1986 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France

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The 1986 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France was the sixteenth Kangaroo tour in which the Australian national rugby league team (known as the Winfield Kangaroos due to sponsorship) plays a number of tour matches against British and French teams, in addition to the Test matches. The next Kangaroo tour was staged in 1990.

Australia continued its dominance, winning both Test series against Great Britain and France, going through the entire tour undefeated in a repeat of the 1982 Invincibles' tour. The 1986 team became known as "The Unbeatables". In twenty matches they scored 136 tries and conceded only 16, posting 738 points for and 126 against.[1] Terry Lamb became the first player to appear in every match on a Kangaroo Tour.

The team was coached by 1956/57 Kangaroo tourist Don Furner, who also coached the Canberra Raiders in the NSWRL that year. The squad was captained by Queensland captain Wally Lewis, the first time a Queensland based player had captained a Kangaroo tour since Tom Gorman led the 1929/30 tour. Peter Sterling was named as the tours vice-captain, while the tour managers were Gordon Treichel and John Fleming.

National Panasonic put up AU$5,000 worth of products for the Australian player who voted as player of the tour. Team sponsor Winfield also put up $1,000 for the Australian player judged the player of the match for each game on the tour.

Squad[edit]

Of the 28 players selected to go on the tour 23 were from clubs of the New South Wales Rugby League and 5 were from clubs of the Brisbane Rugby League. This was the last time players from the Queensland-based competition were selected for a Kangaroo tour.

There were a couple of notable omissions from the touring team. Parramatta Eels test winger Eric Grothe had originally been selected in the side and even had pre-tour publicity photos taken with the rest of the team. However he was ruled out late with the recurrence of a knee injury and his place was taken by young Penrith halfback Greg Alexander. The other was regular Australian vice-captain Wayne Pearce who had ruptured his Anterior cruciate ligament during the third test against New Zealand in July. Despite an intense rehabilitation program, and being passed as fit by his surgeon, Dr Merv Cross, Pearce was ruled out of the tour by team medico Dr Bill Monoghan after a pre-tour team physical conducted at Redfern Oval in Sydney.

Surprisingly, the 1986 NSWRL Winfield Cup premiers Parramatta only supplied two players to the Kangaroos squad (vice-captain Peter Sterling and Brett Kenny). Conversely, the 1986 Brisbane premiers Wynnum-Manly supplied four players to the squad (captain Wally Lewis, Greg Dowling, Bob Lindner and Gene Miles). With the exception of Dowling who did not play the pre-tour test against Papua New Guinea, all six 1986 premiership winners played in each test on the tour.

NOTE: Statistics only show games in Great Britain and France and do not include the test against Papua New Guinea

Player Club Position(s) Games (sub) Tests (sub) Tries Goals Points
New South Wales Greg Alexander Penrith colours.svg Penrith Panthers Halfback 9 (1) - 10 5 50
Queensland Gary Belcher Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders Fullback 10 - 6 0 24
Queensland Martin Bella North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney Bears Prop 8 (2) - 1 0 4
New South Wales Noel Cleal Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Second-row 7 2 3 0 12
New South Wales Phil Daley Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Prop 7 - 0 0 0
New South Wales Les Davidson South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney Rabbitohs Prop, Second-row 14 3 (2) 0 0 0
Queensland Greg Dowling Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Wynnum-Manly Seagulls (Qld) Prop 11 5 1 0 4
New South Wales Paul Dunn Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Prop, Second-row 11 4 0 0 0
New South Wales Ben Elias Balmain colours.svg Balmain Tigers Hooker 10 - 3 0 12
New South Wales Steve Folkes Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Second-row 6 1 1 0 4
New South Wales Des Hasler Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Halfback, Lock 8 - 4 0 16
New South Wales Garry Jack Balmain colours.svg Balmain Tigers Fullback 12 5 12 0 48
New South Wales Brett Kenny Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels Five-eighth, Centre 14 5 8 0 32
Queensland Les Kiss North Sydney colours.svg North Sydney Bears Wing 4 1 1 0 4
New South Wales Terry Lamb Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Five-eighth 20 5 (5) 19 20 116
New South Wales Paul Langmack Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Lock 10 - 3 0 12
Queensland Wally Lewis (c) Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Wynnum-Manly Seagulls (Qld) Five-eighth 11 5 6 0 24
Queensland Bob Lindner Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Wynnum-Manly Seagulls (Qld) Lock, Second-row 10 5 6 0 24
Queensland Mal Meninga Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders Centre, Second-row 13 3 (2) 9 7 50
Queensland Gene Miles Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Wynnum-Manly Seagulls (Qld) Centre 13 5 8 0 32
New South Wales Chris Mortimer Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Centre, Wing 9 - 4 0 32
Queensland Bryan Niebling Redcliffe colours.svg Redcliffe Dolphins (Qld) Second-row, Prop 10 5 2 0 8
New South Wales Michael O'Connor St. George colours.svg St George Dragons Centre, Wing 14 5 13 59 170
New South Wales Steve Roach Balmain colours.svg Balmain Tigers Prop 8 1 3 0 12
Queensland Dale Shearer Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Wing, Centre, Fullback 13 4 12 0 48
New South Wales Royce Simmons Penrith colours.svg Penrith Panthers Hooker 10 5 1 0 4
New South Wales Paul Sironen Balmain colours.svg Balmain Tigers Second-row 10 1 0 0 0
New South Wales Peter Sterling (vc) Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels Halfback 10 5 3 0 12

By Club[edit]

The touring side was represented by 18 New South Welshmen (N) and 10 Queenslanders (Q).

Papua New Guinea[edit]

Before flying to England, the Kangaroos played their second ever Test against Papua New Guinea at the Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby on 4 October. In front of 17,000 fans (still the record attendance for the venue as of 2017), the Wally Lewis led Kangaroos defeated the Kumuls 62–12. Reserve Australian forward Paul Sironen made his test debut in the game.

4 October 1986
Papua New Guinea  12 – 62  Australia
Tries:
Bal Numapo (2)








Goals:
Dairi Kovae (2/2)
[2] Tries:
Noel Cleal (2)
Les Kiss (2)
Michael O'Connor (2)
Garry Jack
Des Hasler
Wally Lewis
Bob Lindner
Chris Mortimer
Steve Roach
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (7/12)
Lloyd Robson Oval, Port Moresby
Attendance: 17,000
Referee/s: Neville Kesha Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Australia
FB 1 Dairi Kovae
RW 2 Joe Katsir
RC 3 Lauta Atoi
LC 4 Bal Numapo
LW 5 Mafu Kerekere
FE 6 Daruis Haili
HB 7 Tony Kila (c)
PR 8 Joe Tep
HK 9 Roy Heni
PR 10 Ati Lomutopa
SR 11 Bobby Ako
SR 12 Bernard Waketsi
LK 13 Arebo Taumaku
Substitutions:
IC 14 Kepi Saea
IC 15 Noah Andy
Coach:
New Zealand Barry Wilson
FB 1 Balmain colours.svg Garry Jack
LW 2 St. George colours.svg Michael O'Connor
RC 3 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Gene Miles
LC 4 Canterbury colours.svg Chris Mortimer
RW 5 North Sydney colours.svg Les Kiss
FE 6 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Wally Lewis (c)
HB 7 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Des Hasler
PR 8 Balmain colours.svg Steve Roach
HK 9 Penrith colours.svg Royce Simmons
PR 10 Redcliffe colours.svg Bryan Niebling
SR 11 Canterbury colours.svg Paul Dunn
SR 12 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Noel Cleal
LF 13 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Bob Lindner
Substitutions:
IC 14 Canberra colours.svg Mal Meninga
IC 15 Balmain colours.svg Paul Sironen
Coach:
Australia Don Furner

Great Britain[edit]

The Kangaroos played 13 games in England, including the three Ashes tests against Great Britain. Australia kept alive its streak of not having lost to an English club or provincial team since 1978. The English leg of the tour drew a total of 212,068 fans to the 13 games (including the three tests).


Sunday, 12 October
Wigan Wigancolours.svg 18 – 26 Australian colours.svg Australia
Tries:
Dean Bell, Shaun Edwards, Joe Lydon
Goals:
Henderson Gill (3)
[3] Tries:
Michael O'Connor, Peter Sterling, Noel Cleal, Wally Lewis, Les Kiss
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (3)
Central Park, Wigan
Attendance: 30,622
Referee/s: John Holdsworth
Man of the Match: Bryan Niebling Australian colours.svg

Wigan: Steve Hampson, Dean Bell, David Stephenson, Joe Lydon, Henderson Gill, Shaun Edwards, Mike Ford, Graeme West (c), Martin Dermott, Brian Case, Ian Roberts, Ian Potter, Andy Goodway. Res – Nicholas Du Toit, Rob Louw. Coach – Graham Lowe

Australia: Garry Jack, Les Kiss, Gene Miles, Brett Kenny, Michael O'Connor, Wally Lewis (c), Peter Sterling, Steve Roach, Royce Simmons, Bryan Niebling, Paul Sironen, Noel Cleal, Bob Lindner. Res – Terry Lamb, Les Davidson

The Kangaroos led 16-2 at half time in front of 30,622 fans (the record for a Wigan vs Australia match on a Kangaroo Tour) in the tour opener at Wigan (more than 10,000 than would attend the dead rubber 3rd test at the same ground some 6 weeks later). A fightback in the second half by the home side saw them close the game to just 8 points at full time.

