1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australasia

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The 1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australasia was a tour by the Great Britain national rugby league team, nicknamed the 'Lions', of Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand which took place between May and July 1992. The tour was the last of such length undertaken by the Great Britain team, and included a test match against Papua New Guinea, a three-test series against Australia for The Ashes, and a two-test series against New Zealand for the Baskerville Shield, all interspersed with matches against local club and representative teams.

Taking place following the conclusion of England's 1991–92 Rugby Football League season and 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. For the first time ever, a Lions tour was shown live on television in the United Kingdom through Sky Sports. The commentators for the tour were Eddie Hemmings and former Lions World Cup hooker Mike Stephenson who had a greater insight into the Australian game having spent most of the 1970s and 1980s playing, coaching and commentating in the Sydney premiership.[1] The Lions finished the tour with thirteen wins and four losses and a profit of 244,645. Unfortunately for the Lions, three of their losses came in the Test matches, two against Australia and one against New Zealand with the other loss coming against Sydney club side Parramatta.[2]

Touring squad[edit]

Leeds halfback Bobbie Goulding and Widnes' Welsh dual-international Jonathan Davies (who had spent part of 1991 playing with Sydney club Canterbury-Bankstown) 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.[2]

Hull F.C. winger Paul Eastwood was the leading point scorer on tour with 58 from 3 tries and 23 goals (he was also the leading goal kicker on tour). Wigan winger Martin Offiah, who before the tour was the undisputed "fastest player in rugby league", was the leading try scorer with 7.[2]

The coach was former Great Britain international Mal Reilly, marking his fourth Lions tour after appearing as a player on the successful 1970 tour and coaching the 1988 and 1990 touring teams. The assistant coach was Widnes coach and the Rugby Football League's Director of Coaching Phil Larder. The team manager was RFL and Wigan President Maurice Lindsay.[3] Ellery Hanley was the tour captain, but due to injury only played in one game on tour. Garry Schofield was subsequently named the Test captain while Featherstone Rovers halfback Deryck Fox was the team captain when either Hanley or Schofield weren't playing.[2]

Player Club Position(s) Games
(sub)
Tests Tries Goals/
Attempts
F/Goals Points
Mark Aston Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Scrum-half
Denis Betts Wigancolours.svg Wigan Second-row 6 2 8
Paul Broadbent Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Prop
Phil Clarke Wigancolours.svg Wigan Loose forward, Second-row 6 3 12
Gary Connolly Saintscolours.svg St Helens Centre, Fullback 2 (2) 3 12
Neil Cowie Wigancolours.svg Wigan Prop
Lee Crooks Castleford colours.svg Castleford Prop, Second-row 2 1 2
Martin Dermott Wigancolours.svg Wigan Hooker 4
Paul Eastwood Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. Wing 5 3 23 58
Shaun Edwards Wigancolours.svg Wigan Scrum-half, Stand-off 5 (1) 4 16
Kevin Ellis Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Scrum-half, Stand-off 3 1 1 15
John Devereux Widnes colours.svg Widnes Wing, Centre (1) 2 1 10
Karl Fairbank Bullscolours.svg Bradford Northern Prop, Second-row 1 (1) 4 16
Deryck Fox Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers Scrum-half 15 30
Andy Gregory Wigancolours.svg Wigan Scrum-half 1
Graeme Hallas HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers Wing, Centre 2 8
Steve Hampson Wigancolours.svg Wigan Fullback 1 1 4
Ellery Hanley (c) Wigancolours.svg Wigan Loose forward, Stand-off
Karl Harrison Faxcolours.svg Halifax Prop 1 (3)
Les Holliday Widnes colours.svg Widnes Loose forward
Paul Hulme Widnes colours.svg Widnes Hooker, Second-row (3)
Alan Hunte Saintscolours.svg St Helens Wing, Centre 6 24
Lee Jackson Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. Hooker 2 1 4
Michael Jackson Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity Loose forward (2)
Paul Loughlin Saintscolours.svg St Helens Fullback, Centre 2 6 12
Ian Lucas Wigancolours.svg Wigan Prop (1)
Joe Lydon Wigancolours.svg Wigan Fullback, Centre, Wing (5) 3 1 13
Steve McNamara Hullcolours.svg Hull F.C. Loose forward, Second-row 1 4
Billy McGinty Wigancolours.svg Wigan Second-row 4 1 4
David Myers Widnes colours.svg Widnes Wing, Centre
Paul Newlove Fevcolours.svg Featherstone Rovers Centre, Wing 3 (2) 3 12
Sonny Nickle Saintscolours.svg St Helens Second-row (1)
Martin Offiah Wigancolours.svg Wigan Wing 6 7 28
Andy Platt Wigancolours.svg Wigan Prop, Second-row 6 2 8
Daryl Powell Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Centre, Stand-off 6
Dean Sampson Castleford colours.svg Castleford Prop
Garry Schofield (vc) Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Stand-off, Centre 6 3 2 14
Kelvin Skerrett Wigancolours.svg Wigan Prop, Second-row 4 (1) 1 4
Graham Steadman Castleford colours.svg Castleford Fullback, Stand-off 5 2 1 10

Papua New Guinea leg[edit]

The first country the touring Lions visited was Papua New Guinea.


This match saw the most points scored of any match on the tour.[2]


31 May 1992
Papua New Guinea  14 – 20  Great Britain
Tries:
Matthew Elara
K. Tani
Richard Wagambi
Goals:
Aquila Emil
[4] Tries:
Martin Offiah (2)
Paul Eastwood
Phil Clarke
Goals:
Paul Loughlin (2)
Lloyd Robson Oval, Port Moresby
Attendance: 7,294
Referee/s: Eddie Ward Australia
Papua New Guinea
Great Britain
FB 1 Phillip Boge
RW 2 Joshua Kouoru
CE 3 Richard Wagambi
CE 4 August Joseph
LW 5 K. Tani
FE 6 Aquila Emil
HB 7 Ngala Lapan (c)
PR 8 Ben Biri
HK 9 Michael Matmillo
PR 10 Kera Ngaffin
SR 11 Bobby Ako
SR 12 Joe Gispe
LK 13 Matthew Elara
Substitutions:
IC 14 Korul Sinemau
IC 15 Michael Angara
IC 16 S Kapan
IC 17 Nande Yer
Coach:
FB 1 Wigancolours.svg Steve Hampson
RW 2 Hullcolours.svg Paul Eastwood
CE 3 Rhinoscolours.svg Garry Schofield (c)
CE 4 Saintscolours.svg Paul Loughlin
LW 5 Wigancolours.svg Martin Offiah
SO 6 Sheffeagles colours.svg Daryl Powell
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Shaun Edwards
PR 8 Castleford colours.svg Lee Crooks
HK 9 Wigancolours.svg Martin Dermott
PR 10 Wigancolours.svg Andy Platt
SR 11 Wigancolours.svg Denis Betts
SR 12 Bullscolours.svg Karl Fairbank
LF 13 Wigancolours.svg Phil Clarke
Substitutions:
IC 14 Wigancolours.svg Joe Lydon
IC 15 Wigancolours.svg Kelvin Skerrett
IC 16 Fevcolours.svg Paul Newlove
IC 17 Saintscolours.svg Sonny Nickle
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

Australian leg[edit]

The Lions next traveled to Australia to contest The Ashes series. The Ashes series attracted 103,419 fans across the three tests, including the first ever Ashes test played in Melbourne. This was the largest Ashes attendance in Australia since 133,791 had attended the 1974 Ashes series and easily eclipsed the 66,792 of 1979, the 75,480 of 1984 and the 67,554 who attended the 1988 series.

Test Venues[edit]

The three Ashes series tests took place at the following venues. For the first time an Ashes test was played outside of the traditional rugby league states of New South Wales and Queensland.

Sydney Melbourne Brisbane
Sydney Football Stadium Princes Park Lang Park
Capacity: 42,500 Capacity: 32,000 Capacity: 32,500
Sydney Football Stadium.jpg Princesparkoval.JPG Suncorp-Stadium-Milton-Queensland.jpg

Queensland
Great Britain
FB 1 Schultz
RW 2 White
CE 3 Hamilton
CE 4 Robertson
LW 5 Kerr
FE 6 Jason Hetherington (c)
HB 7 Craig Grauf
PR 8 Brook Kennedy
HK 9 Marty
PR 10 Pike
SR 11 Steele Retchless
SR 12 Clifford
LK 13 Spark
Substitutions:
IC 14 Smith
IC 15 Fisher
IC 16 Mills
IC 17 Anthony Bella
Coach:
FB 1 Wigancolours.svg Joe Lydon
RW 2 Widnes colours.svg John Devereux
RC 3 Saintscolours.svg Gary Connolly
LC 4 Wolvescolours.svg Kevin Ellis
LW 5 Saintscolours.svg Alan Hunte
SO 6 Wigancolours.svg Shaun Edwards (c)
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Andy Gregory
PR 8 Wigancolours.svg Ian Lucas
HK 9 Hullcolours.svg Lee Jackson
PR 10 Wigancolours.svg Neil Cowie
SR 11 Bullscolours.svg Karl Fairbank
SR 12 HKRcolours.svg Graeme Hallas
LF 13 Wigancolours.svg Billy McGinty
Substitutions:
IC 14 Fevcolours.svg Paul Newlove
IC 15 Wigancolours.svg Denis Betts
IC 16 Wigancolours.svg Kelvin Skerrett
IC 17 Fevcolours.svg Deryck Fox
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

Canberra Raiders
Great Britain
FB 1 Brett Mullins
RW 2 Sean Hoppe
CE 3 Brendan Norton
CE 4 Scott Gale
LW 5 Jason Croker
FE 6 Chris O'Sullivan
HB 7 Ricky Stuart (c)
PR 8 Darrell McDonald
HK 9 Steve Stone
PR 10 David Woods
SR 11 Ian Graham
SR 12 Gary Coyne
LK 13 Craig Bellamy
Substitutions:
IC 14 Adam Friend
IC 15 James Hunt
IC 16 Ken Nagas
IC 17 Michael Spinks
Coach:
Australia Tim Sheens
FB 1 Castleford colours.svg Graham Steadman
RW 2 Hullcolours.svg Paul Eastwood
CE 3 Fevcolours.svg Paul Newlove
CE 4 Saintscolours.svg Paul Loughlin
LW 5 Saintscolours.svg Alan Hunte
SO 6 Rhinoscolours.svg Garry Schofield (c)
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Andy Gregory
PR 8 Wigancolours.svg Kelvin Skerrett
HK 9 Wigancolours.svg Martin Dermott
PR 10 Wigancolours.svg Andy Platt
SR 11 Wigancolours.svg Denis Betts
SR 12 Wcatscolours.svg Michael Jackson
LF 13 Wigancolours.svg Phil Clarke
Substitutions:
IC 14 Widnes colours.svg Les Holliday
IC 15 Fevcolours.svg Deryck Fox
IC 16
IC 17 Saintscolours.svg Gary Connolly
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

In what can only be described as bad scheduling, the Lions faced the Canberra Raiders on a Saturday night with the Raiders due to play a club game against Parramatta the next afternoon. This saw Raiders coach Tim Sheens not playing the likes of Australian test players Mal Meninga, Bradley Clyde, Steve Walters and Laurie Daley, as well as David Furner, Phil Blake, Darren Fritz, Brett Hetherington and Paul Osborne. It also saw Canberra go into the match with 7 players on the bench, though Sheens would only use the regulation 4. Andy Gregory served notice of his form by leading the Lions to a 20-6 half time lead, though he aggravated a groin injury when he put in a grubber kick for one of Andy Platt's two tries late in the first half and with the first test less than a week away did not return for the second half.


Illawarra Steelers
Great Britain
FB 1 Brett Docherty
RW 2 Brendan O'Meara
CE 3 Ryan Girdler
CE 4 Paul McGregor
LW 5 Jonathan Britten
FE 6 Aaron Whittaker
HB 7 Mick Neil
PR 8 Steve Waddell
HK 9 Dean Schifilliti
PR 10 Craig Teitzel
SR 11 John Cross (c)
SR 12 Dave Gallagher
LK 13 Ian Russell
Substitutions:
IC 14 Andrew Pauls
IC 15 Neil Piccinelli
IC 16 Bill Dunn
IC 17 David Walsh
Coach:
Australia Graham Murray
FB 1 Wigancolours.svg Steve Hampson
RW 2 Widnes colours.svg John Devereux
CE 3 Saintscolours.svg Gary Connolly
CE 4 Sheffeagles colours.svg Daryl Powell
LW 5 HKRcolours.svg Graeme Hallas
SO 6 Wolvescolours.svg Kevin Ellis
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Shaun Edwards (c)
PR 8 Wigancolours.svg Ian Lucas
HK 9 Hullcolours.svg Lee Jackson
PR 10 Castleford colours.svg Lee Crooks
SR 11 Bullscolours.svg Karl Fairbank
SR 12 Widnes colours.svg Les Holliday
LF 13 Wigancolours.svg Billy McGinty
Substitutions:
IC 14
IC 15
IC 16
IC 17
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

With the first test only three days after the game, Steelers coach Graham Murray was without the services of goal kicking Australian test winger Rod Wishart. The Steelers, in their first and only game against an international touring side, almost pulled off an upset until a late Kevin Ellis field goal sealed a tense 11–10 win for the tourists.


The Ashes series[edit]

The 1992 Ashes series was the final Ashes series to date played in Australia and attracted 103,459 spectators over the three tests. This compared favourably to the 75,480 aggregate of the 1984 Ashes series in Australia and the 67,554 aggregate of the 1988 series in Australia. A large number of English fans followed their team on the tour, but with Great Britain's wins in the final test of 1988 and the first test of the 1990 series, public interest had risen with Australia, although still winning, proving less dominant than during the 1980's.

After 4 of the previous 5 Ashes series had been controlled by French referees (Julien Rascagneres in 1982 and 1986, Francois Desplas in 1988 and Alain Sablayrolles in 1990 – none of whom spoke any English), which had brought numerous complaints from both sides regarding their incompetency, the Rugby League International Federation, ARL and RFL agreed to the use of New Zealand referee Dennis Hale (who had been a touch judge in the 1988 Rugby League World Cup Final) for all three tests.

First Test[edit]

With Ellery Hanley out injured, Mal Reilly appointed five-eighth Garry Schofield as British captain for the first test. The Australian's stuck with most of those who had won the 1991 Trans-Tasman Test series against New Zealand, with only winger Michael Hancock in for an injured Willie Carne, prop Glenn Lazarus (for Craig Salvatori) and second rowers Paul Sironen and Bob Lindner returning to the side with Newcastle Knights prop forward Paul Harragon making his test debut. Peter Jackson was also re-called to the side after Dale Shearer who had been selected in the centres had been ruled out with injury. Shearer, who had been widely tipped never to play test football again after a poor Game 1 against New Zealand the previous year, had starred at fullback for Queensland in the State of Origin series and would be selected in the centres for all three tests, but was an injury withdrawal on each occasion. Jackson's recall at five-eighth saw Laurie Daley moved to the centres.

