WE ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS AGAIN
|Nathan Strudwick helps in a tackle AUSTRALIA World Champions Again (Photo : ARL)
After winning the first test the Australian boys were wary of the England side and expected a very tough match. The windy and wet conditions ensured that the side had to be at its best to win the second test.
An attempted short kick off by the England side gave the Australian side good field position from the start and after just four tackles a wide kick by half back Chris Sandow allowed winger Obadiah Geia to swoop on the ball and score wide out.
The try was converted from out wide by Chris Sandow. After only 1 minute of play Australia led 6 - 0 and they had the start that they wanted.
England regathered their composure and put responding by putting plenty of questions to the Australian defence. With the greater weight of possession and applying plenty of pressure the England side scored in the 10th minute to level the scores at 6 all.
The Australian team was struggling with the conditions, .................. but a penalty in the 17th minute allowed them to take the lead 8 - 6..............................
....................... However, in the 21st minute an Australian dropped ball allowed England to score wide out and take the lead 10- 8. This ignited the Australian team and after a great defensive set in the England half they finally forced an error in an attacking position.
|Chris Lawrence smashes the English ballcarrier while Joseph Paulo & Chris Sandow watch Daid Hala hang on (Photo : arl)
From a set move from the resulting scrum, Israel Folau stepped his opposing winger to score wide out. Another great conversion from Chris Sandow meant Australia regained the lead 14- 10.
In the 35th minute the England side regathered a wide kick and the winger scored in the corner to level the scores at 14-all and that was the half time score. Coach Simon Huntly used the halftime break to allow the team to refocus on their goals and emphasised the need to adapt to the difficult conditions.
The side began the second half more confidently and was able to maintain possession more consistently. In the 47th minute the team worked to the 90 metre mark and hooker Joel Brown darted from dummy half and created space for Mitchell Pearce to score near the posts.
Australia led 20- 14.
In the 52 minute England replied under the posts and again levelled the scores at 20 - all.
In the 54th minute another great defensive effort rushed the England side and a wild pass was intercepted by Israel Folau and Australia again led by 6 points.
From this moment until the 79th minute the match rose to even greater heights as both sides endeavoured to break the other side's concentration.
It was a game where great attacking plays were shut down through excellent defensive efforts. Members of the crowd claimed it was one of the most exciting and skillful displays of rugby league that they had ever witnessed and it was true Test Match football.
The tension was finally broken when Illawarra's Luke Muttdon dived over in the last minute after a brilliant flick pass by Man of the Match, and Man of the Series, Mitchell Pearce to seal victory and ensure the side won the Test Series 2 - nil.
The team has now turned its focus onto the French leg of the tour and is confident of maintaining its unbeaten status. The next game will be played in Carcassonne on Sunday against the France Juniors UNSS side and the final touring game will be a Test match to be played in Toulouse on Wednesday against the French National Juniors Team. [Source ASSRL]