Aussies defeat gallant Lions in Game VI

Tri-Nations Game 6
Australia 33 v Great Britain 10
at Suncorp Stadium
Referee: Paul Simpkins

Match Summary:

Before a crowd of 44,358, Australia has defeated Great Britain by 33-10 in the final Tri-Nations round robin match, ending the game with one of the most memorable tries in Test Match history.

The early signs were ominous for the Lions as Australia skipped away to a 12-nil lead after seven minutes through tries to Hodges and Gasnier.

The scores remained that way until the 29th minute when the Poms scored through a bizarre turn of events which began with Thurston stripping Ellis of possession, sending the ball some 20 metres towards the Australian line.

A mix-up between Hindmarsh and Hunt saw the ball toed through by the Brits with McGuire regathering and sprinting 40 metres to score out wide.

Australia then took what was to be a match-winning lead close to halftime, with Hunt scoring after some ad-lob footy close to the line.

The Aussies scored again just after the break with Lockyer performing a simple run-around with O?Meley to stretch the lead to 22-4. At this stage the Poms pulled up their socks and dug in for a battle in the forwards, with noted improvement in the forwards bringing them back into the game.

The hard work paid off when Senior took a nifty short ball from Hock close to the line and brought the scores back to 22-10.

The game then ebbed-and-flowed with each side showing strong defence to hold out the other. With some pressure mounting Lockyer snapped a field goal in the 73rd minute to put the game beyond doubt and four minutes later Tupou was over out wide courtesy of a short ball from Thurston.

With the scores at 29-10 and not much doing, the Poms mounted one more challenge to the Aussie line, throwing caution to the wind with several lofty passes before the ball found its? way to Raynor on the flank.

He came in-field and tried to chip to the line, but it went too short and Hindmarsh cleaned it up, setting in motion an amazing sequence of events.

Hindmarsh offloaded to Smith who found Lockyer out wide. The Aussie captain took off down the left flank before passing inside to Hunt who has no support, so he kicks a wobbly one back in-field to find Tate lurking. He fields the ball about 35 metres out and sets off for the line. Ellis gave a great chase for the Lions and collared him close to the line, but Tate managed to score in the corner.

It was an amazing try that sent the crowd wild and brought back memories of Coyne?s match-winning try for Queensland in 1994.

The scoreline of 33-10 doesn?t accurately reflect the commitment and gusto with which Great Britain played. The Poms were very good tonight but just lacked a little more organisation in the halves. They made several breaks through the forwards, proving they had the muscle up front to penetrate the Aussie pack.

Great Britain now head home after failing to make the final, which will now be played between Australia and New Zealand next week in Sydney.

A footnote to tonight?s game was the excellent crowd in Brisbane, following on from their strong turnout in this year?s ANZAC Test. Tonight?s crowd was the highest recorded figure in Australia for a Rugby League International since 1974, proving the game is well and truly alive at this level.

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Australia: 33
Tries: Darren Lockyer, Brent Tate, Mark Gasnier, Karmichael Hunt, Justin Hodges, Anthony Tupou
Goals: Johnathan Thurston 4/6
Field Goals: Darren Lockyer
Great Britain: 10
Tries: Keith Senior, Danny McGuire
Goals: Paul Wellens 1/1

By the Clock:
Nice evening up here in Brisbane as the Lions start warming up on the field to a chorus of boo's.

Both teams are as per the program and the crowd is building nicely.

The situation is - if Great Britain win or draw tonight, they are in the final against Australia next week. If they lose, they go home.

Both sides lining up for the National Anthems.

1 min: NEWS Lockyer gets us underway, the kick went deep, Fielden brought it back and the contest is very physical from the outset.

3 min: NEWS Three penalties blown by Simpkins already. Aussies have good field position.

4 min: TRY Australia
The Kangaroos open the scoring with a simple cross-field grubber from Lockyer under the sticks and the Lions are caught napping. Hodges swoops on the ball to score and Thurston converts.
Australia 6-0

6 min: NEWS A big break down te eastern flank from Hodges and Inglis.

7 min: TRY Australia
The ball moves to the right and Gasnier finds his way to the line despite stumbling a little in the lead up, with Lockyer again involved. Thurston curls it in from the sideline to add the extra.
Australia 12-0

12 min: NEWS Thurston tries a cheeky chip kick and it goes out on the full. The Lions are just hanging on here.