Friday, 12 June
Australia  22 – 6  Great Britain
Tries:
Mal Meninga (2)
Paul Sironen
Michael Hancock
Goals:
Rod Wishart (3/6)
[8] Tries:
Joe Lydon


Goals:
Lee Crooks (1/2)
Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 40,141
Referee/s: Dennis Hale New Zealand
Man of the Match: Bradley Clyde Australian colours.svg
Australia
Great Britain
FB 1 Cronulla colours.svg Andrew Ettingshausen
RW 2 Illawarra colours.svg Rod Wishart
CE 3 Canberra colours.svg Mal Meninga (c)
CE 4 Canberra colours.svg Laurie Daley
LW 5 Brisbane colours.svg Michael Hancock
FE 6 North Sydney colours.svg Peter Jackson
HB 7 Brisbane colours.svg Allan Langer
PR 8 Brisbane colours.svg Glenn Lazarus
HK 9 Canberra colours.svg Steve Walters
PR 10 Newcastle colours.svg Paul Harragon
SR 11 Balmain colours.svg Paul Sironen
SR 12 Western Suburbs colours.svg Bob Lindner
LK 13 Canberra colours.svg Bradley Clyde
Substitutions:
IC 14 Western Suburbs colours.svg David Gillespie
IC 15 St. George colours.svg Brad Mackay
IC 16 Panthers colours.svg Brad Fittler
IC 17 Brisbane colours.svg Kevin Walters
Coach:
Australia Bob Fulton
FB 1 Castleford colours.svg Graham Steadman
RW 2 Fevcolours.svg Paul Newlove
CE 3 Sheffeagles colours.svg Daryl Powell
CE 4 Saintscolours.svg Paul Loughlin
LW 5 Wigancolours.svg Martin Offiah
SO 6 Rhinoscolours.svg Garry Schofield (c)
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Andy Gregory
PR 8 Wigancolours.svg Kelvin Skerrett
HK 9 Wigancolours.svg Martin Dermott
PR 10 Castleford colours.svg Lee Crooks
SR 11 Wigancolours.svg Denis Betts
SR 12 Wigancolours.svg Andy Platt
LF 13 Wigancolours.svg Phil Clarke
Substitutions:
IC 14 Wigancolours.svg Joe Lydon
IC 15 Wigancolours.svg Shaun Edwards
IC 16 Wigancolours.svg Ian Lucas
IC 17 Wcatscolours.svg Michael Jackson
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

Flying Lions winger Martin Offiah made two clean breaks down his left wing in the first half after poor Australian kicks and defence had given him two opportunities to showcase his speed, but he was put into touch by Australian fullback Andrew Ettingshausen on both occasions when only about 15 metres from scoring (despite being probably the quickest player in the Australian team, ET later admitted that had he needed to chase him, Offiah would have had too much pace). The first break came from a sweeping backline movement which saw Offiah into open space. He easily outpaced Allan Langer, but Ettingshausen's desperate push was enough for him to put a foot into touch. On the second occasion, a poor mid-field kick from Langer and poor defence from both Mal Meninga and Rod Wishart who attempted a two man tackle on Offiah, only to collide with each other and fall off. This again saw him into open space with again only Ettinghausen to beat, but the Australian fullback was equal to the task and easily bundled the flying winger into touch.

Man of the match Bradley Clyde and Kangaroos captain Mal Meninga with two tries had a night to remember, leading the home side to a 22-6 win. The Lions only try came midway through the second half to replacement back Joe Lydon who put in a clever grubber behind Michael Hancock who couldn't turn and chase in time which saw Lydon score in the corner.[9]

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. It was also the first test match played since the Australia defeated France in front of 50,077 at the Sydney Cricket Ground during 1977 Rugby League World Cup to attract a crowd of over 40,000 in Sydney.


NSW Country
Great Britain
FB 1 Beath
RW 2 Roskell
CE 3 John Connolly
CE 4 David Krause
LW 5 Brian Quinton
FE 6 Michael Twigg
HB 7 Price
PR 8 Mark Corvo
HK 9 Crowe
PR 10 Marr
SR 11 Tutt
SR 12 Stephan
LK 13 Wilson
Substitutions:
IC 14 Steve Linnane
IC 15 Breen
IC 16 Oldfield
IC 17 John Crooks
Coach:
FB 1 Wigancolours.svg Steve Hampson
RW 2 Hullcolours.svg Paul Eastwood
CE 3 Widnes colours.svg John Devereux
CE 4 Saintscolours.svg Gary Connolly
LW 5 Saintscolours.svg Alan Hunte
SO 6 Wolvescolours.svg Kevin Ellis
SH 7 Fevcolours.svg Deryck Fox (c)
PR 8 Wigancolours.svg Neil Cowie
HK 9 Hullcolours.svg Lee Jackson
PR 10 Bullscolours.svg Karl Fairbank
SR 11 Widnes colours.svg Les Holliday
SR 12 Widnes colours.svg Paul Hulme
LF 13 Wigancolours.svg Billy McGinty
Substitutions:
IC 14 Saintscolours.svg Paul Loughlin
IC 15 Wigancolours.svg Andy Gregory
IC 16 Wigancolours.svg Joe Lydon
IC 17 Castleford colours.svg Graham Steadman
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