The attendance at this game (30,622) was the largest crowd the Kangaroos had played in front of in England since 30,604 attended the 3rd Ashes Test at Headingley on the 1978 Kangaroo tour.


Wednesday, 15 October
Hull Kingston Rovers HKRcolours.svg 10 – 46 Australian colours.svg Australia
Tries:
Kerry Boustead
Goals:
John Dorahy (3)
[4] Tries:
Terry Lamb (5), Ben Elias (2), Paul Langmack, Chris Mortimer
Goals:
Terry Lamb (3)
Mal Meninga (2)
Craven Park, Hull
Attendance: 6,868
Referee/s: Gerry Kershaw
Man of the Match: Terry Lamb Australian colours.svg

Hull Kingston Rovers: George Fairbairn, Garry Clark, John Dorahy, Kerry Boustead, David Laws, Mike Smith, Wayne Parker, Mark Broadhurst, Chris Rudd, Asuquo Ema, Andy Kelly, Des Harrison, Paul Speckman. Res – Ray Stead, Dave Busby. Coach – Roger Millward

Australia: Gary Belcher, Chris Mortimer, Gene Miles, Mal Meninga, Dale Shearer, Terry Lamb, Des Hasler, Greg Dowling, Ben Elias (c), Martin Bella, Steve Folkes, Paul Dunn, Paul Langmack. Res – Greg Alexander, Les Davidson

All of Hull KR's points were scored by Australian's. Former Wests, Manly and Illawarra back John Dorahy kicked 3 goals for the Robins while 1978 and 1982 Kangaroo tourist and 25 test veteran Kerry Boustead scored the only try for the home team with all 10 points coming in the first half. For the Kangaroos, Terry Lamb crossed for 5 of the teams 9 tries. Australian halfback Des Hasler broke his hand in the first half and was replaced by Greg Alexander. Hasler's injury would keep him out of action for a month and he would not return to the field until the 11th game of the tour against Hull F.C. at The Boulevard.


Sunday, 19 October
Leeds Rhinoscolours.svg 0 – 40 Australian colours.svg Australia
Tries:

Goals:
David Creasser (0/1)
[5] Tries:
Michael O'Connor (2), Wally Lewis (2), Garry Jack, Noel Cleal, Greg Dowling, Brett Kenny
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (4/8)
Headingley, Leeds
Attendance: 11,389
Referee/s: Robin Whitfield

Leeds: Paul Gill, David Creasser, Andrew Ettingshausen, Mark McGaw, Norman Francis, John Holmes, Andy Gascoigne, Jeff Grayshon, Bob Morris, Peter Smith, Phil Owen, Gary Price, David Heron (c). Res – Paul Medley, Trevor Skerrett. Coach – Peter Fox

Australia: Garry Jack, Les Kiss, Brett Kenny, Gene Miles, Michael O'Connor, Wally Lewis (c), Peter Sterling, Steve Roach, Royce Simmons, Bryan Niebling, Paul Sironen, Noel Cleal, Bob Lindner. Res – Terry Lamb, Greg Dowling

Leeds were unlucky not to be awarded a try midway through the second half after it appeared that replacement forward Trevor Skerrett had managed to get the ball down after good lead up work by Jeff Greyshon. However an un-sighted referee Whitfield ruled that Skerrett had been held up in-goal. Leeds only other scoring opportunity came in the first half but young winger David Creasser missed a relatively simple penalty kick from in front of the posts.[6]


Tuesday, 21 October
Cumbria Cumbria 12 – 48 Australian colours.svg Australia
Tries:
Graeme Cameron, Les Holliday
Goals:
Graeme Cameron (2)
[7] Tries:
Greg Alexander (3), Terry Lamb (3), Dale Shearer (2), Gary Belcher, Mal Meninga
Goals:
Terry Lamb (3)
Michael O'Connor (1)
Craven Park, Barrow-in-Furness
Attendance: 4,233
Referee/s: John McDonald
Man of the Match: Les Davidson Australian colours.svg

Cumbria: Gary Smith, Michael James, Kevin Pape, Tony Kay, David Beck, Graeme Cameron, David Cairns, David Kendall, Colin Falcon, Jeff Simpson, Stephen Mossop, Les Holliday, Milton Huddart. Res – Norman Lofthouse, Bill Pattison

Australia: Gary Belcher, Dale Shearer, Chris Mortimer, Mal Meninga, Michael O'Connor, Terry Lamb, Greg Alexander, Phil Daley, Ben Elias (c), Martin Bella, Paul Dunn, Les Davidson, Paul Langmack. Res – Paul Sironen

The Kangaroos only match against a full county lineup was played in front of the English leg's smallest crowd of just 4,233 at Craven Park in Barrow-in-Furness. As of 2017 this would be the 11th last game the Kangaroos played at the home of the Barrow club.


