1988 Great Britain Lions tour

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The 1988 Great Britain Lions tour was the Great Britain national rugby league team's 18th tour of Australasia and took place from May to July 1988. It started with a Test match against Papua New Guinea before the best-of-three series against Australia for the Ashes title, and finally a Test against New Zealand. Some of these matches counted toward the ongoing 1985–1988 World Cup tournament. An additional 13 matches were played against local club and representative sides from each host nation.

Background[edit]

The tour took place after Britain's 1987–88 Rugby Football League season. A 16-man British press party - the largest ever - accompanied the team through Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand.[1]

Touring squad[edit]

Mal Reilly was the British team's coach. The assistant coach was British Amateur Rugby League Association (BARLA) and RFL Coaching Director Phil Larder. The tour manager was Les Bettinson. The touring side's captain was Ellery Hanley, who was signed by Sydney club the Balmain Tigers to play the remaining rounds of the 1988 NSWRFL season once his representative commitments were fulfilled.[2] It was also announced during the tour that Kevin Ward, who had played in Manly-Warringah's 1987 premiership winning team, would rejoin the Sea Eagles for the remainder of their season once the tour was completed.[3]

Des Drummond was left out of the touring squad after defending himself from a spectator who rushed onto the pitch shouting racial abuse during the British season.[4] Andy Currier had to be flown out during the Ashes to cover for the injured Garry Schofield.

Name Position Club Date of birth Home Nation Tests
Kevin Beardmore Forward Castleford colours.svg Castleford 1960 England 4
Brian Case Forward Wigancolours.svg Wigan 1958 England 2
Lee Crooks Forward Hullcolours.svg Leeds (1963-09-18)18 September 1963 England 0
Paul Dixon Forward Faxcolours.svg Halifax (1962-10-28)28 October 1962 England 3
Shaun Edwards Half Wigancolours.svg Wigan (1966-10-17)17 October 1966 England 1
Richard Eyres Forward Widnes colours.svg Widnes (1966-12-07)7 December 1966 England 0
Karl Fairbank Forward Bullscolours.svg Bradford Northern (1963-06-01)1 June 1963 England 0
Mike Ford Half Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham (1965-11-18)18 November 1965 England 0
Phil Ford Back Bullscolours.svg Bradford Northern (1961-03-16)16 March 1961 Wales 5
Carl Gibson Back Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds (1963-04-23)23 April 1963 England 0
Henderson Gill Wing Wigancolours.svg Wigan (1961-01-16)16 January 1961 England 4
Andy Gregory Half Wigancolours.svg Wigan (1961-08-10)10 August 1961 England 5
Mike Gregory Forward Wolvescolours.svg Warrington (1964-05-20)20 May 1964 England 5
Paul Groves Forward Saintscolours.svg St. Helens (1965-05-27)27 May 1965 England 0
Roy Haggerty Forward Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 22 March 1960 England 0
Steve Hampson Back Wigancolours.svg Wigan (1961-08-14)14 August 1961 England 0
Ellery Hanley (c) Utility Wigancolours.svg Wigan (1961-03-27)27 March 1961 England 5
David Hulme Half Widnes colours.svg Widnes (1964-02-06)6 February 1964 England 5
John Joyner Utility Castleford colours.svg Castleford (1955-05-15)15 May 1955 England 0
Paul Hulme Forward Widnes colours.svg Widnes (1966-04-19)19 April 1966 England 3
Paul Loughlin Back Saintscolours.svg St. Helens (1966-07-28)28 July 1966 England 5
Joe Lydon Back Wigancolours.svg Wigan (1963-11-26)26 November 1963 England 0
Paul Medley Forward Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds (1966-09-21)21 September 1966 England 1
Martin Offiah Wing Widnes colours.svg Widnes (1966-12-29)29 December 1966 England 4
Roy Powell Forward Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds (1965-04-30)30 April 1965 England 4
Andy Platt Forward Saintscolours.svg St. Helens (1963-10-09)9 October 1963 England 2
Garry Schofield Back Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds (1965-07-01)1 July 1965 England 2
David Stephenson Back Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds England 4
Hugh Waddell Forward Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham (1958-11-13)13 November 1958 England 2
Kevin Ward Forward Castleford colours.svg Castleford (1957-08-05)5 August 1957 England 5
Ian Wilkinson Back Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds (1960-12-03)3 December 1960 England 0
Darren Wright Back Widnes colours.svg Widnes (1968-01-17)17 January 1968 England 2

Papua New Guinea[edit]

The Lions played only two games in Papua New Guinea, winning both of them.

Sunday, 22 May
Papua New Guinea  22 – 42  Great Britain
3 Tries:
Dairi Kovae (2)
Arnold Krewanty
Isaac Rop


3 Goals:
Bal Numapo (3)
[5] 7 Tries:
Henderson Gill (2)
Garry Schofield (2)
Mike Gregory
Paul Medley
David Stephenson
Goals:
Paul Loughlin (7)
Lloyd Robson Oval, Port Moresby
Attendance: 12,107[6]
Referee: Greg McCallum Australia
Papua New Guinea
Great Britain
FB 1 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Dairi Kovae
RW 2 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Kepi Saea
CE 3 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Mea Morea
CE 4 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Bal Numapo (c)
LW 5 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Arnold Krewanty
FE 6 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Darius Haili
HB 7 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Tony Kila
PR 8 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Isaac Rop
HK 9 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Michael Matmillo
PR 10 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Yer Bom
SR 11 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Mathias Kombra
SR 12 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Tuiyo Evei
LK 13 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Haoda Kouoru
Substitutions:
IC 14 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Thomas Rombuk
IC 15 Papua New Guinea colours.svg Ngala Lapan
Coach:
New Zealand Barry Wilson
FB 1 Saintscolours.svg Paul Loughlin
RW 2 Bullscolours.svg Phil Ford
CE 3 Rhinoscolours.svg Garry Schofield
CE 4 Rhinoscolours.svg David Stephenson
LW 5 Wigancolours.svg Henderson Gill
SO 6 Wigancolours.svg Shaun Edwards
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Andy Gregory
PR 8 Castleford colours.svg Kevin Ward
HK 9 Castleford colours.svg Kevin Beardmore
PR 10 Wigancolours.svg Brian Case
SR 11 Rhinoscolours.svg Paul Medley
SR 12 Wolvescolours.svg Mike Gregory
LF 13 Wigancolours.svg Ellery Hanley (c)
Substitutions:
IC 14 Widnes colours.svg David Hulme
IC 15 Rhinoscolours.svg Paul Dixon
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

The result of this match counted towards the 1985–1988 World Cup tournament, the final of which was to be played later in the year. The first Test of the tour was played in 38 degree heat with fans clustered in trees and clinging to lights around the ground.[7] 21-year-old Shaun Edwards, the youngest member of the touring party, damaged his knee after six minutes of the match and it was feared that he would miss the rest of the tour.[8] By half time Great Britain were leading 28–6. Garry Schofield scored his 17th try in 18 Test matches for Great Britain, and captain Ellery Hanley made three try-saving tackles.[9]

After the match Edwards was flown to Sydney to undergo surgery on his knee's cartilage due to the injury he sustained while playing in this match.[8]


Tuesday, 24 May
Highland Division Brothers Valleys Colours.svg 18 – 36 Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain
3 Tries:
Kool (2)
Pokana

3 Goals:
Kamiak
[1] 7 Tries:
Martin Offiah (3)
Phil Ford (2)
Garry Schofield
6 Goals:
Lee Crooks (5)
Garry Schofield
Lae Oval
Attendance: 3,270
Referee: Graham Aunui
Man of the Match: Hugh Waddell[10]

Australia[edit]

The Australian leg of the tour took place in the midst of the 1988 NSWRFL season as well as the 1988 State of Origin series. In 1988 Australia was also celebrating its national bicentenary.[11] The tour's itinerary, which involved short periods between matches, making it tough for the visitors, was designed by the Australian Rugby League but agreed to by the British.[12]

The Ashes series attracted just 67,554 to the three tests, with the dead rubber third game attracting just 15,944 to the Sydney Football Stadium. The second Ashes test against Australia at Lang Park in Brisbane drew the tours highest attendance of 27,130 while the game against reigning Sydney premiers Manly-Warringah attracted the highest non-test attendance of the tour with 21,131. The total Ashes series attendance was 7,926 less than had attended the 1984 series played in Australia and was 34,006 less than the record breaking series played in England during the 1986 Kangaroo Tour. It was also easily the lowest ever attended Ashes series played in Australia since 1910 which attracted 60,000 fans.

Test Venues[edit]

The three Ashes series tests took place at the following venues. Two games were played in Sydney.

Sydney Brisbane
Sydney Football Stadium Lang Park
Capacity: 40,000 Capacity: 32,500
Sydney Football Stadium.jpg Suncorp-Stadium-Milton-Queensland.jpg

Friday, 27 May
North Queensland Cairns Cyclones Colours.svg 16 – 66 Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain
Tries:
Filosi (2), House
Goals:
Worth (1)
Conlan (1)
[2] Tries:
Martin Offiah (4), Mike Ford (3), Phil Ford (2), Paul Medley (2), Paul Dixon
Goals:
David Stephenson (8)
Phil Ford (1)
Cairns Showgrounds, Cairns
Attendance: 5,500
Referee: Barry Gomersall

North Queensland: Namok, Gagai, Taylor, Turia, Curry, Worth, Filosi, Colwell, Bax, McAskill, House, Dalley, Greenwood. Res - Ernest, Conlan

Great Britain: Phil Ford, Paul Medley, Carl Gibson, David Stephenson, Martin Offiah, David Hulme, Mike Ford, Brian Case, Paul Groves, Roy Powell, Karl Fairbank, Paul Dixon, Andy Platt (c). Res - Roy Haggerty


Wednesday, 1 June
15:00
Newcastle Knights Newcastle colours.svg 12 – 28 Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain
Tries:
Brett Shore, Tony Kemp, Glenn Miller
Goals:
[3] Tries:
Martin Offiah (2), Ellery Hanley (2), Kevin Ward
Goals:
Paul Loughlin (4)
Newcastle International Sports Centre, Newcastle
Attendance: 8,970[13]
Referee: Greg McCallum
Newcastle Knights
Great Britain
FB 1 Glenn Frendo
LW 2 Troy Clarke
CE 3 Jeff Doyle
CE 4 Tony Kemp
RW 5 Glenn Miller
FE 6 Robbie McCormack
HB 7 Steve Fulmer
LK 8 Mark Glanville
SR 9 Sam Stewart (c)
SR 10 Michael McKiernan
PR 11 David Thorne
HK 12 Tony Townsend
PR 13 Brett Shore
Substitutions:
IC 14 Steve Walters
IC 15 Scott Carter
Coach:
Australia Allan McMahon
FB 1 Saintscolours.svg Paul Loughlin
RW 2 Wigancolours.svg Henderson Gill
CE 3 Rhinoscolours.svg Carl Gibson
CE 4 Widnes colours.svg Darren Wright
LW 5 Widnes colours.svg Martin Offiah
SO 6 Wigancolours.svg Ellery Hanley (c)
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Andy Gregory
PR 8 Castleford colours.svg Kevin Ward
HK 9 Castleford colours.svg Kevin Beardmore
PR 10 Oldhamcolours.svg Hugh Waddell
SR 11 Wolvescolours.svg Mike Gregory
SR 12 Rhinoscolours.svg Paul Dixon
LF 13 Saintscolours.svg Andy Platt
Substitutions:
IC 14
IC 15
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

The Newcastle Knights, a new team in the NSWRL Premiership in 1988, was rewarded for large early season attendances with a game against the touring Lions.


