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Friday, 14 June, 2002, 21:47 GMT 22:47 UK
Lancashire take Origin opener
St Helens' Paul Wellens scored twice for Lancashire
St Helens' Paul Wellens scored twice for Lancashire
Lancashire 22-18 Yorkshire

Two tries in three minutes midway through the second half gave Lancashire victory over Yorkshire in the opening match of the Origin Series.

The Red Rose team started the stronger at Wigan's JJB Stadium and scored the game's first try through Kris Radlinski inside two minutes.

Yorkshire rallied and looked to have victory in their sights when they took a 12-10 lead nine minutes into the second half.

But Lancashire struck the killer blows through Paul Johnson and Paul Wellens, the latter man grabbing the second of his brace of tries.


We will take a lot of confidence from that
Brian Noble
Yorkshire coach

The visitors fought to the finish and although Lee Gilmour's late try gave them hope, they could not snatch victory at the death.

Pre-match fears that the new-look Origin Series might be played at friendly match intensity were quickly dispelled in an explosive opening.

Lancashire full-back Radlinski scorched over in the second minute after a great offload by Paul Sculthorpe.

And then Yorkshire prop Nick Fozzard and his Lancashire counterpart Barrie McDermott were sent to the sin-bin for trading punches at a ninth minute scrum.

  Match facts
Lancashire 22
Tries: Radlinski, Wellens (2), Johnson
Conversions: Farrell (2)
Penalty: Farrell
Yorkshire 18
Tries: Pryce, Gilmour
Conversions: Orr, Burrow
Penalties: Orr (3)

Leon Pryce got Yorkshire back on terms with a 12th minute try.

Lancashire then replied immediately with the first of Wellens' two scores.

But the White Rose men began to get a grip on the game around its mid-point.

Castleford's Danny Orr kicked three penalties without reply to put Yorkshire 12-10 ahead.

And as the hour mark passed, Lancashire looked to be running out of ideas.

But they suddenly rediscovered the expansive game they had started with and stunned their rivals with two quick tries.


The desire to work for each other was very good
Ian Millward
Lancashire coach
Johnson slid over on the wet surface and then McDermott battered open a gap for Wellens to battle through.

Yorkshire's captain and man-of-the-match Ryan Sheridan then combined with Rob Burrow to inspire a late fightback.

Bradford loose forward Gilmour eventually powered over on the left.

And Burrow's towering touchline conversion ensured White Rose hopes would not be extinguished until the hooter.

Yorkshire must now wait until Tuesday for their chance to level the series on home ground at Headingley.


Lancashire: Radlinski, Stewart, Gleeson, Wellens, Johnson, Sculthorpe, Sinfield, O'Connor, Newton, McDermott, Joynt, Stankevitch, Farrell.
Replacements: Deacon, Donlan, Hilton, Mills.

Yorkshire: Pryce, Pratt, Hodgson, Senior, Calderwood, Orr, Sheridan, Fozzard, Diskin, Farrell, Hay, Peacock, Gilmour.
Replacements: Harland, Burrow, Sykes, King.

Referee: Russell Smith (Castleford)

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Tulsen Tollett
"Yorkshire were heading for an unlikely victory"
All the latest news from the Lancashire and Yorkshire camps

Game Two

Game One
Links to more Rugby League stories are at the foot of the page.


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