EELS HOLD ON | A big win for a struggling Parramatta Eels outfit today in Newcastle over an equally ...
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A late try saw the Exiles edge out England in the inaugural International Origin match.
The Exiles, drawn from a mix of Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Island talent plying their trade in Super League, were chosen as England's mid-season opponents after France had failed to give them much need intense Rugby League before the end of season Four Nations tournament.
In this full-on game, the ageing Exiles would end up taking the spoils as England got the test they wanted.
Rangi Chase, the man-of-the-match, pulled the strings as Willie Manu gave the visitors the lead.
England hit back when James Graham sent Richard Myler away to score underneath the posts. Kevin Sinfield added the extras.
Just before the break, the Exiles continued to gain more territory through their sets of six and, after George Carmont and Chase had made inroads down the left wing, Brett Hodgson's weighted chip was tipped inside by Iosia Soliola for Francis Meli to crash over to make it 10-6.
England had few chances in the second half, and a rare clean break from Jon Wilkin went unconverted as the St Helens man's pass failed to find a team-mate.
But an unlikely win seemed on the cards as Joel Tomkins intercepted a looping Exiles pass to run the length of the field and score
After Chris Bridge's infringement handed the Exiles the chance to turn on the screw within metres of the England line, Myler and centre Michael Shenton did just enough to deny Hodgson.
But in a tense finale, some tired England cover failed to read George Carmont's angled run as he went over to snatch victory for the exiles in the last seconds of the game.
So with most players backing up for their clubs this weekend, A stand alone game is been considered for next year as this concept look's to continue.
Tries: Richard Myler, Joel Tompkins
Goals: Kevin Sinfield 2
Tries: Willie Manu, Francis Meli, George Carmont
Goals: Pat Richards 2
Played at Headingley Carnegie Stadium Leeds
1 Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors) 2 Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos) 3 Michael Shenton (St Helens ) 4 Chris Bridge (Warrington Wolves) 5 Tom Briscoe (Hull FC) 6 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 7 Richard Myler (Warrington Wolves) 8 James Graham (St Helens) 9 Luke Robinson (Huddersfield Giants) 10 Jamie Peacock (Leeds Rhinos Capt) 11 Jon Wilkin (St Helens) 12 Ben Westwood (Warrington Wolves) 13 Sean O'Loughlin (Wigan Warriors )
Interchange: 14 Michael McIlorum (Wigan Warriors) 15 Adrian Morley (Warrington Wolves) 16 Garreth Carvell (Warrington Wolves) 17 Joel Tomkins (Wigan Warriors)
Coach: Steve McNamara
1 Brett Hodgson (Warrington Wolves & Australia) 2 Pat Richards (Wigan Warriors & Australia) 3 George Carmont (Wigan Warriors & Samoa) 11 Iosia Soliola (St Helens & New Zealand 5 Francis Meli (St Helens & Samoa) 6 Rangi Chase (Castleford Tigers & New Zealand) 7 Thomas Leuluai (Wigan Warriors & New Zealand) 8 Tony Puletua (St Helens & New Zealand) 9 Danny Buderus (Captain) (Leeds Rhinos & Australia) 10 Mark O'Meley (Hull FC & Australia)) 16 Louis Anderson (Warrington Wolves & New Zealand) 12 Willie Manu (Hull FC & Tonga) 13 Craig Fitzgibbon (Hull FC & Australia)
Interchange: 14 David Faiumu (Huddersfield Giants & New Zealand) 15 Kylie Leuluai (Leeds Rhinos & Samoa) 17 David Fa'alogo (Huddersfield Giants & New Zealand) 18 Glen Morrison (Wakefiled Wildcats & Australia)
Coach: Brian McClellan