1st Ashes Test[edit]

The crowd of 50,583 for the first Test at the Old Trafford ground in Manchester, set a record for an international match on British soil, beating the previous record of 42,685 for an England vs New Zealand test at the Odsal Stadium in Bradford in 1947.[8][9] The Ashes series against Great Britain saw an aggregate Ashes series crowd of 101,560 attending the three Tests, though this fell short of the record aggregate attendance of 114,883 set during the 1948–49 Kangaroo tour.[10][11]

Saturday, 25 October 1986
Great Britain  16 – 38  Australia
Tries:
Garry Schofield
Joe Lydon
Tony Marchant
Goals:
Lee Crooks (1/3)
Henderson Gill (1/1)
[12] Tries:
Gene Miles (3)
Michael O'Connor (3)
Garry Jack
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (5/9)
Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 50,583
Referee/s: Julien Rascagneres France
Man of the Match: Wally Lewis Australian colours.svg
Great Britain
Australia
FB 1 Wigancolours.svg Joe Lydon
RW 2 Castleford colours.svg Tony Marchant
RC 3 Hullcolours.svg Garry Schofield
LC 4 Wigancolours.svg Ellery Hanley
LW 5 Wigancolours.svg Henderson Gill
SO 6 Widnes colours.svg Tony Myler
SH 7 Fevcolours.svg Deryck Fox
PR 8 Castleford colours.svg Kevin Ward
HK 9 HKRcolours.svg David Watkinson (c)
PR 10 Saintscolours.svg John Fieldhouse
SR 11 Hullcolours.svg Lee Crooks
SR 12 Wigancolours.svg Ian Potter
LK 13 Wigancolours.svg Andy Goodway
Substitutions:
IC 14 Wigancolours.svg Shaun Edwards
IC 15 Saintscolours.svg Andy Platt
Coach:
England Maurice Bamford
FB 1 Balmain colours.svg Garry Jack
LW 2 St. George colours.svg Michael O'Connor
RC 3 Parramatta colours.svg Brett Kenny
LC 4 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Gene Miles
RW 5 North Sydney colours.svg Les Kiss
FE 6 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Wally Lewis (c)
HB 7 Parramatta colours.svg Peter Sterling
PR 8 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Greg Dowling
HK 9 Penrith colours.svg Royce Simmons
PR 10 Balmain colours.svg Steve Roach
SR 11 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Noel Cleal
SR 12 Redcliffe colours.svg Bryan Niebling
LF 13 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Bob Lindner
Substitutions:
IC 14 Canterbury colours.svg Terry Lamb
IC 15 Canberra colours.svg Mal Meninga
Coach:
Australia Don Furner

The Kangaroos began their Ashes defence in a blaze of glory. Wet and windy conditions were the order of the day at Old Trafford as Gene Miles (who completely out-played Ellery Hanley) and Michael O'Connor crossed for 3 tries each. O'Connor also contributed 5 goals in the tricky conditions for a personal haul of 22 points as the Australian's took a 1-0 series lead with a convincing 38-16 win. Although soundly beaten, the Lions gave their fans something to cheer in the second half by providing something of a fightback, culminating in Joe Lydon sprinting 60 metres and out-pacing Garry Jack to score in the corner.


Wednesday, 29 October
Halifax Faxcolours.svg 2 – 36 Australian colours.svg Australia
Tries:

Goals:
Colin Whitfield (1/3)
[13] Tries:
Greg Alexander (2), Terry Lamb (2), Gary Belcher, Brett Kenny, Mal Meninga
Goals:
Terry Lamb (4/7)
Thrum Hall, Halifax
Attendance: 7,193
Referee/s: Mick Beaumont
Man of the Match: Greg Alexander Australian colours.svg

Halifax: Graham Eadie, Scott Wilson, Colin Whitfield, Chris Anderson (c), Steve Smith, Neil Hague, Gary Stephens, Keith Neller, Chris Preece, Brian Juliff, Peter Bell, Paul Dixon, Grant Rix. Res – Eddie Riddlesden. Coach – Chris Anderson

Australia: Gary Belcher, Brett Kenny, Chris Mortimer, Mal Meninga, Noel Cleal, Terry Lamb, Greg Alexander, Paul Dunn, Ben Elias (c), Martin Bella, Paul Sironen, Les Davidson, Paul Langmack. Res – Michael O'Connor

This game saw Don Furner play a couple of players out of position with Brett Kenny and Noel Cleal on the wings.


