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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 November, 2003, 20:25 GMT
Australia claim Ashes sweep
GB 12-18 Australia

Kris Radlinski
Great Britain 12 (6)
Tries: Radlinski, Sculthorpe
Penalty: Deacon
Con: Deacon
Australia 18 (6)
Tries: Ricketson 2, De Vere
Cons: Fitzgibbon 3
Australia put on another late show to win the third Ashes Test and a clean sweep in the series.

Once again Great Britain were leading with minutes to go, but late tries by Luke Ricketson and Michael de Vere gave the Australians victory.

Britain were leading thanks to tries from Kris Radlinski and Paul Sculthorpe and seemed set to regain some pride despite coming under severe pressure towards the end.

But a series that promised so much ultimately ended in another demoralising defeat.

The tempo of the game was set in a frantic opening period which was marked by a controversial clash between Terry Newton and Robbie Kearns.

The Wigan hooker was placed on report after flooring Kearns with a tackle reminiscent of the one that saw Adrian Morley sent off after 12 seconds of the first Test.

After the match it emerged that Newton had been handed a one-match ban for the reckless challenge.

Paul Deacon cooled British tempers as he got the first points on the board when Shane Webcke conceded a penalty after he was caught offside.

But the Australians were determined not to allow the home side to take control, using the pace of dangerman Brett Kimmorley to push forward.

The Cronulla scrum-half was instrumental in launching the Kangaroos fightback.

Our defence tonight was awesome but we were out on our feet at the end and it's devastating that they got the two late tries
Adrian Morley
Man of the match

He passed the ball through to Luke Ricketson in the 21st minute who charged through a gap in the Lions defence to score the first try of the match and his first in an Ashes series.

Craig Fitzgibbon comfortably added the extras to edge the Australia ahead.

Great Britain were quick to respond as Sean Long handed the ball off to Kris Radlinski who dummied before sliding over the line.

Referee Russell Smith called for a video replay and Radlinski, earning his 20th cap, was given the benefit of the doubt and awarded the try but Deacon failed to convert.

The Lions soaked up a spell of pressure from the tourists and held firm to go into the break with the scores poised at 6-6.

It was a huge team effort and I've really enjoyed the tour
Brett Kimmorley
Man of the series

David Waite's side grew in confidence after the restart with Lee Gilmour and captain Andy Farrell weaving through the Kangaroos' defence.

Newton, playing in a new centre pairing with Gilmour, delayed his pass to Sculthorpe who stretched to score a try between the posts.

Substitute Sean Long added the extras to give Great Britain a healthy lead.

But Australian pressure started to build and with three minutes remaining De Vere crashed over and Fitzgibbon converted to level the scores.

And with the Lions still reeling, Ricketson grabbed his second try in the final minute to claim a last-gasp win.

Great Britain: Radlinski (Wigan); Carney (Wigan), Gleeson (St Helens), Gilmour (St Helens), Horne (Hull); Sculthorpe (St Helens), Deacon (Bradford); Fielden (Bradford), Newton (Wigan), Morley (Sydney Roosters), Peacock (Bradford), Farrell (Wigan, capt), Forshaw (Bradford). Subs: Sinfield (Leeds), Long (St Helens), McDermott (Leeds), Ellis (Wakefield).

Australia: Lockyer (Brisbane, capt); Minichiello (Roosters), De Vere (Brisbane), Wing (Roosters), Sing (North Queensland); Crocker (Roosters), Kimmorley (Cronulla); Webcke (Brisbane), Buderus (Newcastle), Kearns (Melbourne), Fitzgibbon (Sydney Roosters), Simpson (Newcastle), Ricketson (Roosters). Subs: Civoniceva (Brisbane), Waterhouse (Penrith), Mason (Canterbury), Smith (St Helens).

Referee: Russell Smith (Castleford).

BBC Sport's Dave Woods
"It was heartbreaking for Britain"






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