
Referee: Chris Green