Manly fizz as Britain flop

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The Independent Online
Manly, the Sydney club steered by the Australian national coach Bobby Fulton, completed a hat-trick of wins in the World Sevens Tournament when they beat Fiji 36-12 here yesterday. The result was a repeated embarrassment for the competition spons ors, Coca-Cola. Manly are sponsored by Pepsi.

Great Britain's fortunes were dismal. They won the first of their preliminary games -28-16 against Penrith -and then plunged to a 30-10 defeat against St George. The result left them four points behind Norths, who finished second in the group, and put them out of the competition.

Maurice Lindsay, the chief executive of the Rugby League in Britain, lodged a protest with the organisers over the competition rules, which required the elimination, in Britain's group, of the two sides finishing third and fourth.

"We've come 14,000 miles for 30 minutes' football," he said. "The rules look as though they have been framed to put us at a disadvantage."

Controversy of the non-appearance of Martin Offiah and his subsequent clearance to play for Wigan against Castleford yesterday, which at one stage threatened Great Britain's continuing presence in the Sevens, was defused by the revelation that Offiah hadbeen pulled out by the Great Britain doctor. International laws permit a player to turn out for his club in such circumstances.

Two players with British clubs suffered injuries. Tony Smith, of Castleford, has a damaged thumb, and David Fraisse, of Bradford Northern, sprained an ankle playing for France.