Perhaps the defining moment of the first half for the tourists came with the game still poised at 2-0. A repeat set was won and the ball was moved to the right only to end up with Martin Gleeson’s pass sailing helplessly past Brian Carney and into touch.
It could be argued that a try should have been awarded when Danny McGuire had the ball stolen over the line in a two-man tackle; and that had that try been awarded then Great Britain could have worked their way back into the game.
It could further be argued that, after the Lions had scored their two tries and pegged the game back at 18-14, there remained three minutes on the clock yet the hooter was still sounded. That was surely enough time for the tourists to clinch the game.
But the players must be credited for the fact that they made no bones about their own performance, and didn’t hide behind any of the officiating errors.
So, onto next week. One thing is for sure, Great Britain must improve if they want to take anything from the game with Australia. Play like they did on Saturday, and a heavy defeat must be on the cards.
Of course, the Kangaroos had their confidence knocked by New Zealand the week before, and will have to come into this game on the back of a free weekend. But this is unlikely to count for much – and I’m sure our payers know that their destiny lies in their own hands.
Question of Nationality
Despite that, the Lions will be handed something of an advantage if the Kiwis are deducted any points for selecting an ineligible player, Nathan Fien, in their last two games. Fien qualified for having a Kiwi great-grandmother, but that isn’t enough.
The rules state that, as far as relatives go, you can only qualify through your parents and grandparents. The NZRL may have interpreted that as including great-grandparents, but that just isn’t the case.
Whether or not points will be deducted remains to be seen, but something has to be done to ensure that such a farcical situation does not happen again. There has already been debate over this issue down under this year.
And if the incident is allowed to slide this could set a curious precedent – as was pointed out on LT Forums, all Australians and Kiwis (barring pure Maoris and Aborigines) could technically qualify for Great Britain.
Expanding the Frontiers
From the highest level of international rugby league, to the latest developing nation in the world of rugby league – Norway. Norway Rugby League is still in its infancy, but is being driven on at Hannestad primary school in Sarpsborg by Justin Ryan.
Justin has introduced rugby league to his students in the school, and they have taken to the game in dramatic style with numbers at training swelling to between 70 and 80, and two successful tournaments already taking place.
These are only small steps, but surely this should be the model for all development, whether it occurs within the UK or on a national scale. People like Justin need to be at the forefront of rugby league development; otherwise this game has no hope of continuing its march around the world.
At the moment it’s just school children playing the game – but they won’t always be children. In years to come it could be Norway taking their place in the Federation Shield or the world Cup qualifiers.
Keep Your Eye On Rugby League