Australian Aboriginals 50 v 24 BARLA Great Britain Lions TEST MATCH Kitchener Oval, Gunnedah Country, NSW
The Australian Aboriginals won the Perpetual Trophy for the first time since 1998 with a nine try salvo, and scored fifty points in the process. They never looked back after a try in the first 90 seconds and scored 24 unanswered points in the opening seventeen minutes.
From that moment the BARLA Lions were playing catch up football and although at one stage they got within ten points of the home side, in reality there was only ever going to be one winner.
The Aboriginals vice captain and scrum half Peter Taylor had a magnificent game with a personal haul of 22 points, and the Sydney City Rooster, currently plying his trade in an unbeaten side in the Jersey Flegg competition, showed that he is going to be a star of the future.
Great Britain tried manfully and there was some great "never say die" performances from second row forward Dave Patterson and scrum half Terry Lynn, who unfortunately had to leave the field early in the second half as the comeback was mounted. There were other notable performances by Lion's stand off Danny Kilshaw and winger Chris Lee.
From the kick off the ball was allowed to bounce into touch and BARLA then gave away a penalty. The hosts chose to run it and the gamble paid off as centre Moses Alone drove over for a converted try.
The Lions had little possession and the hosts doubled the lead on ten minutes when hooker Justin Miller showed his class to scoot from the play the ball and sprint 40 metres under the posts. From the next set it became 18-0 when on the last tackle Taylor saw a gap and threw a dummy to crash over under the sticks. On 17 minutes the Aboriginals scored once again, as stand off and skipper Joey Griffiths worked a quick move on the short side with Taylor who put winger Desi Madden in at the corner. A magnificent touchline conversion by Taylor made it 24-0.
The opening salvo had taken the wind out of the BARLA side, in a game that was played in cool conditions compared to the sun the tourists had been used to for the week in Gunnedah.
On 21 minutes Terry Lynn was held up over the line as he drove for a try. But on the last tackle BARLA kept the ball alive only for the Aboriginals to knock on and from the next set on the second tackle, Dave Patterson drove over for a try, with substitute Carl Rudd adding the extras.
That lifted the Lion's confidence, but disaster struck again on 27 minutes following a Taylor grubber on the last tackle. Lion's fullback Lawrence Wildbore collected the ball and as he brought the ball away he lost possession. Quick as a flash Griffiths snapped up the loose ball and handed it to Madden who fed outside to his fellow winger Phil Purukamu to dive in at the corner. The conversion made it 30-6.
The Lions began to fight back again and a move from a penalty on the fourth tackle saw Lynn score a deserved try with Rudd just unable to add the conversion.
Four minutes from half time centre Gavin Corfield was just held short of the line as the Lions ran on the last. Then in the last seconds' substitute Lee Wingfield drove over for a converted try to make it at 30-16 at the break.
The Lions got off to a perfect start following the sinbinning of the Aboriginals centre Moses, and after running the penalty, Weymes broke through for the try. But just as BARLA sniffed a comeback home loose forward Matt Rose hoisted a bomb into the corner that caused panic in the BARLA defence. Madden caught the ball before flicking it inside to Taylor and the scrum half went in for his second score to open up a fourteen point buffer.
On 54 minutes it was game over as Moses sneaked back onto the field from his sinbinning, and was in the right place at the right time to score in the corner for another converted try to make it 40-20.
A Gavin Corfield break on 62 minutes inspired the Lions to a fifth try which winger Chris Lee finished off. However, on 69 minutes superb handling saw Aboriginal full back Casey Conway touch down to make it 44-24.
With time running out substitute Ashley Lindsay was just held short of the line and moments later it became 50-24 when Rose followed up Griffith's grubber to score under the posts. Taylor's conversion wrapped up the game with his seventh conversion from nine attempts.
