1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australasia

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The 1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand was a rugby league tour by the Great Britain team which took place from May to July 1992. It was the last tour of such length undertaken by Great Britain. The tour included games in Papua New Guinea, Australia - a three-test series for The Ashes and matches against club and representative teams - and New Zealand - a two-test series as well as matches against local sides. Taking place during Australia's 1992 Winfield Cup premiership season, the tour led to friction between the Great Britain team's management and the Australian Rugby League over match scheduling and promotion. The Lions finished the tour with thirteen wins and four losses and a profit of ₤244,645.[1]

Touring squad[edit]

England's Bobbie Goulding and Wales' Jonathan Davies were originally selected but did not tour due to suspension and injury respectively. Aston, Hulme, Sampson, McNamara, Myers and Harrison were called up during the tour to replace injured players.[1]

Paul Eastwood was the leading point scorer on tour with 50 and was also the leading goal kicker with 17. Martin Offiah was the leading try scorer with 7.[1]

The coach was former Great Britain international Mal Reilly, marking his third Lions tour after appearing as a player on the successful 1970 tour and coaching the 1988 touring team. The assistant coach of the Great Britain squad was Widnes coach Phil Larder, while the team manager was Rugby Football League President Maurice Lindsay.[2] Ellery Hanley was the tour captain but only played in one game. Garry Schofield was the Test captain while Deryck Fox was the team captain when either Hanley or Schofield weren't playing.[1]

England

Wales

Scotland

Papua New Guinea leg[edit]

The Lions first traveled to Papua New Guinea.

This match was the most points scored on tour.[1]

31 May 1992
Papua New Guinea 14 - 20 Great Britain
Tries:
Matthew Elara
K. Tani, Richard Wagambi
Goals:
A. Emil
[1] Tries:
Martin Offiah (2)
Paul Eastwood, Phil Clarke
Goals:
Paul Loughlin (2)
Lloyd Robson Oval, Port Moresby
Attendance: 7,294
Referee/s: Eddie Ward (AUS)

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Phillip Boge; Joshua Kouoru, Richard Wagambi, August Joseph, K Tani; Aquila Emil, Ngala Lapan (c); Ben Biri, Michael Matmillo, Kera Ngaffin, Bobby Ako, Joe Gispe, Matthew Elara. Substitutes: Korul Sinemau; Michael Angara; S Kapan; Nande Yer.

GREAT BRITAIN: Steve Hampson; Paul Eastwood, Garry Schofield (c), Paul Loughlin, Martin Offiah; Daryl Powell, Shaun Edwards; Lee Crooks, Martin Dermott, Andy Platt, Denis Betts, Karl Fairbank, Phil Clarke. Substitutes: Joe Lydon; Kelvin Skerrett; Paul Newlove; Sonny Nickle.

Australia leg[edit]

The Lions then traveled to Australia to contest The Ashes series.

With Ellery Hanley out injured, five-eighth Garry Schofield was appointed British captain for the first test. Flying winger Martin Offiah made two clean breaks down his left wing in the first half but was put into touch by Australian fullback Andrew Ettingshausen on both occasions when only about 15m from scoring. The attendance of 40,141 at the Football Stadium was the largest crowd for an Australia vs Great Britain test in Sydney since 55,505 saw the final test of the 1974 Ashes series at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Friday, 12 June
Australia 22 - 6 Great Britain
Tries:
Mal Meninga (2)
Michael Hancock, Paul Sironen
Goals:
Rod Wishart (3/6)
Tries:
Joe Lydon
Goals:
Lee Crooks (1/2)
Sydney Football Stadium
Attendance: 40,141
Referee/s: Dennis Hale (NZ)
Man of the Match: Bradley Clyde (AUS)

AUSTRALIA: Andrew Ettingshausen; Rod Wishart, Mal Meninga (c), Laurie Daley, Michael Hancock; Peter Jackson, Allan Langer; Paul Harragon, Steve Walters, Glenn Lazarus, Paul Sironen, Bob Lindner, Bradley Clyde. Substitutes: David Gillespie; Brad Mackay; Brad Fittler; Kevin Walters.

GREAT BRITAIN: Graham Steadman; Paul Newlove, Daryl Powell, Paul Loughlin, Martin Offiah; Garry Schofield (c), Andy Gregory; Kelvin Skerrett, Martin Dermott, Lee Crooks, Denis Betts, Andy Platt, Phil Clarke. Substitutes: Joe Lydon; Shaun Edwards; Ian Lucas; Michael Jackson.

English winger Martin Offiah, generally regarded at the time as the fastest player in rugby league, participated in a highly publicised 100 metre foot race with Parramatta Eels speedster Lee Oudenryn before the tour match against the Eels. With both players decked out in their full football gear, including boots, Offiah's fastest player standing took a beating when Oudenryn won by a yard (rumors soon surfaced that with Offiah the odds-on favourite, a few of his Lions team mates had heavily backed the Eels flyer to win and that Offiah had tanked so they could collect). Offiah would get his revenge later in the night with 2 tries, one a long range try where Oudenryn failed to make ground on him in a 50m chase.[6] The match against Parramatta also saw the largest non-test crowd of the Lions tour with 18,220 in attendance.

