Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Rugby League Tri-Nations Game 4
Australia 12 v Great Britain 23
at Aussie Stadium
Referee: Ashley Klein
The Great Britain Lions have scored a memorable Tri-Nations victory, downing the Australian Kangaroos 23-12 at Aussie Stadium in Sydney tonight.
With man of the match and half back Sean Long calling the shots, the Lions repelled some bruising play from the Australians to finish the stronger and post a comprehensive win in damp conditions.
The Kangaroos opened the scoring after 28 minutes with winger Greg Inglis taking a pass from half back Ben Hornby who intercepted 10 metres out from his own line. But the Lions struck back just before the break when full back Paul Wellens scored after Long dummied and broke the line from 30 metres out.
At half time it was 6-all.
The second half opened with Great Britain captain and front rower Jamie Peacock getting the benefit of the doubt from the video ref. The try and subsequent conversion from Long put the Lions 12-6 in front.
The Kangaroos were far from done with five eighth and skipper Darren Lockyer setting up front rower Willie Mason in the 49th minute. With only the fullback to beat, Mason hit the gap from eight metres out and at full speed, only to knock on.
But Australia were not to be denied as Lockyer combined with Inglis to score under the posts in the 52nd minute. Lockyer converted and with the scores at 12-all, Australia appeared to be gaining the ascendancy.
The Kangaroos should have hit the lead five minutes later with Hornby and team mate Karmichael Hunt winning the race for a ball kicked into the Great Britain in-goal. Hampered by an awkward bounce, Hornby eventually got there first, only to collide with the knee of Lions' winger Gareth Raynor. The impact saw the ball jolted loose with Hornby hitting the deck and the video ref ruling a no try.
Great Britain capitalised and were finally able to convert their opportunities in the 61st with back rower Lee Gilmour crashing through to put the Lions 18-12 in front.
The play of the match came a few minutes before full time when Long got boot to ball, then regathered to put Australia on the back foot. In the next movement, Gareth Raynor, who had earlier saved a try, was on hand to score in the corner and put the match beyond doubt.
Long potted a field goal in the final minute to post a 23-12 Test match victory for Great Britain.
The result is a blow for New Zealand who now find themselves in sudden-death, and must win next Saturday's Tri-Nations 5 match against Great Britain in Wellington.
In other news, Australia's Willie Mason was placed on report in the 10th minute following a high shot on Sean Long. The incident highlighted a fiery night for Mason who was deemed the instigator of a brawl after just three minutes of play.
On the injury front, Australian centre Mark Gasnier was forced from the field in the 18th minute with a suspected hip injury and took no further part.
Pic: Great Britain skipper Jamie Peacock crashing over just after half time.
Tri-Nations web site - news, results, teams and history > click here
Tries: Darren Lockyer, Greg Inglis
Goals: Darren Lockyer 2/2
Great Britain: 23
Tries: Jamie Peacock, Lee Gilmour, Paul Wellens, Sean Long
Goals: Sean Long 3/5
Field Goals: Sean Long
By the Clock:
Tri-Nations IV not far away from kick off in Sydney. Australia are favourites but there's been a bit of rain about which should act as a leveller.
As reported, Great Britain five-eighth Danny McGuire has been ruled out. He will be replaced at pivot by Leon Pryce who comes in off the wing. Gareth Raynor moves from the bench to take Pryce's position out wide. Fiery front rower Adrian Morley will be starting on the bench as named.
Australia are as per the card with utility back Ben Hornby making his international debut at half back, and controversial centre Jamie Lyon making a return for the Kangaroos after a three year absence.
Teams coming onto the field... national anthems... Great Britain kicking off and its game on!
3 min: FIGHT Aust's Willie Mason connects first on GB's Stuart Fielden. An all-in dust up follows. GB get the penalty.
5 min: NEWS GB denied a try after a loose ball is scooped up from an offside position. Aust get a relieving penalty.
10 min: NEWS Mason placed on report by referee. Touch judge deems that GB half back Sean Long is hit high by Mason.
18 min: NEWS Injuries starting to mount for Aust with prop Petero Civoniceva and centre Mark Gasnier both heading for the sideline.
Aust come close to scoring but are thwarted by a forward pass. A similar dusty pass and poor handling cost them an opportunity minutes earlier.
22 min: NEWS Civoniceva recovering but Gasnier is in a bit of distress with what might be a recurrance of an old hip injury.
25 min: NEWS Centre Keith Senior makes a 20m bust from half way as GB get a roll on.
Aust being forced into a line drop out.
28 min: TRY Australia
Winger Greg Inglis scores under the posts for Aust.
Against the run of play after Hornby pulled off a sensational intercept 10m out with GB right on the attack. Inglis linked up with Hornby to race some 60m unopposed. Darren Lockyer converts.
36 min: TRY Great Britain
Fullback Paul Wellens scores near the uprights after Sean Long dummies his way through the defence from 30m out, standing up Lockyer. Sharp work from the half back to put GB back in the match. Long converts.
Half time: 6-all
A highly entertaining match.
Great Britain have had their chances and are enjoying more possession and field position. But they are battling with the second phase play at crucial times. If they can tidy up their attack, there'll be more points coming for the Lions.
Both sides defending well and this has the makings of a great match. But the money is still on the home side as Australia look yet to hit top gear.
Second half underway...
42 min: TRY Great Britain
Forward Jamie Peacock gets the benefit of doubt from the video ref after crashing over next to the posts. Follows a another penalty against Australia after Nathan Hindmarsh puts a lazy coathanger on Long. Long converts.
Great Britain 12-6
46 min: NEWS Aust come close with Lockyer attacking then kicking through for Jamie Lyon. The ball beats Lyon to the touch line.
49 min: NEWS Aust come close again with Mason on the burst but putting down the ball from 8m out. A try gone begging.
52 min: TRY Australia
Lockyer finishes off a flanking 60m movement where he combines with Shaun Berrigan and then Inglis out wide who passes back inside to his skipper. Lockyer converts from right in front.
57 min: NO TRY Aust denied after Hornby collides with Gareth Raynor's knee after he chases a kick and looks certain to score. The collision jolts the ball free and Hornby is knocked senseless. No try ruled by video ref but a let off for GB.
61 min: TRY Great Britain
Lee Gilmour crashes over to score a tremendous try and put the Lions back in the lead. Long converts from right in front.
Great Britain 18-12
69 min: ATTEMPTED PENALTY GOAL Great Britain
Sean Long botches a fairly simple goal attempt, 10m wide and well within range. But we're in the last 10 minutes now and GB are in a position to win. They are getting the field position and possession through penalties and Aust errors. And the rain is falling.
Great Britain 18-12
71 min: ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL Great Britain
Long has a shot at field goal, the ball is waved away.
Great Britain 18-12
77 min: TRY Great Britain
Gareth Raynor scores in the left corner. A sensational try after Sean Long kicks a loose ball ahead from deep in own half, and then stages a miraculous regather to offload to a support player in hooker Terry Newton. In the next ruck, Raynor is on the end of an overlap to score. Long unable to convert.
Great Britain 22-12
79 min: FIELD GOAL Great Britain
Long puts the icing on the cake.
Great Britain 23-12
Great Britain Lions have caused an upset in downing the Australian Kangaroos by 23-12. As expected, the Aussies steppped up in the second half but the visitors went with them, and then finished the stronger to post a memorable victory.
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Sean Long (Lions)
2 - Lee Gilmour (Lions)
1 - Darren Lockyer (Kangaroos)