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28 October 2014

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A dejected GB team with Stuart Fielden in front
A dejected GB team, Stuart Fielden front

Great Britain humbled in the Tri-Nations final

Australia won the rugby league Tri-Nations tournament final, at a rainy Elland Road in Leeds, easily beating Great Britain.

There was to be no historic part in a Great Britain win for the Leeds Rhinos players on show at Elland Road as Australia easily lifted the Tri - Nations trophy. It was a bitter blow for a British team that had hoped to create a long-awaited series win.

The only Rhinos representative in the starting line-up for Great Britain was Keith Senior. The other two Leeds  Rhinos players in the team, Danny McGuire and Ryan Bailey, started the game at Elland Road warming the substitutes' bench.

The first points of the evening came when Australia's Lockyer convereted an easily kickable penalty. And it was Lockyer's through kick that, minutes later, allowed Matt Sing to score the first try of the game. When Lockyer converted Australia  raced into an eight-point lead.

A shell-shocked Lions team then fell further behind when Minichiello sensationally crashed over and scored right behind the GB posts, Lockyer's conversion shot the Australians into a 14-0 lead.

The stadium fell silent when Willie Tonga leaped high, caught the ball and scored and Lockyer hit his fourth goal to establish a 20-point lead within 17 minutes.

The fourth unanswered try, was Minichiello's second, scored 15 minutes before half-time, it was converted by Lockyer: 26-0

Lockyer then scored a try himself within minutes and added his sixth goal to make it 32-0.

It still wasn't finished, and a sixth try came with Tonga's second. A new kicker, Fitzgibbon, added the extras. Some boos were heard from the disappointed capacity crowd at Elland Road and half-time came with a brutal scoreline of 38-0 in favour of the Aussies.

It was business as usual straight into the second-half when Willie Mason got on the scoreboard, Fitzgibbon added the conversion and it was 44-0.

Finally Great Britain got over the whitewash and it was winger Stuart Reardon who scored five minutes into the second-half. Captain Andy Farrell failed with the goal attempt: 44-4.

At least the rate of scoring was finally slowed down by Great Britain although there was never any danger of a full scale British comeback. There was still little for the capacity Elland Road crowd to get vocal about.

The Great Britainteam had saved the worst till last in this series and was blown away by an awesome Aussie performance in the first-half.

last updated: 27/11/04
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