For the second test Britain fielded an all-Wigan forward pack,[7] and with Andy Gregory injured, Shaun Edwards came in at scrum half-back for his first start against the Australians in test football.

Friday, 26 June
Australia 10 - 33 Great Britain
2 Tries:
Bob Lindner
Chris Johns



Goal:
Mal Meninga
5 Tries:
Phil Clarke
Paul Newlove
Garry Schofield
Graham Steadman
Martin Offiah
Goals:
Paul Eastwood (6/7)
Field goal:
Garry Schofield
Princes Park, Melbourne
Attendance: 31,005
Referee/s: Dennis Hale (NZ)
Man of the Match: Garry Schofield (GB)
Australia Position Great Britain
1. Andrew Ettingshausen FB 1. Graham Steadman
2. Rod Wishart WG 2. Paul Eastwood
3. Laurie Daley CE 3. Daryl Powell
4. Mal Meninga (c) CE 4. Paul Newlove
5. Michael Hancock WG 5. Martin Offiah
6. Peter Jackson FE/SO 6. Garry Schofield (c)
7. Allan Langer HB/SH 7. Shaun Edwards
8. David Gillespie PR 8. Kelvin Skerrett
9. Steve Walters HK 9. Martin Dermott
10. Paul Harragon PR 10. Andy Platt
11. Paul Sironen SR 11. Dennis Betts
12. Bob Lindner SR 12. Billy McGinty
13. Bradley Clyde LF 13. Phil Clarke
14. Brad Mackay Res. 14. Joe Lydon
15. Glenn Lazarus Res. 15. Paul Hulme
17. Kevin Walters Res. 16. Gary Connolly
18. Chris Johns Res. 17. Karl Harrison
Bob Fulton Coach Mal Reilly

By playing in this match, Australia's Mal Meninga equalled Reg Gasnier's record of 36 tests for Australia.[8] The British got off to a 4 - 0 lead after some penalties kicked by Paul Eastwood early in the first half. A brawl started by Australian forward Paul Harrogan got the Lions another penalty and they decided to attack the Kangaroos' line. From the resulting good field position, first receiver Philip Clarke was able to throw a dummy and make a break through the defensive line to dive over for the first try of the match. It was then converted by Eastwood, so the visitors led 10 - 0. The next try for Great Britain came when replacement half Shaun Edwards got the ball mid-field and made a break before kicking it ahead into Australia's in-goal area. Several players from both sides came racing through to dive on the ball but the Lions' Paul Newlove was the only one who got his hand on it.[9] Next, Garry Schofield scored a brilliant individual try when he chipped ahead from about fifteen metres out and then beat the Australian defence to dive on it. Great Britain thus went into the break leading 22 - 0.[10]

Schofield kicked a drop goal to open the scoring in the second half, making it 23 nil. Australia then got their first try fifteen minutes into the second half when Bob Lindner got the ball at first receiver close to the line and reached out from the tackle to touch the ball down. The next try came from Australian centre Chris Johns who ran onto replacement half Kevin Walters' pass from about fifteen metres out through a gap in the defence to score. Back in Australia's half, British fullback Graham Steadman got the ball at first receiver about twenty metres out and bolted down the right sideline to score in the corner, sealing the match for the tourists.[11] The British then added to their score when Schofield got the ball around mid-field, chipped it over the defence and regarthered it. He found Martin Offiah in support, the speedy winger beating Australian fullback Ettingshausen in a race for the left corner. This left the final score at 33 - 10, equalling Great Britain's largest ever winning margin[12] and Australia's second-largest ever losing margin[13]

Former Australian test skipper Wally Lewis was a late withdrawal for the Seagulls with a hamstring injury.[14]

Friday, 3 July
Australia 16 - 10 Great Britain
Tries:
Laurie Daley
Mal Meninga
Goals:
Mal Meninga (4)
Tries:
Martin Offiah

Goals:
Paul Eastwood (3)
Lang Park, Brisbane
Attendance: 32,313
Referee/s: Dennis Hale (NZ)
Man of the Match: Paul Sironen (AUS)

The third and final test was allocated points for the 1989–1992 Rugby League World Cup.

AUSTRALIA: Andrew Ettingshausen; Willie Carne, Mal Meninga (c), Brad Fittler, Michael Hancock; Laurie Daley, Allan Langer; Paul Harragon, Steve Walters, Glenn Lazarus, Paul Sironen, Bob Lindner, Bradley Clyde. Substitutes: David Gillespie; Kevin Walters; Chris Johns; John Cartwright.

GREAT BRITAIN: Graham Steadman; Paul Eastwood, Daryl Powell, Paul Newlove, Martin Offiah; Garry Schofield (c), Shaun Edwards; Kelvin Skerrett, Martin Dermott, Andy Platt, Denis Betts, Billy McGinty, Phil Clarke. Substitutes: Paul Hulme; Karl Harrison; Gary Connolly; Joe Lydon.