Sunday, 2 November
St. Helens Saintscolours.svg 8 – 32 Australian colours.svg Australia
Tries:

Goals:
Paul Loughlin (4)
[14] Tries:
Dale Shearer (2), Noel Cleal, Mal Meninga, Gene Miles, Bryan Niebling
Goals:
Mal Meninga (3)
Terry Lamb (1)
Knowsley Road, St. Helens
Attendance: 15,381
Referee/s: Fred Lindop

St Helens: Phil Veivers, Barry Ledger, Paul Loughlin, Steve Halliwell, Kevin McCormack, Brett Clark, Neil Holding (c), Tony Burke, Graham Liptrot, Paul Forber, Roy Heggerty, Andy Platt, Chris Arkwright. Res – Shaun Allen, Paul Round. Coach – Alex Murphy

Australia: Garry Jack, Dale Shearer, Brett Kenny, Gene Miles, Mal Meninga, Wally Lewis (c), Peter Sterling, Greg Dowling, Royce Simmons, Steve Roach, Noel Cleal, Bryan Neibling, Bob Lindner. Res – Terry Lamb, Paul Dunn

With the exception of Mal Meninga on the wing in place of a resting Michael O'Connor (Meninga had played for St Helens in 1984–85 and remained a crowd favourite at Knowsley Road), the Kangaroos played with the expected 2nd Test line up. Dale Shearer had replaced the injured Les Kiss on the wing and highlighted his return to the top side with a 70-metre intercept try in the first half that in effect gave a clean bill of health to a previously injured groin muscle.

Steve Roach's tour effectively ended after dislocating his elbow during the match which would see Don Furner use Paul Dunn in the front row for the second test.


Tuesday, 4 November
Oldham Oldhamcolours.svg 16 – 22 Australian colours.svg Australia
Tries:
Colin Hawkyard, Des Foy
Goals:
Mick Worrall (3/5)
David Hobbs (1/1)
[15] Tries:
Terry Lamb (2), Ben Elias, Greg Alexander
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (3/6)
Mal Meninga (0/1)
The Watersheddings, Oldham
Attendance: 5,678
Referee/s: Mick Beaumont

Oldham: Jeff Edwards, Paul Sherman, Des Foy, Gary Warnecke, Hussein M'Barki, David Topliss (c), Ray Ashton, Bruce Clark, Terry Flanagan, Neil Clawson, David Hobbs, Mick Worrall, Stuart Raper. Res – Colin Hawkyard, Tony Nadiole. Coach – Frank Myler

Australia: Gary Belcher, Dale Shearer, Chris Mortimer, Mal Meninga, Michael O'Connor, Terry Lamb, Greg Alexander, Phil Daley, Ben Elias (c), Martin Bella, Steve Folkes, Les Davidson, Paul Langmack. Res – Paul Sironen


2nd Ashes Test[edit]

Great Britain coach Maurice Bamford surprisingly made only one change to the team that had lost heavily in Manchester. Centre Ellery Hanley was ruled out through injury and replaced by St. Helens winger Barry Ledger, with Tony Marchant moving from the wing to partner Garry Schofield in the centres. Bamford came in for heavy criticism from former Great Britain and England internationals for his selections. For the Kangaroos, Dale Shearer made his return to the Test team replacing the injured Les Kiss on the wing, while Canterbury-Bankstown forward Paul Dunn returned to the team in the front row replacing Steve Roach who had dislocated his elbow in the win over St. Helens.

Saturday, 8 November 1986
Great Britain  4 – 34  Australia
Tries:
Garry Schofield




Goals:
Lee Crooks (0/1)
[16] Tries:
Garry Jack (2)
Bob Lindner
Michael O'Connor
Wally Lewis
Brett Kenny
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (5/8)
Elland Road, Leeds
Attendance: 30,808
Referee/s: Julien Rascagneres France
Man of the Match: Noel Cleal Australian colours.svg
Great Britain
Australia
FB 1 Wigancolours.svg Joe Lydon
RW 2 Saintscolours.svg Barry Ledger
RC 3 Hullcolours.svg Garry Schofield
LC 4 Castleford colours.svg Tony Marchant
LW 5 Wigancolours.svg Henderson Gill
SO 6 Widnes colours.svg Tony Myler
SH 7 Fevcolours.svg Deryck Fox
PR 8 Castleford colours.svg Kevin Ward
HK 9 HKRcolours.svg David Watkinson (c)
PR 10 Saintscolours.svg John Fieldhouse
SR 11 Hullcolours.svg Lee Crooks
SR 12 Wigancolours.svg Ian Potter
LK 13 Wigancolours.svg Andy Goodway
Substitutions:
IC 14 Wigancolours.svg Shaun Edwards
IC 15 Saintscolours.svg Andy Platt
Coach:
England Maurice Bamford
FB 1 Balmain colours.svg Garry Jack
LW 2 St. George colours.svg Michael O'Connor
RC 3 Parramatta colours.svg Brett Kenny
LC 4 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Gene Miles
RW 5 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Dale Shearer
FE 6 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Wally Lewis (c)
HB 7 Parramatta colours.svg Peter Sterling
PR 8 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Greg Dowling
HK 9 Penrith colours.svg Royce Simmons
PR 10 Canterbury colours.svg Paul Dunn
SR 11 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Noel Cleal
SR 12 Redcliffe colours.svg Bryan Niebling
LF 13 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Bob Lindner
Substitutions:
IC 14 Canterbury colours.svg Terry Lamb
IC 15 Canberra colours.svg Mal Meninga
Coach:
Australia Don Furner