Parramatta Eels
Great Britain
FB 1 Danny Crnkovich
RW 2 Lee Oudenryn
CE 14 Scott Mahon
CE 4 Michael Buettner
LW 5 Michael Erickson
FE 6 Brett Kenny (c)
HB 7 Stu Galbraith
PR 8 John Fearnley
HK 9 Shane Flanagan
PR 10 Greg Drake
SR 11 Cameron Blair
SR 12 Chris King
LK 13 Mark Laurie
Substitutions:
IC 3 Robert Muchmore
IC 15 Ryan Schofield
IC 16 Mark Horo
IC 17 Phil Tiernan
Coach:
Australia Michael Cronin
FB 1 Saintscolours.svg Gary Connolly
RW 2 Hullcolours.svg Paul Eastwood
CE 3 Sheffeagles colours.svg Daryl Powell
CE 4 Fevcolours.svg Paul Newlove
LW 5 Wigancolours.svg Martin Offiah
SO 6 Rhinoscolours.svg Garry Schofield (c)
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Shaun Edwards
PR 8 Faxcolours.svg Karl Harrison
HK 9 Wigancolours.svg Martin Dermott
PR 10 Wigancolours.svg Andy Platt
SR 11 Wigancolours.svg Denis Betts
SR 12 Widnes colours.svg Paul Hulme
LF 13 Wigancolours.svg Phil Clarke
Substitutions:
IC 14 Bullscolours.svg Karl Fairbank
IC 15 Castleford colours.svg Lee Crooks
IC 16
IC 17
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

Lions 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 (a former soccer player who had only played 5 games of first grade before the Lions game) won by a yard. Rumours soon surfaced (allegedly started by former Kangaroos hooker Benny Elias) 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 50-metre chase.[10] The match against Parramatta also saw the largest non-test crowd of the Lions tour with 18,220 in attendance. In what was another piece of bad scheduling, this game on a Friday night was played only two days before the Eels were due to play a club game against Manly Warringah.


Newcastle Knights
Great Britain
FB 1 Robbie O'Davis
RW 2 Tony Herman
CE 3 John Schuster
CE 4 David Smith
LW 5 Shane Mackley
FE 6 Michael Hagan (c)
HB 7 Matthew Rodwell
PR 8 Mark Sargeant
HK 9 Max Chapman
PR 10 Sam Stewart
SR 11 Glenn Miller
SR 12 David Mullane
LK 13 Marc Glanville
Substitutions:
IC 3 Steve Fulmer
IC 15 Robbie McCormack
IC 16 Steve Crowe
IC 17 Wayne Richards
Coach:
Australia David Waite
FB 1 Wigancolours.svg Joe Lydon
LW 2 Saintscolours.svg Alan Hunte
CE 3 Saintscolours.svg Gary Connolly
CE 4 Widnes colours.svg John Devereux
RW 5 HKRcolours.svg Graeme Hallas
SO 6 Wolvescolours.svg Kevin Ellis
SH 7 Fevcolours.svg Deryck Fox
PR 8 Faxcolours.svg Karl Harrison
HK 9 Hullcolours.svg Lee Jackson
PR 10 Sheffeagles colours.svg Paul Broadbent
SR 11 Wcatscolours.svg Michael Jackson
SR 12 Hullcolours.svg Steve McNamara
LF 13 Wigancolours.svg Ellery Hanley (c)
Substitutions:
IC 14 Widnes colours.svg Paul Hulme, Karl Fairbank
IC 15 Bullscolours.svg Karl Fairbank
IC 16 Sheffeagles colours.svg Mark Aston
IC 17 Widnes colours.svg David Myers
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

Against a strong Newcastle side that was missing only Australian test front rower Paul Harragon, the Lions achieved their only clean sheet of the tour with a 22–0 win at the Marathon Stadium. Winger Alan Hunte, reportedly the second fastest player in the squad behind only Martin Offiah, grabbed 2 tries in the win.


Second Test[edit]

For the second test Britain fielded an all-Wigan forward pack,[11] and with Andy Gregory injured, Shaun Edwards came in at scrum half-back for his first start against the Australians in test football. The Australians went in with an almost unchanged side, though David Gillespie came into the front row with Glenn Lazarus moving to the bench and Chris Johns came into the side for Brad Fittler who was unavailable for personal reasons (Fittler's Penrith Panthers team mate Ben Alexander, the younger brother of Penrith captain and former Australian test halfback Greg Alexander, was killed in a motor vehicle accident 5 days prior to the test).

The match, played at the Princes Park Australian rules football ground under temporary lighting, was the first ever Ashes test in Australia played in Melbourne. The cold, wet conditions suited the Lions who levelled the series with a resounding 33-10 win after going into half-time with a 22-0 lead in front of 31,005 fans.

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



Goal:
Mal Meninga (1)
[12] 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 New Zealand
Man of the Match: Garry Schofield Great Britain colours.svg
Australia
Great Britain
FB 1 Cronulla colours.svg Andrew Ettingshausen
RW 2 Illawarra colours.svg Rod Wishart
RC 3 Canberra colours.svg Mal Meninga (c)
LC 4 Canberra colours.svg Laurie Daley
LW 5 Brisbane colours.svg Michael Hancock
FE 6 North Sydney colours.svg Peter Jackson
HB 7 Brisbane colours.svg Allan Langer
PR 8 Western Suburbs colours.svg David Gillespie
HK 9 Canberra colours.svg Steve Walters
PR 10 Newcastle colours.svg Paul Harragon
SR 11 Balmain colours.svg Paul Sironen
SR 12 Western Suburbs colours.svg Bob Lindner
LF 13 Canberra colours.svg Bradley Clyde
Substitutions:
IC 14 St. George colours.svg Brad Mackay
IC 15 Brisbane colours.svg Glenn Lazarus
IC 16 Brisbane colours.svg Kevin Walters
IC 17 Brisbane colours.svg Chris Johns
Coach:
Australia Bob Fulton
FB 1 Castleford colours.svg Graham Steadman
RW 2 Hullcolours.svg Paul Eastwood
RC 3 Sheffeagles colours.svg Daryl Powell
LC 4 Fevcolours.svg Paul Newlove
LW 5 Wigancolours.svg Martin Offiah
SO 6 Rhinoscolours.svg Garry Schofield (c)
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Shaun Edwards
PR 8 Wigancolours.svg Kelvin Skerrett
HK 9 Wigancolours.svg Martin Dermott
PR 10 Wigancolours.svg Andy Platt
SR 11 Wigancolours.svg Denis Betts
SR 12 Wigancolours.svg Billy McGinty
LK 13 Wigancolours.svg Phil Clarke
Substitutions:
IC 14 Wigancolours.svg Joe Lydon
IC 15 Widnes colours.svg Paul Hulme
IC 16 Saintscolours.svg Gary Connolly
IC 17 Faxcolours.svg Karl Harrison
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

The second test, played on a cold and wet night at Melbourne's Princes Park, saw Australian captain Mal Meninga equal Reg Gasnier's record of 36 tests for Australia.[13] It turned out that the conditions (as well as the slippery surface), suited the Lions with many claiming it was more like English weather than Australian.

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 Harragon 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.[14] Next, Garry Schofield scored a brilliant individual try when he chipped ahead from about fifteen metres out and after running into Australian second rower Paul Sironon, then beat the Australian defence to dive on it after Andrew Ettingshausen went what television commentator Graeme Hughes called "ice skating" on the slippery in-goal surface. Great Britain thus went into the break leading 22 - 0.[15]

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 Chris Johns (who had come on to the wing to replace an injured Rod Wishart) 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 outpaced Andrew Ettingshausen down the right sideline to score in the corner, sealing the match for the tourists.[16] 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[17] and Australia's second-largest ever losing margin[18]


Gold Coast Seagulls
Great Britain
FB 1 Danny Peacock
RW 2 David Bouveng
CE 3 Terry Cook
CE 4 Adrian Vowles
LW 5 Clinton Mohr
FE 6 Mathew Donovan
HB 7 Ali Davys
PR 8 Ian Stains
HK 9 Ray Herring
PR 10 Keith Neller
SR 11 Paul Galea
SR 12 Mike McLean (c)
LK 13 Wayne Bartrim
Substitutions:
IC 14 Jamie Goddard
IC 15 Robin Thorne
IC 16 Scott Sattler
IC 17 Kevin Campion
Coach:
Australia Wally Lewis
FB 1 Wigancolours.svg Steve Hampson
LW 2 Saintscolours.svg Alan Hunte
CE 3 Widnes colours.svg John Devereux
CE 4 Saintscolours.svg Gary Connolly
RW 5 HKRcolours.svg Graeme Hallas
SO 6 Wolvescolours.svg Kevin Ellis
SH 7 Fevcolours.svg Deryck Fox (c)
PR 8 Castleford colours.svg Lee Crooks
HK 9 Hullcolours.svg Lee Jackson
PR 10 Bullscolours.svg Karl Fairbank
SR 11 Hullcolours.svg Steve McNamara
SR 12 Widnes colours.svg Paul Hulme
LF 13 Sheffeagles colours.svg Mark Aston
Substitutions:
IC 14 Wcatscolours.svg Michael Jackson
IC 15 Faxcolours.svg Karl Harrison
IC 16 Widnes colours.svg David Myers
IC 17 Sheffeagles colours.svg Paul Broadbent
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

Former Australian test skipper, Gold Coast captain/coach Wally Lewis, was a late withdrawal for the Seagulls with a hamstring injury.[19]


Third Test[edit]

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

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 who was on hand to congratulate Meninga on his achievement. Meninga also equalled Keith Holman's record for most tests against Great Britain (11).[20] His try and four goals also brought his total of points scored in Anglo-Australian test matches to 108, overtaking Neil Fox's record.

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

Goals:
Paul Eastwood (3)
Lang Park, Brisbane
Attendance: 32,313
Referee/s: Dennis Hale New Zealand
Man of the Match: Paul Sironen Australian colours.svg
Australia
Great Britain
FB 1 Cronulla colours.svg Andrew Ettingshausen
RW 2 Brisbane colours.svg Willie Carne
RC 3 Canberra colours.svg Mal Meninga (c)
LC 4 Panthers colours.svg Brad Fittler
LW 5 Brisbane colours.svg Michael Hancock
FE 6 Canberra colours.svg Laurie Daley
HB 7 Brisbane colours.svg Allan Langer
PR 8 Brisbane colours.svg Glenn Lazarus
HK 9 Canberra colours.svg Steve Walters
PR 10 Newcastle colours.svg Paul Harragon
SR 11 Balmain colours.svg Paul Sironen
SR 12 Western Suburbs colours.svg Bob Lindner
LF 13 Canberra colours.svg Bradley Clyde
Substitutions:
IC 14 Western Suburbs colours.svg David Gillespie
IC 15 Brisbane colours.svg Kevin Walters
IC 16 Brisbane colours.svg Chris Johns
IC 17 Panthers colours.svg John Cartwright
Coach:
Australia Bob Fulton
FB 1 Castleford colours.svg Graham Steadman
RW 2 Hullcolours.svg Paul Eastwood
RC 3 Sheffeagles colours.svg Daryl Powell
LC 4 Fevcolours.svg Paul Newlove
LW 5 Wigancolours.svg Martin Offiah
SO 6 Rhinoscolours.svg Garry Schofield (c)
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Shaun Edwards
PR 8 Wigancolours.svg Kelvin Skerrett
HK 9 Wigancolours.svg Martin Dermott
PR 10 Wigancolours.svg Andy Platt
SR 11 Wigancolours.svg Denis Betts
SR 12 Wigancolours.svg Billy McGinty
LK 13 Wigancolours.svg Phil Clarke
Substitutions:
IC 14 Widnes colours.svg Paul Hulme
IC 15 Faxcolours.svg Karl Harrison
IC 16 Saintscolours.svg Gary Connolly
IC 17 Wigancolours.svg Joe Lydon
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

The third test at Lang Park in Brisbane was played in warm, dry conditions in total contrast to the second test. Mal Meninga (4) and Paul Eastwood (2) traded goals for the only scores in the first half. Lions captain Garry Schofield had the best scoring opportunity of the first half when put into a gap only 10 metres out from the Australian line, but the pass from Paul Newlove was called forward by referee Dennis Hale. Late in the half a fight erupted with rival hookers Steve Walters (Aust) and Martin Dermott (GB) trading blows. Meninga then kicked a penalty goal to give the home side an 8-4 lead at half time.

Laurie Daley scored the first try of the game midway through the second half. Andrew Ettingshausen played the ball only 5 metres out from the Lions line and Brad Fittler, back in the side after missing the Melbourne test, ran infield from dummy half. He stepped back inside and popped a pass to Daley who juggled the ball, but managed to get through the tackle of Schofield and Shaun Edwards to get it down for a try amidst howls of protests from Phil Clarke who was claiming a knock on. Meninga missed the difficult conversion but the Aussies led 12-4. Then with 15 minutes remaining, Meninga put the Aussies further ahead with a try from a Laurie Daley kick. Meninga won the race to the ball despite a number of Lions converging before powering through the tackle of Edwards and Denis Betts to plant the ball down and give the Aussies a match winning 16-4 lead. Martin Offiah finally showed his speed to give the Lions some hope in the last 5 minutes, After Dermott hit Meninga in a side on tackle which caused the Australian captain to spill the ball, Offiah toed ahead a loose ball 30 metres out from his line before regathering and racing 50 metres to score under the posts with only Kevin Walters in pursuit. Eastwood converted to see the Lions trim the lead to 16-10, but that was as close as they got as the Australian's held out Great Britain to retain The Ashes that they had held since 1974.

Australian forward Brad Clyde was awarded with the Harry Sunderland Medal for the Player of the Series.[22]

The Ashes series was televised in Australia by Seven Network with commentary provided by Graeme Hughes, Pat Welsh and former Australian captain Wally Lewis.

New Zealand leg[edit]

This was Great Britain's first win over the Auckland representative side since 1979, Auckland had played five with three wins, one loss and one draw against both Great Britain and Australian touring sides since then.[2]


First Test[edit]

Sunday, 12 July
New Zealand  15 – 14  Great Britain
Tries:
Tony Kemp
Richie Blackmore
Goals:
Matthew Ridge (2/3)
Gavin Hill (1/1)
Field goals:
Daryl Halligan (1)
[23] Tries:
Shaun Edwards
Phil Clarke
Goals:
Paul Eastwood (3/3)
Palmerston North Showgrounds, Palmerston North
Attendance: 11,548
Referee/s: Bill Harrigan Australia
Man of the Match: Gary Freeman New Zealand Kiwis colours.svg
New Zealand
Great Britain
FB 1 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Matthew Ridge
RW 2 Canberra colours.svg Sean Hoppe
RC 3 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Kevin Iro
LC 4 Newcastle colours.svg Tony Kemp
LW 5 Castleford colours.svg Ritchie Blackmore
FE 6 HKRcolours.svg Dean Clark
HB 7 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Gary Freeman (c)
PR 8 North Sydney colours.svg Brent Stuart
HK 9 Wolvescolours.svg Duane Mann
PR 10 Gold Coast Chargers colours.svg Brent Todd
SR 11 Canterbury colours.svg Gavin Hill
SR 12 North Sydney colours.svg Quentin Pongia
LF 13 Fevcolours.svg Brendon Tuuta
Substitutions:
IC 14 North Sydney colours.svg Daryl Halligan
IC 15 Rochdale colours.svg Mike Kuiti
IC 16 Saintscolours.svg Tea Ropati
IC 17 Balmain colours.svg Mark Woods
Coach:
New Zealand Howie Tamati
FB 1 Castleford colours.svg Graham Steadman
RW 2 Hullcolours.svg Paul Eastwood
RC 3 Sheffeagles colours.svg Daryl Powell
LC 4 Saintscolours.svg Gary Connolly
LW 5 Wigancolours.svg Martin Offiah
SO 6 Rhinoscolours.svg Garry Schofield (c)
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Shaun Edwards
PR 8 Hullcolours.svg Kelvin Skerrett
HK 9 Wigancolours.svg Lee Jackson
PR 10 Wigancolours.svg Andy Platt
SR 11 Wigancolours.svg Denis Betts
SR 12 Wigancolours.svg Billy McGinty
LK 13 Wigancolours.svg Phil Clarke
Substitutions:
IC 14 Wigancolours.svg Joe Lydon
IC 15 Widnes colours.svg Paul Hulme
IC 16 Faxcolours.svg Karl Harrison
IC 17
Coach:
England Mal Reilly