13 min: NEWS Gleeson comes up with a kick and regather that nearly results in a try. It's the most enterprising play we've seen from the visitors so far.

16 min: NEWS Fielden's copped it again, this time from Hindmarsh.

18 min: NEWS The Brits are actually promoting the ball well. Morley and Roby are now on and the Poms look a little better. Hunt has been forced in goal.

20 min: NEWS Hunt has been forced in goal again with the Poms starting to mount some good pressure here. The Aussie defence is swarming.

22 min: NEWS Lions grubber goes dead this time but the game has turned into a real contest.

25 min: NEWS Another break from Gasnier results in the Kangaroos first handling error, as a flick pass from the Dragons centre is fumbled by Tate.

29 min: TRY Great Britain
The British are in with a bizarre try. Thurston disposessed Ellis with the ball going almost 20m towards the Australian line. McGuire toed it through and scored out wide. He failed with the conversion though.
Australia 12-4

32 min: TRY Australia
Hunt is in as the Aussies hit back straight away. A bit of confusion close to the line sees the ball juggled between Lockyer to O'Meley, who then finds his fullback lurking close to the line. Thurston converts and the Aussies are dominating again.
Australia 18-4

35 min: NEWS The Pommies put their clearing kick out on the full.

38 min: NEWS Some good attack from the Poms. A break and another half chance put them down in the Aussie territory, but Lockyer saved the day.

40 min: NEWS Halftime: A late chace for the Poms goes astray but they've been showing some positive signs in the past 25 minutes or so. If it wasn't for Hunt's try they would be well and truly in this one, but the Brits need to score three times to take the lead, which looks a difficult task in this game.

As for the Aussies, they need to regroup a bit and refocus on attacking footy. Their defence has been exposed a few times as well, so that needs to be tightened up as well.

I think the Poms will give them a bit of a run for their money, but ultimately the Aussies should prevail.

41 min: NEWS Wellens kicks out on the full from the restart. Not what they were looking for...

42 min: TRY Australia
A simple run around play by Lockyer with O'Meley produces Australia's first try of the second half. The Poms would be shattered right now. Thurston hits the post with a relatively simple kick.
Australia 22-4

44 min: NEWS This time Wellens puts it down the middle and Hodges knocks-on. Great Britain in good field position.

46 min: NEWS A massive break from Gasnier finds Tate on the outside who is run down and put into touch by an excellent tackle from Raynor.

51 min: NEWS Plenty of back and forth play here.

52 min: NEWS Hunt puts his foot on the line as he's on the way to scoring a try. Hunt is now in the blood bin with a savage cut to the head.

59 min: TRY Great Britain
The Lions have scored through Senior who took a great offload from Hock close to the line. He brought it around well and they're back in the contest. Wellens adds the extras.
Australia 22-10

64 min: NEWS Crowd: 44,358. Highest Test Match crowd in Australia since 1974.

64 min: NEWS Pryce leaves the field with a leg injury as the Poms enjoy some good posession.

70 min: NEWS There's still some life in the Old Dart but the clock is against them.

73 min: FIELD GOAL Australia
Lockyer pots a field goal from about 30m out to secure victory for the Aussies.
Australia 23-10

77 min: TRY Australia
Tupou scores his first try for Australia after hitting a gap and Thurston delivering a sweet ball. He did well to finish it off. Thurston kicks a neat one from the sideline.
Australia 29-10

80 min: TRY Australia
You've got to see the vision of this one. Raynor tries to chip ahead on the last play for the Poms, but Hindmarsh gathers the ball and gives it to Smith who offloads to Lockyer. The Aussie captain takes off down the left flank before passing inside to Hunt who has no support, so he kicks a wobbly one back in field to find Tate lurking. He fields the ball about 35m out and sets off for the line. Ellis gave a great chase for the Lions and collared him close to the line, but Tate managed to score in the corner. Thurston just fails from the sideline as the crowd goes absolutely wild.
Australia 33-10
----------------------------------------- players of the match:
3 - Darren Lockyer
2 - Johnathan Thurston
1 - Mark Gasnier