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Australia ends Great Britain's Tri-Nations campaign
Fulltime score: Tri-Nations Game VI Australia 26 def. Great Britain 14
Both sides were engaged in a good old-fashioned arm-wrestle early on, and after the first quarter of the game the scores were locked at 2 points all.
Australia were the first to open the game up and centre Matt Cooper swooped on a ball deemed to have travelled backwards off winger Matt King, as a result of a Craig Gower bomb. Cooper?s try was converted by Craig Fitzgibbon and Australia had the ascendancy early on with an 8-2 lead.
The Brits hit back in the best possible fashion shortly after, with Newcastle Knights-bound winger Brian Carney managing to plant the ball down out wide. Trent Barrett was sin-binned and Great Britain needed to capitalise on their opportunity.
The Lions? tendency to allow points through at the back end of the half was again evident in this game, with Australian prop Mark O?Meley taking advantage of some excellent work from fullback Anthony Minichiello to give Australia a 14-8 lead at the break.
After an early 2nd half penalty goal to Fitzgibbon, Brent Tate managed to exploit some brilliant play from Barrett again with a length-of-the-field try to make life very difficult for the home side, Australia led 22-8 with half an hour remaining.
Mark Gasnier sealed the deal for the Australians, crossing out wide with 20 minutes remaining. The try gave the Aussies an unassailable 26-8 lead and guaranteed Australia?s position in the final against the Kiwis at Elland Road next Saturday.
Richard Horne managed to accelerate through a gap and receive a beautiful ball from Mickey Higham, and cross for nothing more than a consolation try.
Barrett was again sent to the sin bin, he may need to improve his on-field conduct in time for next weekend?s final, but Australia managed to run out winners by 26 points to 14.
It?s now down to two, Australia take on New Zealand for 2005 Tri-Nations honours. The sides last met in Auckland with Australia winning narrowly, so it?s anyone?s guess as to the final outcome next weekend. Scorers: GREAT BRITAIN LIONS 14 Tries: B.Carney, R.Horne Goals: Harris 3/4 AUSTRALIA KANGAROOS 26 Tries: M.Cooper, M. O'Meley, B.Tate, M.Gasnier Goals: Fitzgibbon 5/5, Gower 0/1
Venue: KC Stadium Crowd: 25,150 Referee: Steve Ganson (GB) Half time: Australia 14-8
Live commentary: Good evening and welcome to a do or die Tri-Nations match between Great Britain and Australia. Tonight the scenarios are this:
- If Australia win, the final will be contested between Australia and New Zealand. - If Great Britain win by 1-2 points, the final will be contested between Australia and New Zealand. - If Great Britain win by 3-7 points, the final will be contested between Australia and Great Britain. - If Great Britain win by 8 or more points, the final will be contested between Great Britain and New Zealand.
It's a do or die match. Kick off is 5 minutes away as the teams take the field.
1st min: Kick off!
1st min: News - Great Britain make an early mistake with a knock on. Here's a early chance of Australia but as I say that Australia knock on so Great Britain survive.
3rd Min: News - Australia survive an early raid from Great Britain on Australia's line.
8th min: News - Still no score dispite both teams having a few chances in the early stages.
11th Min: Penalty to Great Britain and they take the kick at goal. Lestyn Harris kicks the goal. Great Britain 2-0.
16th Min: Penalty right in front of the posts for Australia. Craig Fitzgibbon gets it and evens things up. 2-2.
20th Min: TRY - Australia. Video Refs says Try to Australia as Craig Gower sent a bomb across field, Matt King juggled it and then tapped it back to Matt Cooper who scored the Try. Fitzgibbon converts. Australia 8-2.
27th Min: News - Steve Ganson sends Trent Barrett to the Sin Bin for a professional foul as Harris gets a Penalty to make it 8-4.
31st min: TRY - Great Britain. Brian Carney scores in the corner after Micky Higham did some great work to set up the Try. Harris misses the kick. 8-8.
36th Min: News - No Try Australia. Video ref rules that Craig Fitzgibbon knocked the ball on trying to get the ball down over the line.
40th Min: TRY - Australia. Mark O'Meley scores a Try just before halftime, which hurts Great Britain. Fitzgibbon converts and at halftime Australia lead 14-8.
Halftime: Australia lead 14-8 at Halftime after dominating most of the First Half. Great Britain haven't played badly but they need to improve and improve very quickly if they have a chance of making the final. The 2nd half is not very far away.
41st min: The 2nd half is underway!
42nd Min: Penalty to Australia. They decide to take the kick at goal from around 40m out and Fitzgibbon makes no mistake. 16-8 Australia.
50th Min: TRY - Australia. After a nice pass from Trent Barrett, Brent Tate sprints around up field to score the Try for Australia. Fitzgibbon converts. Australia 22-8 and things are not looking good for Great Britain.
60th Minute: TRY - Australia. Mark Gasnier wraps the match up for Australia outwide after some good lead-up work by Australia. It's all over for Great Britain now as Craig Gower misses the kick. Australia 26-8.
70th Minute: News - Steve Ganson going upstairs for a possible penalty try to Great Britain after Trent Barrett took out Iestyn Harris but they just rule a penalty to Great Britain as Trent Barrett is sent to the Sin-Bin again.
71st Minute: Up to the Video Referee again, this time for Great Britain but he rules No Try as Gareth Raynor loses the ball over the line.
73rd Minute: TRY - Great Britain. Micky Higham busts through the middle and gets the ball onto Richard Horne who scores the Try. Harris converts. Australia 26-14.
Fulltime: Australia will play New Zealand in the Tri-Nations final next week. Australia hae beaten Great Britain 26-14. That spells the end for Great Britain in this years Tri-Nations. It shapes up as a great final next week between Australia and New Zealand.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - C. Gower (Australia) 2 - A. Minichiello (Australia) 1 - M. Higham (Great Britain) -----------------------------------------
More info: www.tri-nations.com.au Discussion: Tri-Nations Forum at http://forums.leagueunlimited.com/forumdisplay.php?f=130