After an even start, during which the Lions had made a couple of line breaks that had the Australian defence scrambling, the Kangaroos ran riot in the second Test, wrapping up The Ashes with a six tries to one, 34-4 win in front of 30,808 at Elland Road. The Lions only try came late in the game. Australia led 34-0 when Kangaroos fullback Garry Jack, who had scored two tries, pushed a pass 10 metres from his line to Michael O'Connor. The Aussie winger dropped the ball (which was bullet like and at his knees) and it was pounced upon by Schofield who scored only 15 metres wide of the posts. Lee Crooks missed the relatively easy conversion of his teams only try, summing up the Lions day. Such was the Kangaroos dominance that this was the only kick at goal the Lions managed throughout the match.

Bob Lindner scored the opening try of the game after backing up a strong burst up the middle by Noel Cleal. O'Connor converted the try and was also next to score after taking a cut-out pass from Peter Sterling near his own quarter line. After racing around the Lions defence, O'Connor kicked ahead as Joe Lydon loomed and easily won the 55 metre race to the ball for the try. He converted his own try to give Australia a 12-0 lead which they took into half time. The floodgates opened in the second though and the Kangaroos blew the Lions away with a powerful performance. Two tries to Garry Jack and one each to Wally Lewis and Brett Kenny saw Australia leading 34-0 before Schofield's try at least gave the crowd something to cheer. Before Kenny's try with the score at 28-0, the crowd, far from impressed with the Lions performance, had even begun to chant "What a load of rubbish" (clearly audible on the television coverage) and were actually applauding the Kangaroos open style of play.

In his television commentary of the game, former Australian dual-rugby international and 1959-60 Kangaroo tour vice-captain Rex Mossop summed up the game when calling Brett Kenny's try, stating that "Australia carved them up. They've decimated, dissected and absolutely diabolically destroyed this Great Britain side today".


Wednesday, 12 November
Widnes Widnes colours.svg 4 – 20 Australian colours.svg Australia
Tries:

Goals:
Mick Burke (2)
[17] Tries:
Greg Alexander, Martin Bella, Chris Mortimer
Goals:
Terry Lamb (2)
Mal Meninga (2)
Naughton Park, Widnes
Attendance: 10,268
Referee/s: Geoff Berry

Widnes: Mick Burke, Dave Moran, Darren Wright, Barry Dowd, John Basnett, Tony Myler, David Hulme, Steve O'Neill, Phil McKenzie, Mike O'Neill, Richard "Richie" Eyres, Paul Hulme, Harry Pinner. Coach – Doug Laughton

Australia: Gary Belcher, Dale Shearer, Chris Mortimer, Mal Meninga, Les Kiss, Terry Lamb, Greg Alexander, Les Davidson, Ben Elias (c), Martin Bella, Paul Sironen, Steve Folkes, Paul Langmack. Res – Brett Kenny, Phil Daley


Sunday, 16 November
Hull F.C. Hullcolours.svg 0 – 48 Australian colours.svg Australia
Tries:

Goals:
[18] Tries:
Terry Lamb (2), Des Hasler (2), Peter Sterling, Mal Meninga, Gene Miles, Garry Jack, Dale Shearer
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (6)
The Boulevard, Hull
Attendance: 8,231
Referee/s: John McDonald

Hull: Gary Kemble, Paul Eastwood, Dane O'Hara, Stewart Vass, Carl McRoid, Fred Ah Kuoi, Phil Windley, Dave Brown, Steve Crooks, Andy Dannatt, Steve Norton, Lee Crooks, Tracy Lazenby. Res – Gary Pearce, Jon Sharp. Coach – Len Casey

Australia: Garry Jack, Dale Shearer, Gene Miles, Mal Meninga, Michael O'Connor, Terry Lamb, Peter Sterling (c), Greg Dowling, Royce Simmons, Phil Daley, Noel Cleal, Bryan Neibling, Paul Langmack. Res – Des Hasler, Les Davidson

Kangaroos second rower Noel Cleal broke his arm in the game against Hull which ended his tour.


