The rugby season may be at a close but there are three more tests for our Great Britain rugby stars. Last week they took on the Australian team at the JJB stadium in Wigan in front of what was meant to be a sell-out crowd but, because of an accident on the M62, fans were late getting to the ground. That meant that the kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes
Britain kicked off playing from left to right and, within 12 seconds of the start, they were reduced down to 12 men after Adrian Morley was given a red card. The Australian's took full advantage of this moving the ball out wide causing the overlap but Britain showed that they wouldn't give up or roll over without a fight. GB was caught napping shortly after when Australia worked the overlap again on the right hand side with quick hands and went over for a try but, in the build-up play, their kicker was hurt leaving only a four point gap between the teams.
Britain wasn't going to let them have it all their own way, showed team spirit and really took it to the Australians. They came up with some good plays using their big players to drive it up the park but, for the first 40 minutes, their kick and chase was very poor. Then, with the drop of the shoulder, Britain broke through the Australian line. A scrambling Australian defence only slowed them down. Long gave a long pass to Connolly on the right wing and Britain did the overlap catching the Australians in the same way they caught Britain. Sean Long of Saint Helens stepped up to take the kick and didn't pull it over enough to get the conversion.
The merry whistle blower Gansen made a controversial call again! When an Australian player who had been out-foxed grabbed a player around the neck and threw him to the ground he managed to stay in the game. The Australians got over the line before half time but, once again, missed the kick. The half time score was
Great Britain 4 Australia 8
Great Britain came out in the second half knowing the only way they could win the game was to complete their sets of 6 and to have a good 'kick and chase' game - and that's what they did. They continued to get up in the faces and rattle the Australians and, at times, tempers did become frayed. That resulted in an Australian being sin-binned for pushing Brian Carney. Both teams were now down to 12 men and Britain realised that there was a chance to make Australia pay before they could get their extra man back. That's precisely what they did! A long pass out from Long to Connolly, who gave a quick pass to Carney who used his upper body strengh to go over. Long found his kicking boots at half time to put the kick away and extend their lead.The game could have gone to either team. Great Britain continued to have a good kick and chase game; Australia scored again, then Britain scored and, for the last 15 minutes of the game, it looked as if Britain could win the first game in the test. But Australia showed
their utter class by running on the power play (last tackle) to get the try that would seal the deal for Australia. With their world-class kicker Britain tried the short kick-off hoping to sneak their way through but the Australians weren't having any of it. The final score:
Great Britain 18 Australia 22.
All eyes now turn to Hull for the next encounter. It is a 6pm kick-off and, once again, a sell out game.
Their 3rd and final game is at the
McAlpine stadium, Huddersfield the following Saturday - another 6pm kick off.
13.11.03 Front Page
Back Issue Page