After the win Australian assistant coach Wayne Griffths said, "It was a very, very tough affair, we got off to a really good start in that first twenty minutes and got a bit of a lead and I think that was the difference between the two sides. Great Britain came back very strongly and it was in the balance for a little while, but we picked up a couple of tries and the bounce of the ball sort of got us that little bit in front and some breathing space."
BARLA coach Mick Turner was very disappointed after the defeat and said, "I thought in the first twenty minutes we made a lot of schoolboy errors. We just didn't perform in the first twenty, then when we clawed our way back, we were a little bit tired to continue the comeback. It was a sickener when the man came out of the sinbin as he just walked onto the pitch and scored, he hadn't been put back on through the officials. Everybody has tried there hardest and we showed a lot of spirit, but they were the better team on the day."
1. Casey Conway (Sydney City Roosters) 2. Desi Madden (St George) 3. Matt Naden (Patrician Brothers, Fairfield) 4. Moses Alone (Narrellan Group 6 RL) 5. Phil Purukamu (Raymond Terrace, Newcastle) 6. Joey Griffiths (Gunnedah) Capt. 7. Peter Taylor (Sydney City Roosters) 8. Jobe Patten (Kurri-Kurri, Newcastle) 9. Justin Miller (Tugun Seahawks, Gold Coast) 10. Brooke Mills (Raymond Terrace, Newcastle 11. Matt Watton (Kurri-Kurri, Newcastle) 12. Luke Fatnowna (Sydney City Roosters) 13. Matt Rose (North Sydney Bears) SUBS: 14. Andrew Bell (Moor Park Broncos) 15. Grant Brown (Lower Clarence Magpies) 16. Dennis Saunders (Bundaberg Brothers) 17. Brian King (Wentworth Metropolitan)
Tries: Alone (1, 54), Miller (10), Taylor (13,47), Madden (17), Purukamu (27), Conway (69), Rose (78) Goals: Taylor (7/9) MOM: Peter Taylor BARLA Great Britain Lions:
1. Lawrence Wildbore West Hull) 2. Chris Lee (West Hull) 3. Gavin Corfield (Wigan St Judes) 4. Paul Egan (Wigan St Patricks) 5. Carl Jones (Wigan St Patricks) 6. Danny Kilshaw (Leigh East) 7. Terry Lynn (West Hull) 8. Scott Teare (Wath Brow Hornets) 9. Gary Weymes (East Hull) 10. Paul Davidson (Wath Brow Hornets) 11. Anthony Broadhead (Thornhill Trojans) 12. Dave Patterson (Leigh Miners Rangers) 13. Tommy Goulden Capt. (Leigh Miners Rangers) SUBS: 14.Ashley Lindsay (Shaw Cross Sharks) 15. Gavin Last (West Hull) 16. Carl Rudd (Wath Brow Hornets) 17. Lee Wingfield (Leigh East)
Tries: Patterson (22), Lynn (32), Wingfield (40), Weymes (44), Lee (61) Goals: Rudd (2/5) MOM: Dave Patterson
Referee: Chris Sutton
Australia Tour 2004 Fixtures
Game 1 - Tuesday 22nd June 10 v 22 Manly-Warringah A Grade Rep Side Manly, Sydney Kick Off: 2.30pm
Game 2 - Saturday 26th June 30 v 36 South West Metro Waratahs Hillier Oval, Liverpool, Sydney Kick Off: 2.30pm
Game 3 - Saturday 3rd July 52 v 12 Redfern All Blacks Erskinville Oval, Erskinville, Sydney Kick Off: 2.30pm
Game 4 - Saturday 10th July 24 v 50 Australian Aboriginals - TEST MATCH Kitchener Oval, Gunnedah Country, NSW Kick Off: 3.30pm
Game 5 - Wednesday 14th July v Combined North Coast Kempsey, NSW Kick Off: 3.00pm
Game 6 - Saturday 17th July v Combined Police/Corrective Services Venue TBA, Sydney Kick Off: 4.00pm