Connolly upset by pushover

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The Queensland coach John Connolly criticised the standard of opposition his side have faced on their British tour after yesterday's 64-16 stroll past London at Sunbury in the Counties of Origin Series.

The London selectors kept faith with the lower division players who had made up the squad for the two previous games, even though players from League One and Two teams could have been used after English Professional Rugby Clubs and the Rugby Football Union settled their dispute last week.

That decision made for a simple afternoon's work for Queensland, and Connolly said: "You could say I've been disappointed with the quality of the English teams we've faced on this tour. But you can only play who turns up. We've got matches against Pontypridd, Scotland A and England A coming up and I hope they provide a better test of our players."

Connolly was disappointed that his side could only turn a 57-9 lead after 53 minutes into a 64-16 victory. "I will be having a bit of a talk with the players," he said. "They lost concentration badly in the second half." The Queensland onslaught started within the first minute with their prop Glen Panoho scoring a try, and another nine tries followed.

The best of the Queensland haul came from their No 8, Mark Gabey, who finished off a fine attack two minutes before half-time. Gabey was lucky to be on the pitch at all, though, after a fight a few minutes before with the Havant back-row forward, Nick Oldham, which saw both players shown the yellow card.

The most impressive player for the visitors was their 19-year-old outside- half, Shane Drahm, who was the linchpin of many of Queensland's attacks. He scored a try of his own and converted seven out of 10 attempts at goal.

Marius Goosen scored four tries as South Africa A crushed the Midlands 62-7 at Coventry, the biggest win so far of their 12-match tour of Britain and Ireland. Goosen had completed his hat-trick by half time, when South Africa led 41-0.

But their electrifying display was marred when their flank forward, Jannie Coetzee, was sent off for swinging wild punches in a maul five minutes from time.