Lancashire win in Academy Origin

  • Warriors Kian McDermott, Nathan Lowe and Noah Hodkinson scored in Saturday afternoon’s victory.
  • Warriors half Jack Farrimond also converted four tries in the win.
  • Seven Warriors were in the squad for Lancashire.

Lancashire followed up last year’s Academy Origin clean sweep by completing a 2-0 White Rose whitewash at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium, with Wigan Warriors scrum-half Jack Farrimond shining in a dominant Red Rose display.    

Following a 42-20 win at Castleford and a 32-all draw at Hull KR in game two, Lancashire needed just another draw to clinch the series for the second year in succession, while Yorkshire had to win for a 1-1 share of the spoils.  

And the way Yorkshire burst out of the blocks from the kick off suggested that they might just do that. When Lancashire full-back Noah Hodkinson spilled a towering up and under on just two minutes, the visitors were quick to capitalise and take an early 4-0 lead through Hull FC stand-off Jack Charles.  

Yet Yorkshire faded fast and with barely a quarter of the match played saw the series slipping away as Lancashire counter-attacked in waves.    

A flowing move down the Lancashire left saw the ball go through several pairs of hands before centre Nathan Lowe sent in Dagnall at the corner. Wigan Warriors half-back Jack Farrimond nailed the touchline conversion to give his side a lead they would never relinquish.  

Three minutes later Lancashire were in again as the powerful Wigan Warriors prop Kian McDermott forced his way over from close, with Farrimond adding the extras to make the score 12-4. 

On 15 minutes the increasingly influential Farrimond was in the think of the action once more, his neat grubber gifting the simplest of tries to his Warriors teammate Lowe. Farrimond again converted from wide out to extend the Lancashire lead to 18-4. 

Six minutes later another clever kick from Farrimond forced a drop out, which was returned with interest by the Warrington Wolves prop Joe Bajer – a defence-splitting run which led eventually to Dagnall crossing for his second to give Lancashire a comfortable 22-4 advantage.  

But Lancashire – perhaps sensing that the match and the series were in the bag – briefly got sloppy, over-running the ball in promising positions and conceding a succession of penalties which invited trouble. And on 32 minutes trouble duly arrived in the shape of Leeds Rhinos forward Dec Ementon, whose try from close range was converted Mackenzie Harman to reduce Yorkshire’s deficit to 12 points.  

The next try would be crucial – and it came on the stroke of half-time from Lancashire full-back Hodkinson who timed his run to perfection, hit the line at pace and streaked away from the cover defence for a majestic score wide out on the right.  

A 16 point half-time deficit always looked too much for Yorkshire to bridge and so it proved – even when Wakefield Trinity forward Harvey Smith crashed over early in the second half to hint at a comeback.  

But Yorkshire had merely poked the bear and, as if to emphasise their superiority, Lancashire hit them with a further five tries – with the outstanding Farrimond at the heart of everything. Firstly, it was his sensational cut out pass which sent in Dagnall for his hat trick try, then a quick-thinking tip-on pass led to Dagnall’s fourth. Opposite winger Zack Gardner also crossed twice, with Jake Davies the other Lancashire three-quarter to score during a largely one-sided second half.  

Paul Anderson, Head of England Pathways, said: “For players and coaches alike, it’s not so much about the result but how they all adapt to being in the England pathways environment. It’s what we all do during the week building up to the games – how we prepare, the challenges of gelling together, finding common ground, building understanding.  

“Lancashire obviously did a little bit better in terms of understanding each other on the pitch, but their players were picked from fewer clubs than Yorkshire and will have played together a lot of played together at community clubs. 

“Whitby and Farrimond showed some really good touches, and Dagnall certainly knows where the try line is. And there were some good individuals on the Yorkshire side too.  

“This year we’ve picked more first year academy players than ever this year, as we look to develop the senior England players of the future. We’ve seen how Academy products George Delaney, Harvie Hill and Junior Nsemba have come through in 2023.”  

Lancashire are coached by Shane Eccles of Wigan Warriors, who is assisted by Warrington Wolves Ryan O’Brien. Yorkshire’s head coach is Castleford Tigers’ Rob Nickolay, with Huddersfield Giants’ Leroy Cudjoe – a graduate of the RFL’s player-to-coach’ development programme – alongside him.  

Anderson adds: “All the coaching staff have been really good. The England programme is a pathway for them as well as the players and they’ve really bought into what we want to deliver. They are given standards to reach and maintain, and parameters to work within – the rest is up to them.”   


Tries: Dagnall (7, 22, 48, 56), McDermott (10), Lowe (15), Hodkinson (39), Gardner (63, 77), Davies (71)   

Goals: Farrimond: 4/10 


Tries: Charles (3), Ementon (32), Smith (45) 

Goals: Harman 2/3   

Sunday 20 August 2023