The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Many Rivers Regional U21 Rep Side 6 v 46 BARLA Great Britain Lions Kempsey, NSW
The BARLA Great Britain Lions returned to winning ways with an eight try salvo against a Regional Aboriginal Representative Side.
The hosts shocked BARLA when they took the lead after just six minutes, but the Lions recovered four minutes later and hit back with three tries in five minutes to take control of the game. A magnificent try on the half hour had the match won by half time, whilst a further four tries saw them run out easy winners against a side who gave there all throughout a competitive match.
The game started with both sides completing their early sets, however the Rep Side took the lead on six minutes following a penalty against the Lions for ball stealing. On the fourth tackle Many Rivers prop Wayne Sines took the ball on the burst to go over from five metres out and stand off Wayne Button added the extras to make it 6-0.
But the Lions hit back after an inspired run from fullback Matt Rogers. Hooker Ashley Lindsay, who was later voted BARLA player of the Match by the home side, scooted from half back and burst through a gap to score his opening try of the tour. Carl Rudd added the extras and went on to convert seven from eight only missing his final conversion on the night. Lindsay had a superb game with runs from halfback and put in some superb tackles.
Three minutes later it became 12-6 to BARLA with Rogers scoring a deserved try, when on the next set of six he drove over from the play the ball. The Lions soon doubled the lead after some slick passing allowed substitute Danny Kilshaw to cross the white wash following a bomb and fumble by the defence.
Throughout the half there was silky ball handling skills by the tourists and a converted try on the half-hour echoed this. From a scrum on the halfway line Kilshaw fed stand off John McMullen who punted downfield over the defence. Centre, and Wigan St Jude's clubmate Gavin Corfield chased the kick, which bounced up nicely into his arms, and he beat the defence to dive in under the posts.
The tourists went in at half time 24-6 ahead and at the start of the second half had to withstand pressure on there own line which caused them to make two drop outs. However, BARLA managed to soak up all that was thrown at them for the opening fifteen minutes of the half, as home scrum half David Scholes got his kicking game working which ended with him gaining the home sides man of the match.
Having withstood the early pressure, BARLA clinically finished off any chance of a home victory with three tries in a five minute purple patch to cruise into a 40-6 lead on the hour.
McMullen sent a grubber kick into the in-goal area and host's fullback Michael Davis fumble allowed McMullen to swoop and score. From the next set some magnificent rugby saw winger Paul Toole take a pass and cut inside to score under the posts, and this was closely followed by prop forward Scott Teare rampaging over from thirty metres out to cross under the sticks.
On sixty-seven minutes BARLA scored the final try of the game as Kilshaw followed up another McMullen grubber to score his second.
This was a superb display by BARLA and every player stood up to be counted after the Test defeat on Saturday.
After the game Lions team manager Neil Baxter said, "It was a good performance to bounce back after the disappointment of the Test defeat. We played probably our best rugby of the tour with a number of players hitting the form we knew they were capable of".
Many Rivers: 1. Michael Davis, 2.Lance Robertson, 3. Mitchell Walker, 4. Shaun Collins, 5. Ricky Quinlan, 6. Dwayne Button, 7. David Scholes, 8. Gordon Roberts, 9. Russell Lardner, 10. Wayne Sines, 11. Henry Dunn (Capt.), 12. Gary Quinlan, 13. Chris Piper, SUBS: 14. James Ahoy, 15. Tom Donovan, 16. Warren Cudtmore, 17. Pete Smith, 18. Alwyn Roberts, 19. Steven Walker, 20. Richard Donovan, 21. Tye Mundine
Tries: Sines (6) Goals: Button (1/1) MOM: David Scholes BARLA Great Britain Lions: 1. Matt Rogers (Eastmoor), 2. Chris Lee (West Hull), 3. Gavin Corfield (Wigan St Judes), 4. Carl Rudd (Wath BrowHornets), 5. Paul Toole (Blackbrook), 6. John McMullen (Wigan St Judes), 7. Terry Lynn (West Hull), 8. Dave Goddard (Army), 9. Ashley Lindsay(Shaw Cross Sharks), 10. Gavin Last (West Hull), 11. Lee Wingfield (Leigh East), 12. Dave Patterson (Leigh Miners Rangers), 13. TommyGoulden (Capt.), SUBS: 14. Danny Kilshaw (Leigh East), 15. Scott Teare(Wath Brow Hornets), 16. Anthony Broadhead (Thornhill Trojans), 17. PaulEgan (Wigan St Patricks), 18. Paul Davidson (Wath Brow Hornets)
Tries: Lindsay (10), Rogers (13), Kilshaw (15, 67), Corfield (30),McMullen (55), Toole (57), Teare (67) Goals: Rudd (7/8) MOM: Ashley Lindsay
Referee: Tony Bannerman