Australia thump Great Britain's men's volleyball team

 

Australia came out on top of their Ashes battle with Great Britain at Earls Court tonight, with their size and strength too much for the host nation to handle.

With the British women having won a first-ever Olympic clash last night, hopes were high that their male counterparts would follow suit today, with the Volleyroos arguably their closest-matched side in the pool.

But with Australia's brutal defence forming a wall of steel at the net, Britain's strike players were unable to feed off what was, at best, inconsistent setting, as what appeared to be Harry Brokking's squad's best chance of getting a Games win passed them by under the watching eye of London 2012 chairman Lord Coe.

They still have three group games left, but with Italy, Poland and Argentina ahead of them, an improbable two wins are required for a quarter-final berth to even be a possibility.

With the brilliant 6ft 11in Thomas Edgar omnipresent and Igor Yudin and Travis Passier providing more than ample support, it actually became something of a cruise control mission for the Australians, who will now fancy their own chances of progressing to the last eight.

They lost to Argentina on Sunday and, unlike Great Britain, appeared to have learned from their mistakes, hitting consistently from the net and cutting out their unforced errors close in. On the flip side, much like in the Bulgaria game, GB started slowly and a quick slump to 4-1 behind - mainly owing to Edgar - prompted Brokking to call an early time-out.

His words were lost however, as four more points were lost upon the resumption, with Adam White's stunning serve causing the hosts all manner of reception problems while Bakare, so hit-and-miss on Sunday, made two costly errors to 1-8.

That became 4-12, with Passier doing some damage down the middle, with Britain's block virtually non-existent.

Brokking reacted by hooking off captain Ben Pipes, Dami Bakare and Mark Plotyczer for old heads such as Jason Haldane and Andy Pink, but the changes made no impact as Australia's power from the back of the court carried them through to a crushing 25-15 set win.

Importantly for Brokking's men they stayed in touch at the start of the second but, crucially, allowed Australia to get a mini-jump on them come the first time-out, with Bakare missing a spike that sent the score to 6-8.

Pipes was talking to the referee after a contentious block call - not the first to go against the home side - shortly after, but they turned 7-10 into 10-10 thanks to some brilliant hitting from Plotyczer.

Pipes then produced two wonder serves to open up a two-point lead - frittered by reception errors - but Mark McGivern's spike got them back ahead at 16-15.

Three critical service errors allowed the Australians to move back ahead, and when Edgar shut down Plotyczer, they were 21-18 in front. That quickly extended through to 25-18, with Britain closing the set with six service errors to their name.

With an almighty job on to save the game, Brokking's side needed a lightning start to the third set, but as in both of the others, they first went to the sidelines behind, this time 6-8 as French powered a spike long.

A Yudin ace made it 6-10 and as Edgar ran amok, an 8-14 scoreline quickly emerged.

Despite the efforts of Joel Miller off the bench, GB had no answer to Australia's impenetrable defence and even a four-point streak could not haul them back into it, as Jon Uriarte's men took the set 20-25.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash