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A very skilful Australian Institute of Sport side defeated a spirited Warrington Wolves Under 18s team on a bitterly cold night at Wilderspool Stadium late last week.

Warrington got off to a flying start but the extra match sharpness of the Australian side came to the fore and they ran out comfortable winners despite a very gallant effort from a young Wolves side.

The Wolves opened the scoring in the second minute when good work down the left saw winger Gene Ormsby send centre James Mendeika on a 50-metre run and he found fullback Jordan Burke in support to race over. Scrum half Bobbie Goulding added the conversion.

The A.I.S. looked as though they had struck on eight minutes when fullback Kurt Mann went over only for the try to be disallowed. But they were not to be denied two minutes later when winger Ritchie Kennar scored on the right following a fine ball from stand off Mat Mulcahy. Loose forward Shaquile Blair converted to level the score.

The Australians hit the front shortly afterwards when second-rower Daley Boney capitalised on a Wolves error to score and then ten minutes later pressure on the Wolves line saw hooker Eddie Brimelow combine with scrum half Mat Thorne and Mann to put centre Rhyse Martin over in the left corner. Substitute Sam Foster converted the latter.

Australia increased their lead four minutes before the break when a chip through on the last tackle by Foster saw second-rower Jake Kelly react quickest to pick up the ball and score at the side of the posts. Foster goaled to give the tourists a deserved 22-6 half-time advantage.

Four minutes into the second half Thorne spotted a gap in the Wolves' defence and raced through it to score wide on the left. Eight minutes later a kick by the Wolves was charged down by Australia substitute Jack Broughton, and Mulcahy hacked the ball on and centre Mat Berwick managed to score on the right corner. Substitute B-J Burgess added the conversion.

The Aussies' next try came when Broughton managed to force his way over under the posts from close range to give Foster a simple conversion, but then the Wolves enjoyed their best spell of the game as they spent long periods camped in the Aussie half of the field. Although a combination of fine tackling and some handling errors meant that they were unable to add to their early score.

The A.I.S. scored their eighth and final try of the evening six minutes from time, when they went for the power play on the last tackle and an overlap allowed Burgess to power over in the left corner. Foster goaled superbly from the touch-line to complete a very impressive 44-6 victory.

After the game Wolves Under 18s Head Coach Gary Chambers said: "The A.I.S are a very talented side and thoroughly deserved the win. It was a good work out for our guys and we have to remember that we are only two weeks into our pre-season training and we were playing against a side that have had quite a few games under their belt over the past couple of weeks. It was an opportunity for the coaching staff to assess the lads and there were some good individual performances. The lads enjoyed the game and it gives us something to work on as we prepare for the start of the new season. The conditioners were dreading us picking up any injuries but thankfully we have come through the game unscathed."

Former Wire favourite Brian Johnson who is Head Coach of the A.I.S was thrilled to be back at his old stomping ground. He said: "It was great to come back and see the old place. I have many fond memories and it was good to catch up with a couple of my old team mates like Gary Chambers and Chris Rudd. The game was a lot harder than what the scoreline suggests and we are delighted with how it went."

Tries: Ritchie Kennar, Daley Boney, Rhyse Martin, Jake Kelly, Mat Thorne, Mat Berwick, Jack Broughton, B-J Burgess.
Goals: Shaquile Blair 1 from 1, Sam Foster 4 from 5, Mat Mulcahy 0 from 1, B-J Burgess 1 from 1.
Tries: Jordan Burke.
Goals: Bobbie Goulding 1 from 1.

Referee: Peter Brooke

Australian Institute of Sport
Kurt Mann , Ritchie Kennar, Mat Berwick, Rhyse Martin, Jerome Leedy, Mat Mulcahy, Mat Thorne, Steve Coombes, Eddie Brimelow, Steve Liki, Daley Boney, Jake Kelly, Shaquile Blair; Subs: Sam Foster, Glen Day, Jackson Merritt, B-J Burgess, Jack Broughton, Heath McIlveen, Jack Svenson.

Warrington Wolves
Jordan Burke, Ben Warrilow, James Saltonstall, James Mendeika, Gene Ormsby, Brad Dwyer, Bobbie Goulding, Ryan Duffy, Keith Holden, Glenn Riley, Ben Currie, Gavin Bennion, Liam Hulme; Subs: Paul Brearley, Jacqe Peet, Jimmy Rowland, Oliver Giles, Ben Moores, Bradley Brennan.