Sunday, November 05, 2006

Well done Great Britain Rugby League team

A first win against World Champions Australia, for 14 years, by 23 - 12 in Sydney, Australia, breathes new life into the GB Rugby League squad.

Brian Noble proud of British defiance

Sean Long was in the wars but recovered to play a vital role for GBGreat Britain coach Brian Noble praised his side's defiance as they withstood some early aggression from Australia to record a memorable Tri-Nations victory.

"I am absolutely proud of the boys," he said. "We didn't take a step back, we stood our ground, as I expected us to.

"We showed we could defend our line, and with a bit more composure could have scored more tries.
"I knew we could shake this competition up and I think the Aussies might start taking us seriously now."

Interview: Great Britain coach Brian Noble
Interview: Great Britain's Adrian Morley

One of the key figures for Great Britain was scrum-half Sean Long, who survived a brutal late tackle from Willie Mason to orchestrate proceedings. "It was a very tough match, but that is what you get in Test rugby," Long said. "We got slated this week but the boys dug deep and all credit to them.

"We had to work hard for it and we have got the win, but we are not the finished article by a long way.
"We have got a lot of improvement in us yet. We have only had two games and five practice sessions together.

It is a great win for British rugby league

Captain Jamie Peacock"As the competition goes on, we will get better. It is nice to get some points on the board but we have not done anything yet.

"We finished top last time and they blew us away in the final, so we have got a lot of improving to do now."
Long, by his own admission, has struggled previously to translate his club form onto the international scene, but he enjoyed his best game in a British jersey.

"I think Sean had a few people to prove wrong," said his half-back partner Leon Pryce. "Some people have been saying he hasn't played his best rugby at international level, but I think he saved his best performance for tonight.

"To come down to Australia and win takes a special performance and we will remember this for a long time. I thought our forwards were awesome."

They were a better team than us tonight Australia coach Ricky StuartOne of them, skipper Jamie Peacock, sounded a note of caution after what he called "one of the toughest games I have played in".

"It is one of the proudest moments I have ever had in my life," he said. "It is a great win for British rugby league.

"We will enjoy it tonight and then get on with next week. This will count for nothing unless we beat the Kiwis. We have got to step up again."

Australian coach Ricky Stuart bemoaned his team's shoddy execution but praised the British performance.

"They outplayed us," he said. "Our completion rate was very poor and out of that we just couldn't build any pressure.

"When we got a little bit of ball down their end of the field we looked dangerous but we just didn't build enough pressure to keep having a shot at them.

In saying that, they were a better team than us tonight."

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