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

Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs his surreal ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
News
news
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Antoine Griezmann has started two of France’s four games so far
sport
Life and Style
techYahoo Japan launches service to delete your files and email your relatives when you die
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary