2003 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France

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The 2003 Kangaroo Tour was a six-match tour by the Australia national rugby league team of France, Wales and England, and to date has been the last Kangaroo Tour. The last three matches were all Tests against Great Britain for the Ashes. Coached by Chris Anderson and captained by Darren Lockyer, Australia continued its dominance, winning all of the three tests against Great Britain and retaining The Ashes that they have held since 1973 but the 3-0 scoreline didn't show how close the series really was as Australia had to come from behind to win every test.

Touring squad[edit]

The Australian team was again coached by Chris Anderson who was making his 4th Kangaroo tour. As Gorden Tallis had retired from representative football a month before, the team was captained by the newly appointed Darren Lockyer.[1]

Player Club Games Tries Goals F/Goals Points
Phil Bailey Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 1 1 0 0 4
Danny Buderus Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 3 0 0 0 0
Petero Civoniceva Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 3 0 0 0 0
Joel Clinton Panthers colours.svg Penrith Panthers 0 0 0 0 0
Michael Crocker Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters 3 0 0 0 0
Michael De Vere Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 2 1 0 0 0
Craig Fitzgibbon Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters 3 1 11 0 26
Ryan Girdler Panthers colours.svg Penrith Panthers 0 0 0 0 0
Craig Gower Panthers colours.svg Penrith Panthers 2 1 0 0 4
Shannon Hegarty Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters 1 0 0 0 0
Robbie Kearns Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm 3 0 0 0 0
Brett Kimmorley Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 3 1 0 1 5
Luke Lewis Panthers colours.svg Penrith Panthers 0 0 0 0 0
Darren Lockyer (c) Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 3 2 0 0 8
Willie Mason Canterbury colours.svg Bulldogs 3 0 0 0 0
Anthony Minichiello Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters 3 0 0 0 0
Luke Ricketson Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters 3 2 0 0 8
Steve Simpson Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 3 0 0 0 0
Matt Sing North Queensland colours.svg North Queensland Cowboys 2 0 0 0 0
Darren Smith* Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 1 0 0 0 0
Richard Villasanti New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand Warriors 0 0 0 0 0
Trent Waterhouse Panthers colours.svg Penrith Panthers 3 1 0 0 4
Shane Webcke Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 3 0 0 0 0
Craig Wing Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters 3 0 0 0 0
  • Darren Smith was added to the team while the tour was in England

Pre-Ashes matches[edit]

Saturday, 25 October
France XIII France colours.svg 10 – 34 Australian colours.svg Australia
Tries:
Julien Rinaldi
Goals:
Julien Rinaldi (3)
[2] Tries:
Michael Crocker (2), Matt Sing (2), Anthony Minichiello, Trent Waterhouse
Goals:
Michael De Vere (5)
Stade d'Albert Domec, Carcassonne
Attendance: 7,813
Referee/s: Richard Frileux

France XIII: Julien Gerin, Dimitri Pilo, Sylvain Houles, Teddy Sadaoui, Frédéric Zitter, Frédéric Banquet, Julien Rinaldi, Olivier Pramil, Cederic Gay, Jérôme Guisset (c), Daniel Dumas, Jamal Fakir, John Vaigata. Res - Artie Shead, Pierre Sabatie, Abderazak El Khalouki, Marc Faumuina. Coach - Gilles Dumas

Australia: Anthony Minichiello, Luke Lewis, Shannon Hegarty, Michael De Vere, Matt Sing, Craig Wing, Craig Gower, Petero Civoniceva, Michael Crocker, Robbie Kearns (c), Willie Mason, Trent Waterhouse, Phil Bailey. Res - Joel Clinton, Shane Webcke, Richard Villasanti, Brett Kimmorley


Tuesday, 28 October
England A England colours.svg 22 – 26 Australian colours.svg Australia
Tries:
Martin Aspinwall, Ade Gardner, Martin Gleeson, Andy Lynch
Goals:
Chris Thorman (3)
[3] Tries:
Danny Buderus, Michael Crocker, Robbie Kearns, Matt Sing
Goals:
Craig Fitzgibbon (5)
Griffin Park, London
Attendance: 6,817
Referee/s: Glen Black

England A: Shaun Briscoe, Mark Calderwood, Martin Gleeson, Martin Aspinwall, Ade Gardner, Chris Thorman, Rob Burrow, Andy Lynch, Matt Diskin, Rob Parker, Danny Tickle, Lee Radford, Sean O'Loughlin (c). Res - Danny McGuire, Mick Higham, Danny Sculthorpe, Gareth Hock. Coach - John Kear

Australia: Darren Lockyer (c), Matt Sing, Shannon Hegarty, Michael De Vere, Luke Lewis, Craig Gower, Brett Kimmorley, Joel Clinton, Danny Buderus, Petero Civoniceva, Craig Fitzgibbon, Steve Simpson, Luke Ricketson. Res - Michael Crocker, Trent Waterhouse, Willie Mason, Robbie Kearns


Australia played a non-test international against Wales in Bridgend. The Kangaroos won 76-4, crossing for 11 tries.

Sunday, 2 November
Wales  4 – 76  Australia
Tries:
Kris Tassell









Goals:
[4] Tries:
Danny Buderus (2)
Brett Kimmorley (2)
Anthony Minichiello (2)
Phil Bailey
Ryan Girdler
Craig Gower
Shannon Hegarty
Darren Lockyer
Steve Simpson
Craig Wing
Goals:
Craig Fitzgibbon (11/11)
Craig Gower (1/2)
Brewery Field, Bridgend
Attendance: 3,112
Referee/s: Karl Kirkpatrick England
Man of the Match: Brett Kimmorley Australian colours.svg
Wales Position Australia
Paul Atcheson (c) FB Darren Lockyer (c)
Hefin O'Hare WG Anthony Minichiello
Kris Tassell CE Ryan Girdler
Adam Hughes CE Phil Bailey
Damian Gibson WG Shannon Hegarty
Aled James SO Craig Gower
Mark Lennon SH Brett Kimmorley
Rob Roberts PR Shane Webcke
Ian Watson HK Danny Buderus
Anthony Farrell PR Petero Civoniceva
Jon Aston SR Steve Simpson
Chris Morley SR Craig Fitzgibbon
Kevin Ellis LF Luke Ricketson
Allan Bateman Res. Richard Villasanti
David Mills Res. Willie Mason
Gareth Price Res. Trent Waterhouse
Jordan James Res. Craig Wing
Neil Kelly Coach Chris Anderson

Ashes series[edit]

Australia were to contest Great Britain for the Ashes for the last time in 2003[5] in what was styled the Think! Road Safety Test series. The Australian Rugby League and Rugby Football League agreed beforehand that the best-of-three series would be officiated by British referees Steve Ganson and Russell Smith for the 1st and 3rd tests, and by Australian referee Tim Mander for the 2nd test.[6] The series was broadcast on television by Sky Sports with commentary by Eddie Hemmings, Mike Stephenson, Shaun McRae, Bill Arthur and Chris Warren. Australian McRae had actually toured with the 1990 Kangaroos as a team trainer.

1st Test[edit]

18:30 GMT
Saturday, 8 November
Great Britain  18 – 22  Australia
Tries
Brian Carney (2)
Keith Senior


Goals
Sean Long (2/4)
Paul Deacon (1/1)
[1] Tries
Phil Bailey
Craig Gower
Darren Lockyer
Trent Waterhouse
Goals
Craig Fitzgibbon (3/3)
Craig Gower (0/2)
JJB Stadium, Wigan
Attendance: 24,614[7]
Referee/s: Steve Ganson United Kingdom
Man of the Match: Craig Wing Australian colours.svg
Great Britain Posit. Australia
Kris Radlinski FB Darren Lockyer (c)
Brian Carney WG Anthony Minichiello
Gary Connolly CE Craig Wing
Keith Senior CE Phil Bailey
Richard Horne WG Shannon Hegarty
Paul Sculthorpe SO Craig Gower
Sean Long SH Brett Kimmorley
Stuart Fielden PR Shane Webcke
Terry Newton HK Danny Buderus
Adrian Morley PR Robbie Kearns
Jamie Peacock SR Steve Simpson
Andy Farrell (c) SR Craig Fitzgibbon
Mike Forshaw LF Luke Ricketson
Paul Anderson Int. Petero Civoniceva
Barrie McDermott Int. Willie Mason
Paul Deacon Int. Trent Waterhouse
Lee Gilmour Int. Michael Crocker
David Waite Coach Chris Anderson

Great Britain kicked off and Australian front rower Robbie Kearns, taking the very first hit-up of the match was struck high by his opposite number Adrian Morley, who was promptly sent off,[8] leaving his team to play the entire match with only twelve men.[9] It was a record for the fastest ever sending off in rugby league history. In the eleventh minute Australia had reached the opposition's end of the field and after playing the ball right in front of the try line, Gower and Lockyer strung long passes together to get it out to the right wing where Phil Bailey dived over in the corner. The video referee David Campbell ruled that Bailey had grounded the ball before his feet were pulled into touch and he was awarded his first international try. With first choice goal-kicker Fitzgibbon taken from the field suffering concussion in the lead-up to the try, the conversion attempt was made by Gower who missed, so the Kangaroos led 0-4. Great Britain later got the ball down to Australia's end and equalised with a similar try, with international debutant Carney diving over in the right-hand corner just before the eighteen-minute mark. Sean Long's conversion attempt was also missed so the scores were level at 4-4.[10] In the thirty-first minute, the Australians had almost reached Great Britain's try line where on the fifth tackle Lockyer at first receiver put a short kick in behind the defense for Waterhouse to grab onto and fall over the line. The video referee was called upon to check for off-side but the try was awarded. Gower's second conversion attempt was also missed so Australia led 4-8 and this remained the score until half-time.[11]

Nearly five minutes into the second half a brawl erupted between Brian Carney and Michael Crocker and in the aftermath Crocker was sent to the sin bin. A few minutes later, following a handling error by Lockyer close to the centre of his own try-line, Great Britain were awarded a scrum feed. From the scrum win the ball was moved out to left centre Keith Senior who dived over in the fiftieth minute to equalise the scores again. Long kicked the conversion successfully so the home side lead 10-8. This lead was extended with a penalty kick by Long making it 12-8.[12] Australia later made their way down to Great Britain's end of the field and on the last tackle Brett Kimmorley from dummy-half ran up to the defensive line then threw a long cut out pass left to his halves partner Craig Gower to run through a gap and dive over the try-line untouched, equalising the score once again. With Fitzgibbon back on the field the conversion was successful so Australia were leading 12-14 with thirty minutes remaining. From the ensuing kick-off Gower knocked on and from the resulting possession right in front of Australia's try-line, Great Britain, after keeping the ball alive got it out to right winger Carney who dove over in the corner again.[13] The video referee checked that the ball was put down properly before Carney's legs were pulled into touch and he was awarded the try, re-gaining the lead for Great Britain. Paul Deacon with his first conversion attempt for Great Britain kicked the goal from the sideline successfully, so the home side were leading 18-14 with less than ten minutes of the match remaining. Then in the seventy-fifth minute the Kangaroos were a few metres into Great Britain's half of the field and on the last tackle. They swung the ball out to the left where Craig Wing made a break and passed it back inside for Darren Lockyer coming up in support to run the remaining fifteen metres and score untouched under the posts. Fitzgibbon's conversion was successful so Australia were leading 18-20. When taking a goal-line drop out, Andy Farrell kicked it out on the full resulting in a penalty to Australia right in front of the uprights. Fitzgibbon kicked the goal in the final minute so the full-time score was 18-22.[14]

2nd Test[edit]

15 November 2003
Great Britain  20 – 23  Australia
Tries
Gary Connolly
Terry Newton
Kris Radlinski
Goals
Paul Deacon (4/4)
[2] Tries
Darren Lockyer
Brett Kimmorley
Craig Fitzgibbon
Goals
Craig Fitzgibbon (5/6)
Field Goals
Brett Kimmorley
Kingston Communications Stadium, Hull
Attendance: 22,152
Referee/s: Tim Mander Australia
Man of the Match: Brett Kimmorley Australian colours.svg
Great Britain Posit. Australia
Kris Radlinski FB Darren Lockyer (c)
Brian Carney WG Anthony Minichiello
Gary Connolly CE Craig Wing
Keith Senior CE Michael De Vere
Richard Horne WG Matt Sing
Paul Sculthorpe SO Craig Gower
Paul Deacon SH Brett Kimmorley
Stuart Fielden PR Shane Webcke
Terry Newton HK Danny Buderus
Barrie McDermott PR Robbie Kearns
Jamie Peacock SR Steve Simpson
Adrian Morley SR Craig Fitzgibbon
Andy Farrell (c) LF Luke Ricketson
Kevin Sinfield Int. Petero Civoniceva
Mike Forshaw Int. Willie Mason
Paul Anderson Int. Trent Waterhouse
Int. Michael Crocker
David Waite Coach Chris Anderson

For his high tackle in the 1st Test, Great Britain front rower Adrian Morley avoided suspension, only incurring a fine of ₤2,000 from a three-man international judiciary panel consisting of Queensland Rugby League chairman John McDonald, Rugby Football League representative Deryck Fox and chairman, Judge Peter Charlesworth.[15]

3rd Test[edit]

22 November 2003
Great Britain  12 – 18  Australia
Tries
Kris Radlinski
Paul Sculthorpe
Goals
Paul Deacon (1/2)
Sean Long (1/1)
[3] Tries
Luke Ricketson (2)
Michael De Vere
Goals
Craig Fitzgibbon (3/3)
McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield
Attendance: 24,126
Referee/s: Russell Smith United Kingdom
Man of the Match: Adrian Morley Great Britain colours.svg
Great Britain Posit. Australia
Kris Radlinski FB Darren Lockyer (c)
Brian Carney WG Anthony Minichiello
Martin Gleeson CE Craig Wing
Lee Gilmour CE Michael De Vere
Richard Horne WG Matt Sing
Paul Sculthorpe SO Michael Crocker
Paul Deacon SH Brett Kimmorley
Stuart Fielden PR Shane Webcke
Terry Newton HK Danny Buderus
Adrian Morley PR Robbie Kearns
Jamie Peacock SR Steve Simpson
Andy Farrell (c) SR Craig Fitzgibbon
Mike Forshaw LF Luke Ricketson
Sean Long Int. Petero Civoniceva
Barrie McDermott Int. Willie Mason
Kevin Sinfield Int. Trent Waterhouse
Gareth Ellis Int. Darren Smith
David Waite Coach Chris Anderson

Statistics[edit]

Leading Try Scorer

Leading Point Scorer

Largest Attendance

Largest non-test Attendance

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tallis quits rep football" (2003-09-30) abc.net.au
  2. ^ France XIII vs Australia
  3. ^ England A vs Australia
  4. ^ Wales vs Australia
  5. ^ "Australia agree to renew rugby league Ashes rivalry with England". Daily Mail. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Birchalll, Steven (4 November 2003). "Referees for Think! Ashes Test Series". leagueunlimited.com. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "Ashes series 2003 - Game 1". rugbyleagueproject.org. Shawn Dollin, Andrew Ferguson and Bill Bates. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  8. ^ news.bbc.co.uk (8 November 2003). "The Ashes - first Test photos". BBC News. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Lockyer luke-warm on 'Ashes'". The Courier-Mail. News.com.au. 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  10. ^ de la Rivière, Richard. "12th-Second Red Card costs GB". Thirteen. richarddelariviere.co.uk. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "Australia win thriller". BBC Sport. 8 November 2003. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  12. ^ news.bbc.co.uk (8 November 2003). "Australia sink brave Lions". BBC News. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  13. ^ news.bbc.co.uk (9 November 2003). "Australia beat GB". CBBC Newsround. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  14. ^ AAP (9 November 2003). "Kangaroos escape with last-gasp win". The Age. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  15. ^ AAP (11 November 2003). "Fury after Morley dodges ban". The Age. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 

External links[edit]