Lions overpower Kangaroos
Sunday November 14, 2004
The British Lions have knocked New Zealand out of Tri-Nations contention after they notched a comprehensive 24-12 victory over Australia in Wigan this morning.
Buoyed by a superior completion rate and a favourable penalty count, the Lions used hard-hitting defense and desperate attack to gain control of the game after trailing 6-0 after just thirteen minutes.
Terry Newton, Stuart Reardon and Stuart Fielden scored three crucial tries for the home team before the break, to give them an intimidating 18-6 lead in front of a packed and parochial home crowd.
Australia started the second half with intensity and pressure, which resulted in a try to debutante prop Mark O'Meley after 5 minutes of play had passed.
The Lions quickly resorted back to their style of grinding, desperate defense which kept the score at 18-12 for the majority of the second half.
The British produced an inspiring defensive effort throughout the entire second half to keep the visitors scoreless, despite the Kangaroos creating numerous opportunities.
Veteran centre Keith Senior put the game beyond doubt just 3 minutes from full-time, when he received a wayward pass from a desperate Australian attack, and ran 40 metres over clear ground to score the winning try.
The only black mark of the game came just two minutes from the final siren, when Paul Sculthorpe and Craig Fitzgibbon had an altercation which sparked an all-in brawl. Referee Glen Black put the incident on report.
The Lions now have a chance to finish on top of the Tri-Nations table before they meet Australia for the Final on the 27th of November.
They just need to defeat New Zealand next weekend to finish on top of the table and perhaps enter the big game with more respect from the international rugby league community.
If today's performance is anything to go by, Great Britain is well and truly back and they will take some stopping in the Tri-Nations finale.
Great Britain 24 (Newton, Reardon, Fielden, Senior tries; Farrell 4 goals) defeated Australia 12 (Rooney, O'Meley tries; Fitzgibbon, Kimmorley goals) at JJB Stadium, Wigan.