By playing in this, his 37th test match, Australian captain Mal Meninga became his countries most-capped test player, breaking the record of former Australian captain Reg Gasnier. Meninga also equalled Keith Holman's record for most tests against Great Britain.[15] His try and four goals also brought his total of points scored in Anglo-Australian test matches to 108, overtaking Neil Fox's record.

Australian forward Brad Clyde was awarded with the Harry Sunderland Medal for the Player of the Series.[16]

New Zealand leg[edit]

This was Great Britain's first defeat of Auckland since 1979, Auckland had won five with one draw since then.[1]

Sunday, 12 July
New Zealand 15 - 14 Great Britain
Tries:
Richie Blackmore
Tony Kemp
Goals:
Matthew Ridge (2)
Gavin Hill
Field goal:
Daryl Halligan
[2] Tries:
Phil Clarke
Shaun Edwards
Goals:
Graham Steadman (3)
Showgrounds, Palmerston North
Attendance: 11,548
Referee/s: Bill Harrigan (AUS)

NEW ZEALAND: Matthew Ridge; Sean Hoppe, Kevin Iro, Tony Kemp, Ritchie Blackmore; Dean Clark, Gary Freeman (c); Brent Stuart, Duane Mann, Brent Todd, Gavin Hill, Quentin Pongia, Brendon Tuuta. Substitutes: Daryl Halligan; Mike Kuiti; Tea Ropati; Mark Woods.

GREAT BRITAIN: Graham Steadman; Paul Eastwood, Daryl Powell, Gary Connolly, Martin Offiah; Garry Schofield (c), Shaun Edwards; Kelvin Skerrett, Lee Jackson, Andy Platt, Denis Betts, Billy McGinty, Phil Clarke. Substitutes: Joe Lydon;Paul Hulme; Karl Harrison.

Sunday, 19 July
New Zealand 16 - 19 Great Britain
Tries:
Gary Freeman
Sean Hoppe, Brent Todd
Goals:
Matthew Ridge (2)
[3] Tries:
Denis Betts
Lee Jackson, Martin Offiah
Goals:
Paul Eastwood (3)
Field Goal
Garry Schofield
Carlaw Park, Auckland
Attendance: 10,233
Referee/s: Bill Harrigan

NEW ZEALAND: Matthew Ridge; Sean Hoppe, Kevin Iro, Tony Kemp, Ritchie Blackmore; Dean Clark, Gary Freeman (c); Brent Stuart, Duane Mann, Brent Todd, Gavin Hill, Quentin Pongia, Brendon Tuuta. Substitutes: Daryl Halligan; Mike Kuiti; Tea Ropati; Mark Woods.

GREAT BRITAIN: Graham Steadman; Paul Eastwood, Daryl Powell, Gary Connolly, Martin Offiah; Garry Schofield (c), Shaun Edwards; Karl Harrison, Lee Jackson, Andy Platt, Denis Betts, Billy McGinty, Phil Clarke. Substitutes: Paul Newlove; Michael Jackson; John Devereux; Karl Fairbank.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1992 New Zealand Rugby League, 1992. p.p.52-73
  2. ^ Pramberg, Bernie (27 June 1992). "Roos 'relented'". The Sun-Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  3. ^ Magnay, Jacquelin (2 June 1992). "Lions unimpressive in QLD win". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Sarno, Tony (7 June 1992). "Copycat Lions shot Mettle in Canberra". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  5. ^ MacDonald, John (8 June 1992). "Defence brings new Life to Lions". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Proszenko, Adrian (16 May 2010). "Race lines up NRL's quick men". The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia: Fairfax). Archived from the original on 18 May 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2010. 
  7. ^ French, Ray (24 April 2003). "Greatest upsets". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  8. ^ Clarkson, Alan (27 June 1992). "2 Test Changes likely". The Sun-Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  9. ^ John, MacDonald (26 June 1992). "Lions shock Australia to level series". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "Lions even the score". The Sydney Morning Herald. 26 June 1992. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  11. ^ de la Rivière, Richard. "1992 Australia v Great Britain, 2nd Test". Thirteen. richarddelariviere.co.uk. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Ashes battles of the past". BBC Sport. 16 October 2001. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  13. ^ "Australian Rugby League ("Kangaroos") Records". RL1908.com. Sean Fagan. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  14. ^ AFP (1 July 1992). "British Lions clinch tenth Victory". New Strait Times. Retrieved 10 April 2011. 
  15. ^ Gallaway, Jack (2003). Origin: Rugby League's Greatest Contest 1980 - 2002. Australia: University of Queensland Press. pp. 177–78. ISBN 0-7022-3383-8. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  16. ^ "ACT Sport Hall of Fame Inductees". actsport.com.au. ACT Sport. Archived from the original on 1 May 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 

External links[edit]