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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 November, 2004, 02:05 GMT
Lions crack under final pressure
By Pranav Soneji
BBC Sport at Elland Road

GB prop Adrian Morley faces up to defeat against Australia
After what was billed as the day of destiny for Great Britain's success-starved players and fans alike, there was a certain sense of inevitability about the result.

Yet again the Australians cranked their game to another level to outplay and outclass their hosts when it mattered most.

And once more the Lions' psychological inferiority in pressure situations cost them the victory they so desperately craved.

The usually ferocious Adrian Morley barely registered his presence on the pitch and admitted he and his team-mates were over-awed by the atmosphere.

"We played the occasion rather than the game and went away from what we had been successful at in the last few weeks," he said.

"I think the pressure got to us slightly and Australia are the kind of team that make you pay when you don't stick to the game plan."

The last time Great Britain were comprehensively beaten on home soil was back in 1963 when they lost 50-12 against the Australians in Swinton.

It was surreal, we were looking around at each other in the dressing room at half-time thinking 'What's just happened?'
Martin Gleeson

"I want to publicly apologise to the spectators, we saved our worst performance for the final," said Morley.

"They made the most of their chances but we were pretty awful. We didn't do what we practised."

The 24-12 victory in game five proved the Kangaroos were not unbeatable.

The slick green and gold machine had been broken in Wigan when a flu-ravaged Great Britain produced one of the most memorable performances of recent times - and the same was expected again.

But rather than losing a tight game in the final few seconds - as is usually the case against the Kangaroos - the Lions capitulated in the first few minutes.

Terry Newton's indiscipline gifted man-of-the-match Darren Lockyer a simple penalty in front of the posts.

Australia captain Darren Lockyer took the limelight in Leeds
Lockyer was the key to Australia's successful demolition of the Lions
The Australian captain went on to produce a performance worthy of the greatest the game has ever seen, stretching Great Britain's battered defence this way and that, helping himself to a try in the process.

The first-half surrender stunned the players as much as the capacity crowd at Elland Road.

"It was surreal, we were looking around at each other in the dressing room at half-time thinking 'What's just happened?'," said centre Martin Gleeson.

"We were getting smashed. We knew we couldn't win the game from 38-0 down at half-time."

"But there were 40,000 fans out there, we couldn't let it snowball any further."

Much was expected of the half-back pairing of Iestyn Harris and Sean Long, but neither could get the ball out of Lockyer's hands long enough to make anything remotely positive happen during the first half.

Almost every kick and offload found an Australian player as Great Britain's game crumbled in a way no-one - not even the Australians - were expecting.




2004 TRI-NATIONS

LATEST NEWS

Saturday, 13 November 2010
Australia 12 - 16
(6 - 6)
New Zealand R
Tries:
Tate, Slater
  Tries:
Kenny-Dowall, Nightingale, Fien
 
 
 
Goals:
Smith 2
  Goals:
Marshall 2

Suncorp Stadium

Saturday, 06 November 2010
England 36 - 10
(24 - 0)
Papua New Guinea R
Tries:
Robinson 2, Clubb 4, Harrison
  Tries:
Aizue, Yere
 
 
 
Goals:
Westwood 3, Widdop
  Goals:
Aiye

Eden Park

New Zealand 20 - 34
(10 - 18)
Australia R
Tries:
Pritchard, Nightingale, Kenny-Dowall
  Tries:
Cronk, Morris 2, Tate, Boyd, Lawrence
 
 
 
Goals:
Marshall 5
  Goals:
Smith 3, Carney 2

Eden Park

Sunday, 31 October 2010
Australia 34 - 14
(26 - 8)
England R
Tries:
Lewis 2, Slater, Tate, Tonga, Tuqiri
  Tries:
Burgess, Robinson
 
 
 
Goals:
Smith 5
  Goals:
Westwood 2, Cudjoe

AAMI Park

Saturday, 30 October 2010
New Zealand 76 - 12
(46 - 0)
Papua New Guinea R
Tries:
Perrett 3, Smith 3, Sa'u 3, Hohaia, Eastwood, Luke, Nightingale, Manu
  Tries:
Yere, Nami
 
 
 
Goals:
Marshall 8, Luke 2
  Goals:
Tongia 2

International Stadium

Sunday, 24 October 2010
Australia 42 - 0
(26 - 0)
Papua New Guinea R
Tries:
Slater, Tate, Cronk, Tonga 2, Morris, Smith, Lockyer
 
 
 
 
Goals:
Smith 5
 

Parramatta Stadium

Saturday, 23 October 2010
New Zealand 24 - 10
(12 - 0)
England R
Tries:
Sa'u, Hohaia, Kenny-Dowall, Marshall
  Tries:
Roby, Widdop
 
 
 
Goals:
Marshall 4
  Goals:
Widdop

Westpac Stadium

Saturday, 16 October 2010
New Zealand Maori 18 - 18
(0 - 18)
England R
Tries:
Thompson, Heremaia, Taumata
  Tries:
Atkins, S Tomkins, O'Loughlin
 
 
 
Goals:
Locke 3
  Goals:
Widdop 3


Wednesday, 06 October 2010
Wales 6 - 13
(6 - 6)
Italy R
Tries:
Thomas
  Tries:
Caligari, Falcone
 
  Drop-goals:
Stewart
 
Goals:
Reece
  Goals:
Mantellato 2

Racecourse Ground

Saturday, 12 June 2010
England 60 - 6
(34 - 6)
France R
Tries:
Widdop, Briscoe, S Tomkins 4, Shenton 2, Ellis 2, Bridge
  Tries:
Bentley
 
 
 
Goals:
Sinfield 6, Widdop 2
  Goals:
Mounis

Leigh Sports Village


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