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Friday, October 22, 1999 Published at 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK

Sport: Rugby League

Brits suffer Brisbane battering

Australia's Shaun Timms tackles Gray Connolly of Great Britain

Australia 42-6 Great Britain & Ireland

Great Britain suffered a chastening experience in Brisbane, as Australia romped to a seven-try victory over the tourists.

Dave Woods: "It is now 37 years since Great Britain won in Brisbane"
The defeat leaves the Lions facing elimination from the inaugural Tri-Nations series, which also includes New Zealand.

It was the first time the teams had met on Australian soil for seven years.

But any hopes Andy Goodway's men had of pulling off a surprise defeat were dashed by a powerful second-half display from the Kangeroos.

It was a story of missed opportunities for Great Britain.

England coach Andy Goodway: "We just lost our composure"
They were only 10-6 down at the break and still in with a chance thanks to an impressive first-half performance against the odds.

Even midway through the second half the result never looked like becoming a one-sided affair.

But in the last 15 minutes, Britain collapsed and the Green and Gold romped into the final with a string of well-taken tries.

Opening onslaught

Australia surged into a 10-0 lead at the start of the game after Britain were reduced to 12 men when Denis Betts was sin-binned.

[ image: Matthew Johns finds no way through Andy Hall's stout British defence]
Matthew Johns finds no way through Andy Hall's stout British defence
The home side made the most of the numerical advantage and Brad Fittler and Jason Smith scored two early tries.

The visitors hit back and had a number of impressive moments on the attack, only to be repelled by the Australians' formidable last-ditch defending.

But Great Britain and Ireland received their just rewards in the dying seconds of the first half, as Iestyn Harris turned the opposition inside out with a side-stepping run to score under the posts.

Going into the second half, hopes of an upset were still alive.

Awesome effort

But the Australians showed their true class after the break.

Four tries in the last 17 minutes, including a glorious 80-yard effort from ace winger Wendell Sailor and two other magnificent ones by full-back Darren Lockyer, condemned Goodway's team to one of the blackest days in Lions' history.

Brett Kimmorley and Matt Gidley were Australia's other tryscorers and winger Mat Rogers kicked six goals from six attempts, with Ryan Girdler adding a seventh.

The defeat, which was worse than the 35-0 battering in Brisbane 20 years ago, means that Britain need to beat New Zealand by at least 20 points in Auckland next Friday to book their place in the November 5 final.


Australia: Lockyer, Rogers, Gidley, Timmins, Sailor, Johns, Kimmorley, Britt, Gower, Howe, Flecther, Kosef, Fittler. Substitutes: Girdler, D Smith, J Smith, Vella.

Great Britain & Ireland: Radlinski, Robinson, Connolly, Senior, Sullivan, Harris, Sheridan, Laughton, Cunningham, McDermott, Betts, Morley, Farrell. Substitutes: Long, Anderson, Sculthorpe, Hay. Referee: D Pakieto.

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