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5 days ago
The Anzac rugby league side beat Cumbria 64-12 at Workington today, with Australian prop Mark O'Meley scoring a hat-trick of tries.
The one-off Anzacs, who comprised eight Kiwis, six Kangaroos and three other players drafted in, had too much pace and power for the county side.
They scored 11 tries, with New Zealand centre Shontayne Hape getting two of them.
For Cumbria, winger Craig Calvert gave the 4203-strong crowd plenty to cheer about by getting two his side's three touchdowns.
The locals were mainly players from England's lower divisions and they were always going to struggle against higher-rated opposition, but never gave up and weren't disgraced.
Anzac fullback Matt Bowen opened the scoring after just eight minutes, jinking over from a scrum 20m out.
Four minutes later, O'Meley powered over for his first.
On the quarter hour, the crowd erupted after livewire hooker Carl Sice latched onto an in-goal grubber, but was called back by New Zealand referee Glen Black for offside.
Midway through the half, it was the turn of Anzac winger Matt Cooper to stroll over, after he picked up a loose ball on the Cumbrian 40m.
Shortly after, a fine pass by winger Jamaal Lolesi put centre Shontayne Hape over to make the score 22-0.
With 10 minutes of the first half to go, the home side finally got on the board after halfback Craig Walsh achieved a 40-20 kick. From good field position Cumbria scored though winger Craig Calvert.
However, the Anzacs went over again after good lead-up work by prop Alex Chan and Bowen led to a try to Dene Halatau, playing in the No 9 jersey because there was no specialist hooker in the Anzacs squad.
Up 28-4 at halftime, the Anzacs went further ahead with tries in quick succession to O'Meley and five-eighth Scott Hill.
But there was a second try to Calvert, who latched on to a kick ahead by Walsh, before Cumbria went over again through second rower Oliver Wilkes to close to 40-12.
As Cumbria were pressing again, a mistake gave Anzac centre Brent Tate a 90-minute runaway try with 15 minutes to go.
There were further Anzac tries to winger Henry Fa'afili, Hape and O'Meley, while skipper and man-of-the match Brett Kimmorley kicked nine goals from 10 attempts.
There were two late changes to the Anzacs line-up, with Australians Ben Rorarty and Chris Nero, both with Huddersfield, being drafted in.
They replaced Kangaroos Ben Kennedy and Shaun Timmins, who are both in the 19-strong Australian test squad for the match against Great Britain in Manchester on Saturday.
The Anzacs wore their distinctive jerseys of New Zealand colours on one side and Australian colours on the other, and even had one of each sock on.
ANZACS 64 (Mark O'Meley 3, Shontayne Hape 2, Matt Bowen, Matt Cooper, Dene Halatau, Scott Hill, Brent Tate, Henry Fa'afili tries; Brett Kimmorley 9 goals, Matt Bowen goal) defeated CUMBRIA 12 (Craig Calvert 2, Oliver Wilkes tries). Halftime: 28-12. Derwent Park, Workington Town, England. Referee: G Black. Crowd: 4203.