DESPITE an impressive performance, Warrington Wolves’ academy side were beaten in the first match of their Australia tour on Saturday.

The young Wires were beaten 32-22 by South Sydney Rabbitohs’ under 19s at Mascot Oval in the first of three matches planned for their stay Down Under.

The tourists got off to the perfect start as Lewis Barratt burrowed over from dummy-half after Jack Edge had been held just short of the line, with Joe Hickey converting.

However, the hosts them hit a purple patch that ended up being decisive as they ran in four tries in the second quarter of the game.

Cooper MacLaren, Yehya Ayache, Penese Risale and Billy Sprague all crossed the whitewash to send Souths into the break with a 22-6 advantage.

Warrington got themselves back into it after the interval thanks to a superb long-range try from Arron Lindop, who raced 70 metres to score having been put through a gap by Cai Taylor-Wray, with Hickey adding the conversion.

The Rabbitohs were always able to keep their visitors at arm’s length as Credence Donovan and Naisa Pahulu touched down either side of a try from Wire’s Alfie Mather, who crashed over between the posts having been found by Barratt’s flat ball.

Wire at least had the final say as they touched down with the game’s last play – a slick handling move involving five players resulted in Jake Thewlis touching down in the corner.

“It was an unbelievable experience for our boys to play on Australian soil against what was a very slick and athletic South Sydney side,” head of youth Ryan O’Brien said.

“We went toe-to-toe with them for the majority of the game but had a blip in the second quarter when they scored three unanswered tries.

“Whilst we gave a decent account of ourselves, we were outclassed in certain areas and our lads now know how much work they have to do to take themselves to the next level.”

The next game of the tour sees the young Wires take on Wests Tigers on Saturday.

Wolves: Cai Taylor-Wray; Jake Thewlis, Zack Gardner, Arron Lindop, Frank Sergent; Pat Irwin, Joe Hickey; Stephen Antrobus, Lewis Barratt, Sam Roberts, Sam Fitzsimon, Jack Edge, Alfie Mather. Subs: Ben Metcalfe, Sam Marshall, Isaac Reid, Ben Godwin, Joe Bajer, Oliver Morgan, Ewan Smith, Adam Whalley