Australia avoid humiliation

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The Independent Online

Australia, fresh from their triumph in the Tri-Nations, rallied in the second half in Philadelphia to avert the biggest international shock in the history of the game.

Australia, fresh from their triumph in the Tri-Nations, rallied in the second half in Philadelphia to avert the biggest international shock in the history of the game.

The Kangaroos trailed 24-6 at half-time to a United States side led by the Australian-born Brandon Costin, who scored one of the American tries.

But a hat-trick from the North Queensland full-back, Matt Bowen, saw the world champions home 36-24. "We thought we could just turn up, but that wasn't the case," said their coach, Wayne Bennett.

New Zealand say they are happy with either of the possibilities for next year's international calendar - an adapted Tri-Nations in England or a Great Britain tour with one Test against Australia and two against New Zealand.

Widnes are to give a one-month trial to the New Zealand A centre or second-rower, Karl Guttenbeil.

Bradford will play all their home Sunday games at 3 o'clock next season to accommodate fans from outside the area.

Northern Trains are to sponsor the National League Cup, for non-Super League clubs, for the next three years.

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