Sunday, 5 June
Northern Division Balmain colours.svg 36 – 12 Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain
Tries:
Ewan McGrady (2), Chris Cumming, B. Plater, M. Manes
Goals:
M. Spinks (8)
[4] Tries:
Henderson Gill, Garry Schofield
Goals:
Paul Loughlin (2)
Scully Park, Tamworth
Attendance: 4,000[14]
Referee: Barry Priest
Man of the Match: Ewan McGrady Balmain colours.svg
Northern Division
Great Britain
FB 1 Spinks
LW 2 Plater
CE 3 Gardner
CE 4 Matthew Ryan
RW 5 French
FE 6 Rocky Laurie (c)
HB 7 Ewan McGrady
LK 8 Maynes
SR 9 Lavender
SR 10 Cumming
PR 11 Cotter
HK 12 Masters
PR 13 McCann
Substitutions:
IC 14 McCormack
IC 15 Briggs
Coach:
FB 1 Saintscolours.svg Paul Loughlin
RW 2 Bullscolours.svg Phil Ford
CE 3 Rhinoscolours.svg Garry Schofield (c)
CE 4 Rhinoscolours.svg David Stephenson
LW 5 Wigancolours.svg Henderson Gill
SO 6 Widnes colours.svg David Hulme
SH 7 Oldhamcolours.svg Mike Ford
PR 8 Wigancolours.svg Brian Case
HK 9 Saintscolours.svg Paul Groves
PR 10 Hullcolours.svg Lee Crooks
SR 11 Rhinoscolours.svg Roy Powell
SR 12 Rhinoscolours.svg Paul Medley
LF 13 Saintscolours.svg Roy Haggerty
Substitutions:
IC 14
IC 15 Bullscolours.svg Karl Fairbank
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

The Northern Division side, captained by former NSW, South Sydney and Eastern Suburbs five-eighth Rocky Laurie, gave the tourists their first defeat, and a heavy defeat at that. Also playing for Northern Division was future NSWRL Rothmans Medal winner with Canterbury-Bankstown, Moree Boomerangs Halfback Ewan McGrady who crossed for two tries and future Canterbury premiership winning centre Matthew Ryan. The game became known as "Black Sunday" for the Lions who went down 36-12. According to media reports, after the game Mal Reilly locked his team in the dressing room and upbraided them for 20 minutes before the media were allowed in.[15]


Tuesday, 7 June
Manly-Warringah Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg 30 – 0 Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain
Tries:
Ian Gately, Mark Pocock, Geoff Toovey, Charlie Haggett, Cliff Lyons
Goals:
Tim Dwyer (5)
[5] Tries:
Goals:
Brookvale Oval, Sydney
Attendance: 21,131[16]
Referee: Francis Desplas France
Man of the Match: Geoff Toovey Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg
Manly-Warringah
Great Britain
FB 1 Tim Dwyer
LW 2 Stuart Davis
CE 3 Joe Ropati
CE 4 Darrell Williams
RW 5 Greg Austin
FE 6 Cliff Lyons
HB 7 Geoff Toovey
LK 8 Des Hasler
SR 9 Noel Cleal (c)
SR 10 Mark Pocock
PR 11 Mark Brokenshire
HK 12 Charlie Haggett
PR 13 Ian Gately
Substitutions:
IC 14 Paul Shaw
IC 15 Glenn Ryan
Coach:
Australia Bob Fulton
FB 1 Bullscolours.svg Phil Ford
RW 2 Rhinoscolours.svg Carl Gibson
CE 3 Rhinoscolours.svg Ian Wilkinson
CE 4 Widnes colours.svg Darren Wright
LW 5 Widnes colours.svg Martin Offiah
SO 6 Rhinoscolours.svg David Stephenson
SH 7 Widnes colours.svg David Hulme
PR 8 Oldhamcolours.svg Hugh Waddell
HK 9 Saintscolours.svg Paul Groves
PR 10 Rhinoscolours.svg Roy Powell
SR 11 Bullscolours.svg Karl Fairbank
SR 12 Rhinoscolours.svg Paul Medley
LF 13 Saintscolours.svg Andy Platt (c)
Substitutions:
IC 14 Saintscolours.svg Roy Haggerty
IC 15 Hullcolours.svg Lee Crooks
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

Although facing the Lions mid-week side which still included test players Andy Platt, Martin Offiah, Phil Ford, Carl Gibson, David Hulme and Roy Powell, Manly went into the game missing regular first grade players Paul Vautin, Michael O'Connor, Phil Daley (Australian test players rested before the first test four days later), while fullback Dale Shearer, winger David Ronson and goal kicking hooker Mal Cochrane were unavailable due to injury. In the absence of Vautin, the defending Winfield Cup premiers were captained by 1986 Kangaroo Tourist and 10 test veteran Noel Cleal who had a point to prove after being a shock omission from the Australian and NSW sides (the Lions camp and the English media following the team was reportedly dumbfounded at Cleal's non-selection). In front of a vocal Brookvale Oval crowd of 21,131, the largest non-test attendance of the tour, the makeshift Sea Eagles side put the tourists to the sword, running out five tries to nil winners. Manly's teenage halfback Geoff Toovey, playing only his third game of top grade football, capped a man-of-the-match performance scoring one of his sides tries. The match saw the first time that former test rivals and teammates in Manly's 1972 and 1973 premiership wins Bob Fulton (Manly) and Mal Reilly (Great Britain) would coach against each other.

For the Lions, their captain on the night Andy Platt was far and away their best player with the rest showing little form heading into the first test just 4 days later. After Cliff Lyons crossed for Manly's 5th try in just 60th minute, the game descended into a scrappy contest as fatigue and high frustrations for the Lions resulted in Mark Brokenshire (Manly) and Roy Haggerty (GB) each getting 10 minutes in the sin-bin for foul play. For Manly, Toovey, Lyons, Cleal and Des Hasler (playing at lock) led the way for the 30–0 win.[17]

The game was refereed by Frenchman Francis Desplas who would be the referee for all three tests of the Ashes series. Although not playing the game, Mal Reilly allowed Lions prop forward Kevin Ward who had played in Manly's 1987 Grand Final winning team (and would again link with Manly once the tour ended), to take the toss of the coin in front of his 'home' fans despite Andy Platt captaining the side. The scheduling of the game against the reigning Sydney premiers only four days out from the first test drew criticism from Lions management and the British press who were covering the tour.

1st Ashes Test[edit]

The Ashes series was styled the 'Winfield Test series' due to sponsorship from Winfield cigarettes. The first game was the 100th rugby league test between the two sides. Andrew Ettingshausen, Peter Jackson, Tony Currie, Sam Backo, Phil Daley and Gary Belcher were selected to make their Test match debuts for Australia. Largely thanks to their 3-0 domination of the State of Origin series, Queensland players dominated in the Australian forward pack with Manly's Phil Daley the only NSW player in the starting six. Both Blues skipper Wayne Pearce and Noel Cleal were shock omissions while Wally Fullerton-Smith (second row) and Greg Conescu (hooker) were recalled for their first tests since 1984 and 1985 respectively.[18] The absence through injury of several of Great Britain's Test stars meant that several members of their team were playing out of position.[19]

Following heavy losses to Northern Division and Manly-Warringah in their two games immediately prior to the first test, one unnamed ARL official allegedly remarked that trying to promote a test series with the Great Britain side (who had not won a test against Australia since the second test of the 1978 Kangaroo Tour) was like trying to flog a dead horse. Indeed, this was reflected when only 24,480 attended the first test at the Sydney Football Stadium, with the dead rubber third test at the venue only attracting 15,944 fans, the lowest ever test attendance between the two teams in Sydney.

Saturday, 11 June
Australia  17 – 6  Great Britain
Tries:
Peter Jackson (2)
Sam Backo
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (2/5)
Field goal:
Wally Lewis
[20] Try:
Ellery Hanley

Goals:
Paul Loughlin (1/5)
Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 24,480
Referee: Francois Desplas France
Man of the Match: Kevin Ward Great Britain colours.svg
Australia
Great Britain
FB 1 Balmain colours.svg Garry Jack
RW 2 Cronulla colours.svg Andrew Ettingshausen
CE 3 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Michael O'Connor
CE 4 Canberra colours.svg Peter Jackson
LW 5 Canterbury colours.svg Tony Currie
FE 6 Brisbane colours.svg Wally Lewis (c)
HB 7 Parramatta colours.svg Peter Sterling
PR 8 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Phil Daley
HK 9 Brisbane colours.svg Greg Conescu
PR 10 Canberra colours.svg Sam Backo
SR 11 St. George colours.svg Wally Fullerton-Smith
SR 12 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Paul Vautin
Lk 13 Parramatta colours.svg Bob Lindner
Substitutions:
IC 14 Canberra colours.svg Gary Belcher
IC 15 Canterbury colours.svg Steve Folkes
Coach:
Australia Don Furner
FB 1 Saintscolours.svg Paul Loughlin
RW 2 Bullscolours.svg Phil Ford
CE 3 Rhinoscolours.svg Garry Schofield
CE 4 Rhinoscolours.svg David Stephenson
LW 5 Widnes colours.svg Martin Offiah
SO 6 Widnes colours.svg David Hulme
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Andy Gregory
PR 8 Saintscolours.svg Andy Platt
HK 9 Castleford colours.svg Kevin Beardmore
PR 10 Castleford colours.svg Kevin Ward
SR 11 Faxcolours.svg Paul Dixon
SR 12 Wolvescolours.svg Mike Gregory
LF 13 Wigancolours.svg Ellery Hanley (c)
Substitutions:
IC 14 Wigancolours.svg Henderson Gill
IC 15 Rhinoscolours.svg Roy Powell
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

Following a high tackle on British hooker Kevin Beardmore by Australian front rower Phil Daley, Great Britain put the first points on the board with Paul Loughlin's penalty kick from 40 metres out.[21] The first try also went to the visitors with Ellery Hanley beating several defenders to score in the corner. Great Britain looked the better team in the first half and were leading 6–0 at the break.[22]

After six minutes of the second-half Sam Backo ran on to a Peter Sterling pass to score Australia's first try, although there was doubt around the ball's grounding.[23] Peter Jackson scored two tries over 11 minutes to give Australia victory. In between these two tries Wally Lewis kicked a field goal.[21]

John MacDonald of The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the tourists were not only competitive, but a little unlucky, and that the 17–6 score did not reflect how close they came to winning. He also leveled heavy criticism at the refereeing performance of Francois Desplas, who could not speak English.[24] As man-of-the-match, British forward Kevin Ward received $1,000.[24]

Great Britain's second-row forward Andy Platt received an injury to his left arm that was expected to see him sidelined for the next two weeks.[25]


Wednesday, 15 June
Combined Brisbane Saintscolours.svg 14 – 28 Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain
Tries:
Brett McCarthy, Kelly Egan, Gordon Barwick
Goals:
Peter Coyne (1)
[6] Tries:
Martin Offiah (2), Garry Schofield, Karl Fairbank, Mike Ford
Goals:
David Stephenson (4)
Lang Park, Brisbane
Attendance: 1,810

Combined Brisbane: Steve Hegarty, Kelly Egan, Brett McCarthy, Cherry, Gordon Barwick, Peter Coyne, Daunt, McIntyre, Holmes, Ponting, Glen Haggath, Ian Stains, Darren Smith. Res - Kevin Langer, White

Great Britain: Phil Ford, Henderson Gill, Garry Schofield, Carl Gibson, Ellery Hanley (c), Mike Ford, Brian Case, Paul Groves, Lee Crooks, Roy Powell, Karl Fairbank, Paul Dixon. Res - Martin Offiah, Hugh Waddell

In the 20th minute of the match British centre Garry Schofield was assisted from the field with a fractured jaw bone.[26]


Friday, 17 June
Central Queensland Central Comets colours.svg 8 – 64 Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain
Tries:
Marshall Leisha
Goals:
D Weinert (2)
[7] Tries:
Karl Fairbank (3), Martin Offiah (3), Ellery Hanley (2), Carl Gibson (2), Roy Powell
Goals:
Paul Loughlin (10)
Browne Park, Rockhampton
Attendance: 4,418
Referee: L. Crane

Central Queensland: Crow, Miller, Peter White, Paul White, Hinricks, Iles, Upkett, Olsson, Emmert, Weinert, Leisha, Duff, Brazier.

Great Britain: Paul Loughlin, Carl Gibson, Ian Wilkinson, Darren Wright, Martin Offiah, Ellery Hanley (c), David Hulme, Kevin Ward, Kevin Beardmore, Hugh Waddell, Roy Powell, Karl Fairbank, Roy Haggerty. Res - Lee Crooks, Henderson Gill

British prop Lee Crooks injured his shoulder in this match putting him in doubt for the remainder of the Ashes series. Winning the scrums 11-2, Great Britain had a wealth of possession and exploited it ruthlessly. The Capras' only try came from Black Water Devils second-rower Marshall Leisha during the last ten minutes.[27]


Wednesday, 22 June
Toowoomba / S-E Queensland Toowoomba Clydesdales colours.svg 12 – 28 Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain
Tries:
Claney, Johnson
Goals:
Dwyer (2)
[8] Tries:
Ellery Hanley (2), Mike Gregory (2), Phil Ford
Goals:
Paul Loughlin (4)
Athletic Oval, Toowoomba
Attendance: 3,874
Referee: Tim Bliss

Toowoomba / S-E Queensland: Weribone, Clevin, Blake, Pratt, Stower, Clancy, Smith, Dwyer, M. Cook, Sutoon, Buckle, Johnson, Sullivan. Res - Terry Cook, Neale

Great Britain: Paul Loughlin, Henderson Gill, David Stephenson, Phil Ford, Martin Offiah, Ellery Hanley (c), David Hulme, Kevin Ward, Kevin Beardmore, Paul Dixon, Karl Fairbank, Roy Powell, Mike Gregory.


Saturday, 25 June
Wide Bay St. George colours.svg 0 – 14 Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain
Tries:
Goals:
[9] Tries:
Andy Currier, Martin Offiah, Mike Ford
Goals:
Paul Loughlin (1)
Albert Park, Gympie
Attendance: 2,310
Referee: Russell Leis

Wide Bay: Ovens, Templeman, Kirby, Lalli, Kinsela, Jones, Ward, Reddacliff, Gerrard, McGrath, Sempf, Schulte, March. Res - Graving, Ryan

Great Britain: Ian Wilkinson, Carl Gibson, Andy Currier, Darren Wright, Henderson Gill, Mike Ford, Paul Hulme, Brian Case, Paul Groves, Hugh Waddell, Roy Powell, Karl Fairbank, Roy Haggerty. Res - Paul Loughlin, Martin Offiah

2nd Ashes Test[edit]

The Australian's made two changes to the side that won the first test in Sydney. Wayne Pearce earned a recall at lock with Bob Lindner moving to the bench in place of Steve Folkes. Injuries again forced Mal Reilly into changing his side for the second test. Garry Schofield's broken jaw saw Phil Ford moved to the centres with Henderson Gill recalled onto the wing. Captain Ellery Hanley moved from lock to the centres in place of David Stephenson with Mike Gregory coming in at lock forward. Andy Platt dropped from the front row to the back row with Roy Powell coming into prop. Darren Wright and Paul Hulme were the new players on the bench.

Match commentary was provided by Darrell Eastlake and supercoach Jack Gibson.

Tuesday, 28 June
Australia  34 – 14  Great Britain
Tries:
Sam Backo
Andrew Ettingshausen
Peter Jackson
Wally Lewis
Michael O'Connor
Wayne Pearce
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (5)
[28] Tries:
Phil Ford
Martin Offiah




Goals:
Paul Loughlin (3)
Lang Park, Brisbane
Attendance: 27,130
Referee: Francois Desplas France
Man of the Match: Wally Lewis Australian colours.svg
Australia
Great Britain
FB 1 Balmain colours.svg Garry Jack
LW 2 Canterbury colours.svg Tony Currie
CE 3 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Michael O'Connor
CE 4 Canberra colours.svg Peter Jackson
RW 5 Cronulla colours.svg Andrew Ettingshausen
FE 6 Brisbane colours.svg Wally Lewis (c)
HB 7 Parramatta colours.svg Peter Sterling
PR 8 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Phil Daley
HK 9 Brisbane colours.svg Greg Conescu
PR 10 Canberra colours.svg Sam Backo
SR 11 St. George colours.svg Wally Fullerton-Smith
SR 12 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Paul Vautin
LK 13 Balmain colours.svg Wayne Pearce
Substitutions:
IC 14 Canberra colours.svg Gary Belcher
IC 15 Parramatta colours.svg Bob Lindner
Coach:
Australia Don Furner
FB 1 Saintscolours.svg Paul Loughlin
RW 2 Wigancolours.svg Henderson Gill
CE 3 Bullscolours.svg Phil Ford
CE 4 Wigancolours.svg Ellery Hanley (c)
LW 5 Widnes colours.svg Martin Offiah
SO 6 Widnes colours.svg David Hulme
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Andy Gregory
PR 8 Castleford colours.svg Kevin Ward
HK 9 Castleford colours.svg Kevin Beardmore
PR 10 Rhinoscolours.svg Roy Powell
SR 11 Faxcolours.svg Paul Dixon
SR 12 Saintscolours.svg Andy Platt
LF 13 Wolvescolours.svg Mike Gregory
Substitutions:
IC 14 Widnes colours.svg Darren Wright
IC 15 Widnes colours.svg Paul Hulme
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

On Lang Park's electronic scoreboard the message "Bullfrog - shame our favourite No 7 isn't here" was displayed in a reference to Queensland halfback Allan Langer being overlooked for selection by Kangaroos team manager Peter Moore in favour of Peter Sterling.[29]

The tourists got first points with a penalty kick. After playing the ball three quarters of the way towards Great Britain's line Australians moved the ball through the hands out to left centre Michael O'Connor who broke through the defence and scored the first try. Australia's next try came in the twentieth minute when Wally Lewis chip kicked the ball ahead for himself, re-gathered it and passed it Peter Jackson who crossed untouched and scored behind the uprights.[30] O'Connor successfully converted his try taking the score to 14–4 in favour of the hosts. After playing the ball around mid field the Australians kept the ball alive with a total of nine passes, the last of which was to Andrew Ettingshausen on the right wing who beat Martin Offiah to dive over in the corner. O'Connor's conversion attempt hit the upright so the half time score remained at 18–4.[29]

After the break Great Britain were playing the ball within their own half of the field when Ellery Hanley got it at first receiver and ran himself, splitting the defence and racing into Australia's half where he passed to Ford who ran the remaining forty metres to score beneath the uprights. Sam Backo then scored a close range try, running from dummy-half and forcing his way over the line. Again playing the ball close to Great Britain's line Australia scored from dummy half once more when Wayne Pearce dived over. Playing the ball just inside Great Britain's half the Australians continued up-field, evading tacklers and passing to support players, the last of whom was Wally Lewis who ran the remaining metres to score untouched. Five minutes from full-time Andy Gregory was sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes—effectively for the remainder of the game—after another high tackle on Ettingshausen.[29]

By winning this match Australia successfully defended their Ashes title. The Poms' excessive aggression was seen as costing them the match.[31] Criticism of French referee Desplas also continued.[32]


Sunday, 3 July
Western Division Canberra colours.svg 26 – 28 Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain
Tries:
Moy, Michael Peachy, Mark Smith, Wilfred Williams
Goals:
Robert Clark (5)
[10] Tries:
Martin Offiah (2), Paul Groves, Ellery Hanley, Andy Currier
Goals:
Andy Currier (4)
Wade Park, Orange
Attendance: 3,520
Referee: Phil Robinson

Western Division: Frail, Wilfred Williams, Casey, Mark Smith, Newman, Clark, Douglas, Gibson, Luke, McAnally, Fitzgerald, Michael Peachy, Moy. Res - Stammers, Batty

Great Britain: Ian Wilkinson, Carl Gibson, Andy Currier, Darren Wright, Martin Offiah, Ellery Hanley (c), Mike Ford, Brian Case, Paul Groves, Hugh Waddell, Karl Fairbank, Paul Hulme, Mike Gregory.

With Great Britain leading 26–10 with 20 minutes to go, the local forwards rallied strongly to give the Lions a fright.[33]


Tuesday, 5 July
President's XIII Australian colours.svg 24 – 16 Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain
Tries:
Steve O'Brien, Glenn Lazarus, Greg Alexander, Mal Meninga, Graeme Bradley
Goals:
Mal Meninga (2/6)
[11] Tries:
Phil Ford (2), Mike Gregory
Goals:
Paul Loughlin (2/3)
Seiffert Oval, Queanbeyan
Attendance: 6,037
Referee: Eddie Ward Australia
Man of the Match: David Trewhella Australian colours.svg
President's XIII
Great Britain
FB 1 South Sydney colours.svg Phil Blake
LW 2 Canterbury colours.svg Steve O'Brien
CE 3 Canberra colours.svg Mal Meninga
CE 4 Penrith colours.svg Graeme Bradley
RW 5 South Sydney colours.svg Adam O'Neill
FE 6 North Sydney colours.svg Greg Florimo
HB 7 Penrith colours.svg Greg Alexander
LK 8 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg David Trewhella
SR 9 Penrith colours.svg Mark Geyer
SR 10 Cronulla colours.svg Gavin Miller
PR 11 Canterbury colours.svg David Gillespie
HK 12 South Sydney colours.svg Mario Fenech (c)
PR 13 Canberra colours.svg Glenn Lazarus
Substitutions:
IC 14 St. George colours.svg Steve Robinson
IC 15 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Ian Gately
Coach:
Australia Don Furner
FB 1 Bullscolours.svg Phil Ford
RW 2 Rhinoscolours.svg Carl Gibson
CE 3 Saintscolours.svg Paul Loughlin
CE 4 Widnes colours.svg Darren Wright
LW 5 Widnes colours.svg Andy Currier
SO 6 Widnes colours.svg David Hulme
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Andy Gregory
LF 8 Castleford colours.svg John Joyner
SR 9 Rhinoscolours.svg Richard Eyres
SR 10 Wolvescolours.svg Mike Gregory (c)
PR 11 Rhinoscolours.svg Roy Powell
HK 12 Castleford colours.svg Kevin Beardmore
PR 13 Castleford colours.svg Kevin Ward
Substitutions:
IC 14 Widnes colours.svg Paul Hulme
IC 15 Oldhamcolours.svg Hugh Waddell
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

After playing the entire tour using the international numbers for the forwards (i.e. props with 8 and 10, loose forward with 13), Great Britain used the old standard still used in Australia until the end of the year with the props in 11 and 13, loose forward with 8.[34]

The Don Furner coached President's XIII led 14–2 after 22 minutes thanks to tries by Steve O'Brien, Glenn Lazarus and 1986 Kangaroo tourist Greg Alexander. But after a second half try to Mal Meninga (who had an off day with the boot, kicking only 2 of his 6 attempts at goal), the Lions brought it back to 18–16 thanks to 2 tries from Welsh fullback Phil Ford and one to captain Mike Gregory plus the more accurate goal kicking of St Helens centre Paul Loughlin in the increasingly muddy conditions at the Seiffert Oval, the home ground of the Canberra Raiders. However, a late try to Penrith centre Graeme Bradley put the game beyond the reach of the tourists.[35] South Sydney's Mario Fenech, playing at hooker, was given the honour of captaining the President's XIII.


3rd Ashes Test[edit]

This match also counted toward the result of the 1985–1988 World Cup tournament. Australia were considered favourites, having won the past fifteen consecutive test matches.[31] Great Britain's chances were also lessened by the squad missing the likes of Shaun Edwards, Kevin Beardmore, Steve Hampson, Andy Platt, Garry Schofield, Joe Lydon, Lee Crooks and Andy Goodway for one reason or another, and some players taking to the field not fully fit. It was the debut of Paul Hulme and Hugh Waddell in the front row.[36] The match was broadcast by the Nine network with commentary from Darrell Eastlake and Jack Gibson.

Saturday, 9 July
Australia  12 – 26  Great Britain
Tries:
Wally Lewis
Sam Backo


Goals:
Michael O'Connor (2/2)
[37] Tries:
Henderson Gill (2)
Martin Offiah
Phil Ford
Mike Gregory
Goals:
Paul Loughlin (3/5)
Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 15,944
Referee: Francis Desplas France
Man of the Match: Andy Gregory Great Britain colours.svg
Australia
Great Britain
FB 1 Balmain colours.svg Garry Jack
RW 2 Cronulla colours.svg Andrew Ettingshausen
CE 3 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Michael O'Connor
CE 4 Canberra colours.svg Peter Jackson
LW 5 Canterbury colours.svg Tony Currie
FE 6 Brisbane colours.svg Wally Lewis (c)
HB 7 Parramatta colours.svg Peter Sterling
PR 8 North Sydney colours.svg Martin Bella
HK 9 Brisbane colours.svg Greg Conescu
PR 10 Canberra colours.svg Sam Backo
SR 11 St. George colours.svg Wally Fullerton-Smith
SR 12 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Paul Vautin
LK 13 Balmain colours.svg Wayne Pearce
Substitutions:
IC 14 Canberra colours.svg Gary Belcher
IC 15 Parramatta colours.svg Bob Lindner
Coach:
Australia Don Furner
FB 1 Bullscolours.svg Phil Ford
RW 2 Wigancolours.svg Henderson Gill
CE 3 Rhinoscolours.svg David Stephenson
CE 4 Saintscolours.svg Paul Loughlin
LW 5 Widnes colours.svg Martin Offiah
SO 6 Widnes colours.svg David Hulme
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Andy Gregory
PR 8 Castleford colours.svg Kevin Ward
HK 9 Widnes colours.svg Paul Hulme
PR 10 Oldhamcolours.svg Hugh Waddell
SR 11 Wolvescolours.svg Mike Gregory
SR 12 Rhinoscolours.svg Roy Powell
LF 13 Wigancolours.svg Ellery Hanley (c)
Substitutions:
IC 14 Wigancolours.svg Brian Case
IC 15 Widnes colours.svg Darren Wright
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

Early in the match Great Britain were disallowed a try when Henderson Gill dived onto an Andy Gregory bomb which was not secured by the Australian fullback.[38] The Kangaroos then had chances to score at the other end of the field, but the British defence held strong. The first try of the match would go to the visitors when, playing the ball inside Australia's twenty-two, they strung some passes together, getting the ball out to Martin Offiah who dove over the line on the right wing. The conversion attempt was missed so the score was 0–4 with over three quarters of the match still to be played.[39] A few minutes later Great Britain were again on the attack in Australia's territory and keeping the ball alive, their scrum half back Andy Gregory darting about elusively before passing it to Ford who stepped and weaved his way amongst the defenders to dash through and score near the uprights. The conversion was successful, giving Great Britain a 0–10 lead. Shortly before half-time Australia suffered a major setback when their halfback Peter Sterling was forced off with a dislocated shoulder after being driven into the turf in a tackle by Roy Powell.[31] No more points were scored in the first half, so this was the score at the break.

Australia scored first in the second half after winning a scrum against the feed within Great Britain's twenty-two. Working the ball up close to the uprights, their captain Wally Lewis got it at first receiver and ran it into the defence, wrestling his way through to the tryline where he reached out and put it down beneath the black dot. The try was successfully converted, so the score was 6–10 in favour of the Lions. Great Britain then extended their lead after working the ball up into an attacking position where Andy Gregory chipped it ahead. In the rush of chasers from both sides trying to reach the ball it was knocked ahead into the in-goal area where Henderson Gill dived on it. The kick was successful so the British were leading 6–16.[40] Again the Britons' failure to win a scrum in their own territory afforded Australia another opportunity, with forward Sam Backo crashing over the line shortly after from close range. The successful kick brought the Kangaroos back to within an unconverted try at 12–16. The Lions struck again from deep within their own half where centre Paul Loughlin got the ball at first receiver, ran through the defensive line and crossed half-way before passing to Henderson Gill in support on his outside to dive over on the right wing. The conversion attempt was missed, so the British lead was 12–20. Then they scored another long range try while working the ball away from their own line, Andy Gregory making a dart from dummy half, catching the markers napping and getting into open space. He then found Mike Gregory in support who ran about seventy metres to dive over under the posts.[39] The easy kick meant a 26–12 lead for Great Britain and this is where the scoreboard remained at full-time.

Australian front row forward Sam Backo scored a try in all three tests. This saw him join legendary winger Ken Irvine (1963) as the only Australians to score a try in each test of an Ashes series.

This was the end of a 15-match winning streak for the Australians,[41] and Great Britain's first Test victory over the Kangaroos since their 18–14 win at Odsal Stadium during the 1978 Kangaroo tour, as well as their first win in Australia for 18 years. It also put Great Britain on top of the World Cup points table.[42]

After the match there was a gala dinner at the Regent Hotel.[43]

New Zealand[edit]

The Lions lost two of three of their matches in New Zealand.

Wednesday, 13 July
Wellington Wellington colours.svg 24 – 18 Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain
3 Tries:
James Leuluai
Mike Kuiti

3 Goals:
David Ewe
[12] 4 Tries:
Karl Fairbank (2)
Richard Eyres
Andy Currier
4 Goals:
Paul Loughlin (2)
Andy Currier
David Stephenson
Porirua Park, Wellington
Attendance: 4,428
Referee: Des O'Sullivan

Tuesday, 19 July
Auckland Canterbury colours.svg 30 - 14 Great Britain colours.svg Great Britain
5 Tries:
Kelly Shelford (2)
Paddy Tuimavave
Peter Brown
Francis Leota
5 Goals:
Peter Brown (3)
Phil Bancroft (2)
[13] 2 Tries:
Henderson Gill (2)



3 Goals:
Paul Loughlin
Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Attendance: 8,000
Referee: Bill Shrimpton

Test Match[edit]

The result of this match would determine who would contest the final of the 1985–1988 World Cup tournament's final to be played later in the year.

Sunday, 17 July
New Zealand  12 – 10  Great Britain
Tries:
Gary Freeman (2)

Goals:
Peter Brown (2)
[44] Tries:
David Hulme
Paul Loughlin
Goals:
Paul Loughlin (1)
Addington Showgrounds (Christchurch)
Attendance: 8,525
Referee: Mick Stone Australia
New Zealand
Great Britain
FB 1 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Darrell Williams
RW 2 Leigh colours.svg Shane Horo
CE 3 Wigancolours.svg Dean Bell (c)
CE 4 Wigancolours.svg Kevin Iro
LW 5 Bullscolours.svg Gary Mercer
FE 6 Saintscolours.svg Shane Cooper
HB 7 North Sydney colours.svg Clayton Friend
PR 8 Redscolours.svg Peter Brown
HK 9 Canterbury colours.svg Wayne Wallace
PR 10 Newcastle colours.svg Adrian Shelford
SR 11 North Sydney colours.svg Mark Graham
SR 12 Newcastle colours.svg Sam Stewart
LK 13 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Mark Horo
Substitutions:
IC 14 Balmain colours.svg Gary Freeman
IC 15
Coach:
New Zealand Tony Gordon
FB 1 Bullscolours.svg Phil Ford
RW 2 Wigancolours.svg Henderson Gill
CE 3 Rhinoscolours.svg David Stephenson
CE 4 Saintscolours.svg Paul Loughlin
LW 5 Widnes colours.svg Martin Offiah
SO 6 Widnes colours.svg David Hulme
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Andy Gregory
PR 8 Castleford colours.svg Kevin Ward
HK 9 Castleford colours.svg Kevin Beardmore
PR 10 Oldhamcolours.svg Hugh Waddell
SR 11 Wolvescolours.svg Mike Gregory
SR 12 Rhinoscolours.svg Roy Powell
LF 13 Wigancolours.svg Ellery Hanley (c)
Substitutions:
IC 14 Widnes colours.svg Paul Hulme
IC 15
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

It was a rainy afternoon in Christchurch. Following the national anthems "God Save the Queen" and "God Defend New Zealand", and a haka by the Kiwis, Great Britain kicked off. In slippery conditions New Zealand knocked during the first set of six. This resulted in a scrum to the visitors deep inside the Kiwis' territory. From the scrum win the ball was moved out to the left where a pass was knocked down by a New Zealand defender but re-gathered by British centre Paul Loughlin who dived over the line. The referee awarded the try which Loughlin failed to convert, so Great Britain got out to an early 4 nil lead. A few minutes later a penalty was awarded to the Lions but Loughlin's kick was again wide. Shortly after that New Zealand were awarded a penalty and Peter Brown kicked it successfully, bringing the margin back to two points at 2–4.

Great Britain captain Ellery Hanley sustained a cut under his eye during the match which required 12 stitches.[45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Heads, Ian (1 June 1988). "Apart from the Cans, the Original Concept is alive and kicking". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  2. ^ MacDonald, John (29 June 1988). "Tigers sign Hanley for last Rounds". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  3. ^ Tait, Paul (30 June 1988). "Ward's Return to lift Manly". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  4. ^ Tony Collins (2006). Rugby League in Twentieth Century Britain: A Social and Cultural History. UK: Routledge. p. 160.
  5. ^ Papua New Guinea vs Great Britain
  6. ^ "1988 Test Match: Papua New Guinea 22 Great Britain 42". Cherry & White. rlfans.com. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
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  15. ^ McGregor, Adrian (1991). Simply The Best: The 1990 Kangaroos. Qld: University of Queensland Press. p. 55 The Fall and Rise of England. ISBN 0 7022 2370 0.
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  17. ^ Manly-Warringah vs Great Britain 1988
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  20. ^ 1st Ashes Test
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  28. ^ 2nd Ashes Test
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  31. ^ a b c Clarkson, Alan. "'Patched up' Pom Heroes". The Sun-Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  32. ^ Heads, Ian (29 June 1988). "Test is too big for one Man - The Ref". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  33. ^ Hadfield, Dave (3 July 1988). "Selectors stick with Test Team". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  34. ^ President's XIII vs Great Britain highlights
  35. ^ MacDonald, John (5 July 1988). "President's Clean-up halted by the Mud". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  36. ^ de la Rivière, Richard (2005). "Brits Bounce Back". Thirteen. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  37. ^ 3rd Ashes Test
  38. ^ Skinner, Steve (10 July 1988). "How they did it". The Sun-Herald. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
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  44. ^ New Zealand vs Great Britain
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