The new college season has begun. Once again Leeds Rhinos, The Leeds Rugby Foundation and Leeds City College are working in partnership to develop the next generation of players who have missed out on signing a contract at professional clubs.
Over the years a number of players have progressed from Leeds City College rugby team into the Leeds Rhinos Academy ranks. Mathew Syron, Luke Teasdale, George Clarke and Kyle Quinlan have all progressed into the Leeds Rhinos Academy from Leeds City College. Quinlan scored the try of the season for the Leeds Rhinos Academy and picked up his trophy at the Leeds Rhinos Academy Awards Presentation just recently.
The Leeds City College team is coached by Leeds Rhinos Academy coach Jonny Wainhouse and conditioned by Mickey Vann who is also a world boxing referee too. There is a real professionalism in the set-up of the Leeds City College team which is a great bench mark of what is expected for the individuals to make it at the next level.
Leeds City College season kicked off in a frustrating fashion against Huddersfield New College after dominating the first 25 minutes. The Leeds pack were taking control of the game with the Leeds impressive front row Ian Fox and Joe McGechaen causing Huddersfield many defensive problems with their strong drives. This gave Leeds great field position and the opportunity to score try’s with hooker Tom Conway scoring from close range, winger Matty Callaghan scoring with his first touch of the ball and fullback Issac Ussman scoring in the corner from some slick passing from half back Kane Riley and second row Xairier Martin.
Leeds took their foot of the gas and allowed Huddersfield to creep back into the game. Huddersfield stand off Tom Shaw scored a hatrick of trys on the bounce after some poor defending by Leeds.
Going into the second half Leeds scored an opportunist try, when centre Kieran Canavan stole the ball ‘one on one’ on the half way line. He showed some outstanding speed and foot work to beat the chasing pack and the full back and score directly under the post, which gave winger Jordan River an easy conversion, his second of the game.
Huddersfield seemed to grow in confidence as the game went on. Huddersfield finished the stronger team and scored two more try’s from prop Oli Haigh and second row forward Dominic Horn which made the final score line 20-20 and a share of the points.
Leeds City College Man of the Match went to Dwaine McRae who captained the team with a performance to remember.
Jonny Wainhouse Leeds City College Coach commented “This is a new squad who will only get better with time. I was very impressed with our boys in the first 25 minutes, it is just a shame we pulled away from things we were doing well. We look on to the future and look forward to our next battle”