Second Test[edit]

Great Britain's victory in Auckland ensured that they would face Australia in the World Cup Final in October later in the year.

Sunday, 19 July
New Zealand  16 – 19  Great Britain
Tries:
Gary Freeman
Sean Hoppe
Brent Todd
Goals:
Matthew Ridge (2)
[24] Tries:
Lee Jackson
Denis Betts
Martin Offiah
Goals:
Paul Eastwood (3)
Field Goals:
Garry Schofield (1)
Carlaw Park, Auckland
Attendance: 10,233
Referee/s: Bill Harrigan Australia
Man of the Match: Garry Schofield Great Britain colours.svg
New Zealand
Great Britain
FB 1 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Matthew Ridge
RW 2 Canberra colours.svg Sean Hoppe
RC 3 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Kevin Iro
LC 4 Newcastle colours.svg Tony Kemp
LW 5 Castleford colours.svg Ritchie Blackmore
FE 6 HKRcolours.svg Dean Clark
HB 7 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Gary Freeman (c)
PR 8 North Sydney colours.svg Brent Stuart
HK 9 Wolvescolours.svg Duane Mann
PR 10 Gold Coast Chargers colours.svg Brent Todd
SR 11 Canterbury colours.svg Gavin Hill
SR 12 North Sydney colours.svg Quentin Pongia
LF 13 Fevcolours.svg Brendon Tuuta
Substitutions:
IC 14 North Sydney colours.svg Daryl Halligan
IC 15 Rochdale colours.svg Mike Kuiti
IC 16 Saintscolours.svg Tea Ropati
IC 17 Balmain colours.svg Mark Woods
Coach:
New Zealand Howie Tamati
FB 1 Castleford colours.svg Graham Steadman
RW 2 Hullcolours.svg Paul Eastwood
RC 3 Sheffeagles colours.svg Daryl Powell
LC 4 Saintscolours.svg Gary Connolly
LW 5 Wigancolours.svg Martin Offiah
SO 6 Rhinoscolours.svg Garry Schofield (c)
SH 7 Wigancolours.svg Shaun Edwards
PR 8 Faxcolours.svg Karl Harrison
HK 9 Wigancolours.svg Lee Jackson
PR 10 Wigancolours.svg Andy Platt
SR 11 Wigancolours.svg Denis Betts
SR 12 Wigancolours.svg Billy McGinty
LK 13 Wigancolours.svg Phil Clarke
Substitutions:
IC 14 Fevcolours.svg Paul Newlove
IC 15 Wcatscolours.svg Michael Jackson
IC 16 Widnes colours.svg John Devereux
IC 17 Bullscolours.svg Karl Fairbank
Coach:
England Mal Reilly

References[edit]

  1. ^ Great Britain's 1992 Tour Of Australasia
  2. ^ a b c d e f Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1992 New Zealand Rugby League, 1992. p.p.52-73
  3. ^ Pramberg, Bernie (27 June 1992). "Roos 'relented'". The Sun-Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Papua New Guinea vs Great Britain
  5. ^ Magnay, Jacquelin (2 June 1992). "Lions unimpressive in QLD win". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Sarno, Tony (7 June 1992). "Copycat Lions shot Mettle in Canberra". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  7. ^ MacDonald, John (8 June 1992). "Defence brings new Life to Lions". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  8. ^ 1st Ashes Test
  9. ^ Australia vs Great Britain, First Test 1992
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ French, Ray (24 April 2003). "Greatest upsets". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  12. ^ 2nd Ashes Test
  13. ^ Clarkson, Alan (27 June 1992). "2 Test Changes likely". The Sun-Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  14. ^ John, MacDonald (26 June 1992). "Lions shock Australia to level series". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  15. ^ "Lions even the score". The Sydney Morning Herald. 26 June 1992. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  16. ^ de la Rivière, Richard. "1992 Australia v Great Britain, 2nd Test". Thirteen. richarddelariviere.co.uk. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "Ashes battles of the past". BBC Sport. 16 October 2001. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  18. ^ "Australian Rugby League ("Kangaroos") Records". RL1908.com. Sean Fagan. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  19. ^ AFP (1 July 1992). "British Lions clinch tenth Victory". New Strait Times. Retrieved 10 April 2011. 
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^ 3rd Ashes Test
  22. ^ "ACT Sport Hall of Fame Inductees". actsport.com.au. ACT Sport. Archived from the original on 1 May 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  23. ^ 1st Test - New Zealand vs Great Britain
  24. ^ 2nd Test - New Zealand vs Great Britain

External links[edit]