|SCHOOLBOYS FIGHT BACK FROM THE BRINK
11/12 - FOUR consecutive second half tries by Queenslanders Obadiah Geia (twice), Shannon Walker and Nathan Strudwick have lifted the Australian Schoolboys to a 36-22 win against the England Academy in Odsal.
Having trailed the English 16-8 at halftime, the Schoolboys appeared destined for the first loss of their seven-game European tour.
However Wests Tigers sensation Chris Lawrence struck a decisive blow at the start of the second stanza, scoring a brilliant 60m effort that turned the tide.
Townsville’s Geia then posted two tries back-to-back, followed in quick succession by further four-pointers to Walker and Strudwick.
The match was worthy of international status and very much a match of two halves.
The English Academy had the best of the first half with three tries off the back of Australian mistakes.
The only points for the Aussies came off two kicks into the opponent's in-goal. The first was from a Chris Sandow kick that was fumbled by the winger with Joel Thompson diving on it for a four-pointer.
The second in the 27th minute saw a try to winger Shannon Walker after a well placed kick by Mitchell Pearce to the same corner.
The halftime score saw England ahead by eight, with the Aussies a man down after Joseph Paulo was sin-binned.
Errors placed Australia under even more pressure in the second half until, against the grain, NRL rookie Chris Lawrence attacked the left fringe and broke into the clear.
Sandow converted to bring the score back to 16-14.
Just four minutes later Geia ran 35 metres to complete a good backline movement and scored wide out on the right side. With the conversion by Sandow the Australians were in front for the first time by 20-16.
Three minutes later a bust by centre Israel Folau and offload to winger Geia saw him run 40 metres down a very narrow corridor to score a great wingers try.
The score was now 24-16.
When the Aussies scored again in the 18th minute - after a break by backrower Kevin Proctor who then passed to Walker to run 60 metres and score - it was obvious that the Australian Schoolboys had gained supremacy.
The Aussie were not yet finished however, with another 60m try just four minutes later, this time Mitchell Pearce sending supporting hooker Strudwick over.
Coach Simon Huntly was extremely pleased with the overall effort and commented on the outstanding attacking ability of the team to be able to put on five tries in the space of just 12 minutes.
However, he cautioned his side that the job was not yet complete and that the Academy would be even tougher opponents in the second Test at Widnes next Friay night. (Source : qrl.com.au/ )