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Last Updated: Monday, 30 October 2006, 07:10 GMT
Dave Woods' unseen Tri-Nations

BBC Sport's Dave Woods
By Dave Woods
BBC Sport in Christchurch

So that was Christchurch and what might have been.

Adrian Morley
Adrian Morley (r) was put on report for a tackle against NZ
I don't know what the mood is of British fans back home, but for the boys and girls on tour it was a flat, frustrating feeling as we looked back on the Lions' first game in this Gillette Tri-Nations series.

We should have won.

On an optimistic note at least we can say that Britain more than competed and, with a little more cohesion in the back line especially, it would have been a victory.

Four days in Christchurch has felt like an awfully long time.

Though we did eventually find a nightlife that extended beyond 9.00pm, and though the city is a refreshing, innocent place to be, there wasn't one of us not looking forward to packing our bags and heading for Sydney.

Anyone who has been to Sydney knows that it is the Rugby League capital of the world.

It's a city that lives and breathes the game, sometimes in the unlikeliest of places.

Kangaroos coach Ricky Stuart reckons there needs to be a crackdown on discipline in Tri-Nations games, otherwise it could soon get very nasty

Two of the most unkempt members of RL travelling press, myself and Dave Hadfield, decided our first day in Manly was the day for an overdue haircut.

Walking down the resort's famous Corso we spotted an unpretentious, battered sign pointing up a littered alleyway for 'Sam and Vince's Barbers'. Just the job.

Vince turned out be a 60-odd-year-old Italian ex-pat who, after 45 years in Australia, was still struggling to get to grips with the language.

But, lo and behold, proudly and prominently displayed on his walls, along with posters of Italy's World Cup winning teams, were four fading photographs of Ellery Hanley, Garry Schofield and Martin Offiah sporting equally impressive haircuts.

We turned down Vince's offer of the 1980s-style wedge sported by Ellery, but we accepted his heartfelt best wishes for Britain's chances against Australia this Saturday.

The Sydney press are in overdrive at the moment and Adrian Morley is the focus of the headlights and headlines.

There are two reasons for that. One, the Aussies actually know who he is, and two, many think he was let off without a warning after his 'high-tackle' on Ruben Wiki and the 'cat-slap' on Brent Webb.

Kangaroos coach Ricky Stuart, backed up by one or two Aussie columnists, reckons there needs to be a crackdown on discipline in Tri-Nations games, otherwise it could soon get very nasty.

An example of the Aussies not knowing who they are talking about, and not bothering to check, came in Phil Gould's newspaper column in which he referred to the Britain and Hull prop Garreth Carvell as Gareth Gravel.

As a consequence Gareth's new nickname has become 'Pebbles'.



SEE ALSO
Stuart ready for improved Lions
29 Oct 06 |  International
Lions left to rue missed chances
28 Oct 06 |  International
New Zealand 18-14 Great Britain
28 Oct 06 |  International
Dave Woods' unseen Tri-Nations
26 Oct 06 |  International


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