Tuesday, 18 November
Bradford Northern Bullscolours.svg 0 – 38 Australian colours.svg Australia
Tries:

Goals:
[19] Tries:
Bob Lindner, Greg Alexander, Chris Mortimer, Wally Lewis, Mal Meninga, Terry Lamb, Brett Kenny
Goals:
Greg Alexander (5)
Odsal Stadium, Bradford
Attendance: 10,633
Referee/s: Derek Fox

Bradford Northern: Keith Mumby, Phil Ford, Steve Donlan, Phil Hellewell, Roger Simpson, John Woods, Terry Holmes, Ian Howcroft, Gary Brentley, Mario Fenech, Dick Jasiewicz, Karl Fairbank, Mal Graham. Res - Brian Noble, Ian Sherratt. Coach - Barry Seabourne

Australia: Gary Belcher, Greg Alexander, Brett Kenny, Chris Mortimer, Dale Shearer, Wally Lewis (c), Des Hasler, Paull Dunn, Ben Elias, Martin Bella, Les Davidson, Paul Sironen, Bob Lindner. Res - Terry Lamb, Mal Meninga

This match was played in heavy rain and fog.


3rd Ashes Test[edit]

This match also counted as part of the 1985–88 Rugby League World Cup and was the only match of the series played at a regular rugby league ground, the first two Tests having been played in soccer stadiums to take advantage of the greater spectator capacity. It was also the last Ashes Test in England played at a club home ground until the 2001 Kangaroo tour.

The only Australian team change from the second Test win was Mal Meninga coming off the bench into the second row to replace the injured Noel Cleal (broken arm) with South Sydney forward Les Davidson named on the bench in his Test debut. With the loss of Cleal, Australian coach Don Furner was mulling over who to replace him with when team captain Wally Lewis suggested moving Meninga to the back row, reasoning that there would be little disruption to the team as both Mal and "Crusher" Cleal were roughly the same size and were fast, skilled players who played a similar style of game. After heavy criticism of his selections for the first two tests from a number of former Great Britain internationals, Maurice Bamford made five changes to the Lions with the recall of halfback Andy Gregory, centre David Stephenson, winger John Basnett and back rowers Chris Burton and Harry Pinner.

Saturday, 22 November 1986
Great Britain  15 – 24  Australia
Tries:
Garry Schofield (2)



Goals:
Joe Lydon (2/3)
Henderson Gill (1/1)
Field Goals:
Garry Schofield (1)
[20] Tries:
Gene Miles
Bob Lindner
Dale Shearer
Wally Lewis
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (4/5)
Central Park, Wigan
Attendance: 20,169
Referee/s: Julien Rascagneres France
Man of the Match: Paul Dunn Australian colours.svg
Great Britain
Australia
FB 1 Wigancolours.svg Joe Lydon
LW 2 Wigancolours.svg Henderson Gill
RC 3 Hullcolours.svg Garry Schofield
LC 4 Wigancolours.svg David Stephenson
RW 5 Widnes colours.svg John Basnett
SO 6 Widnes colours.svg Tony Myler
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Andy Gregory
PR 8 Castleford colours.svg Kevin Ward
HK 9 HKRcolours.svg David Watkinson (c)
PR 10 Hullcolours.svg Lee Crooks
SR 11 HKRcolours.svg Chris Burton
SR 12 Wigancolours.svg Andy Goodway
LK 13 Widnes colours.svg Ian Potter
Substitutions:
IC 14 Wigancolours.svg Shaun Edwards
IC 15 Wigancolours.svg Ian Potter
Coach:
England Maurice Bamford
FB 1 Balmain colours.svg Garry Jack
LW 2 St. George colours.svg Michael O'Connor
RC 3 Parramatta colours.svg Brett Kenny
LC 4 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Gene Miles
RW 5 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Dale Shearer
FE 6 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Wally Lewis (c)
HB 7 Parramatta colours.svg Peter Sterling
PR 8 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Greg Dowling
HK 9 Penrith colours.svg Royce Simmons
PR 10 Canterbury colours.svg Paul Dunn
SR 11 Canberra colours.svg Mal Meninga
SR 12 Redcliffe colours.svg Bryan Niebling
LF 13 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Bob Lindner
Substitutions:
IC 14 Canterbury colours.svg Terry Lamb
IC 15 South Sydney colours.svg Les Davidson
Coach:
Australia Don Furner

As with the 1982 Ashes series, the third Test was the most genuinely contested of the Tests played, with the Lions putting in a much improved performance. Centre Gene Miles opened the scoring in the early minutes of the game, with lock forward Bob Lindner also scoring soon after. Successful conversions by Michael O'Connor saw the Kangaroos lead 12-0 after just 15 minutes and another rout looked on the cards. However, the Lions dug deep and tries to Garry Schofield either side of half time saw the game tied at 12-all with the Lions looking like winners for the first time in the series. The game was in the balance until French referee Julien Rascagneres awarded a penalty try to Australian winger Dale Shearer after he was illegally tackled by his opposite John Basnett when both were chasing the ball which Shearer had kicked downfield. A penalty goal to Joe Lydon and a field goal by Schofield reduced the deficit to 18-15, but Wally Lewis then put the result beyond doubt with a try after bamboozling the Lions defence with two dummies near the sideline before racing around to score beside the posts.

France[edit]

Wednesday, 26 November
President's XIII France colours.svg 4 – 36 Australian colours.svg Australia
[1]
Parc des Princes, Paris
Attendance: 800

First Test[edit]

Sunday, 30 November 1986
France  2 – 44  Australia
Tries:




Goals:
Gilles Dumas (1/2)
[21] Tries:
Michael O'Connor (3)
Bob Lindner (2)
Gene Miles (2)
Garry Jack
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (4/9)
Stade Gilbert Brutus, Perpignan
Attendance: 6,000
Referee/s: Fred Lindop England
Man of the Match: Michael O'Connor Australian colours.svg
France
Australia
FB 1 Gilles Dumas
RW 2 Gilles Dumas
RC 3 Guy Delaunay
LC 4 Alain Maury
LW 5 Hugues Ratier
SO 6 Dominique Espugna
SH 7 Patrick Entat
PR 8 Max Chantal
HK 9 Thierry Bernabe
PR 10 Jean-Luc Rabot
SR 11 Guy Laforgue (c)
SR 12 Serge Titeux
LK 13 Daniel Verdes
Substitutions:
IC 14 Serge Bret
IC 15 Francis Laforgue
Coach:
FB 1 Balmain colours.svg Garry Jack
RW 2 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Dale Shearer
RC 3 Parramatta colours.svg Brett Kenny
LC 4 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Gene Miles
LW 5 St. George colours.svg Michael O'Connor
FE 6 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Wally Lewis (c)
HB 7 Parramatta colours.svg Peter Sterling
PR 8 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Greg Dowling
HK 9 Penrith colours.svg Royce Simmons
PR 10 Canterbury colours.svg Paul Dunn
SR 11 South Sydney colours.svg Les Davidson
SR 12 Redcliffe colours.svg Bryan Niebling
LF 13 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Bob Lindner
Substitutions:
IC 14 Canterbury colours.svg Terry Lamb
IC 15 Balmain colours.svg Paul Sironen
Coach:
Australia Don Furner

Wednesday, 3 December
Le Pontet XIII Faxcolours.svg 5 – 42 Australian colours.svg Australia
[22]
Stade de Fargues, Avignon
Attendance: 2,500

Friday, 5 December
Midi-Pyrénées XIII Midi-Pyrénées 2 – 12 Australian colours.svg Australia
[23]
Stade des Minimes, Toulouse
Attendance: 1,500

Sunday, 7 December
France B France colours.svg 0 – 50 Australian colours.svg Australia
[24]
Stade Municipal d'Albi, Albi
Attendance: 2,000

Wednesday, 10 December
Aquitaine Aquitaine 8 – 50 Australian colours.svg Australia
[25]

Second Test[edit]

Australia's win over France in the final match of the tour, which counted as part of the ongoing 1985-88 World Cup tournament, was a record margin for a Test match.[26][27]

Saturday, 13 December
France  0 – 52  Australia
Tries:





Goals:
[28] Tries:
Dale Shearer (4)
Garry Jack (3)
Steve Folkes
Bryan Niebling
Michael O'Connor
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (6/10)
Stade d'Albert Domec, Carcassonne
Attendance: 5,000
Referee/s: Fred Lindop England
Man of the Match: Dale Shearer Australian colours.svg
France
Australia
FB 1 Patrick Wosniak
RW 2 Sebastian Rodriguez
RC 3 Philippe Fourquet
LC 4 Francis Laforgue
LW 5 Hugues Ratier
SO 6 Roger Palisses
SH 7 Christian Scicchitano
PR 8 Max Chantal
HK 9 Thierry Bernabe
PR 10 Serge Titeux
SR 11 Guy Laforgue (c)
SR 12 Daniel Verdes
LK 13 Philippe Gestas
Substitutions:
IC 14 Gilles Dumas
IC 15 Yves Storer
Coach:
FB 1 Balmain colours.svg Garry Jack
RW 2 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Dale Shearer
RC 3 Parramatta colours.svg Brett Kenny
LC 4 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Gene Miles
LW 5 St. George colours.svg Michael O'Connor
FE 6 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Wally Lewis (c)
HB 7 Parramatta colours.svg Peter Sterling
PR 8 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Greg Dowling
HK 9 Penrith colours.svg Royce Simmons
PR 10 Canterbury colours.svg Paul Dunn
SR 11 Canterbury colours.svg Steve Folkes
SR 12 Redcliffe colours.svg Bryan Niebling
LF 13 Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Bob Lindner
Substitutions:
IC 14 Canterbury colours.svg Terry Lamb
IC 15 South Sydney colours.svg Les Davidson
Coach:
Australia Don Furner

Statistics[edit]

Leading Try Scorer

Leading Point Scorer

Largest Attendance

Largest Club Game Attendance

References[edit]

External links[edit]