Robinson solid in Rest defeat

Rugby League Australia Rugby League 28 Rest of the World 8
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The Independent Online
The Wigan pair, Jason Robinson and Gary Connolly, were among the vanquished as the Rest of the World were easily beaten 28-8 by Australia's World Cup champions in Brisbane yesterday.

The two backs should have been with their Super League colleagues in Paris but in the cheque-book scramble two years ago they lined up with the Australian Rugby League.

Robinson and Connolly flew south after their London Broncos disappointment and were last night on the plane home again for the game at Central Park with the Brisbane Broncos in the World Club Championship next weekend.

The makeshift Rest of the World side also included former players of the British game such as Craig Innes, Lee Jackson and Harvey Howard and, along with the Wigan pair, they stood tall.

For a while it looked as if the Rest of the World side might produce an upset of Titanic proportions. Some 23 minutes into the game they were ahead, thanks to some brilliance by their captain, Adrian Lam, the Papua New Guinea international. He threw no fewer than five successful dummies before setting up the second-rower Darren Rameka, who spun out of a tackle to score.

Ten minutes later, the World Cup full-back Tim Brasher scored the first of two tries to put the Australians ahead. But with only seconds remaining in the first half, Lam kicked a high ball, Robinson knocked it back and the New Zealand international, Jarrod McCracken, was over. The Rest were ahead 8-6.

Robinson had been having a great game, showing just why Wigan worked so hard to negotiate a way out of the contract which would have tied him to the ARL. He almost scored in the third minute when leaping high to take a Lam high ball and he saved two or three tries with sensational cover defence.

The Australians came out firing in the second half and in the fourth minute Brasher was over for his second try. And then, in the space of 15 minutes, they ran in three other tries, despite a valiant effort by Robinson to stop the centre Terry Hill for the first. Lam said afterwards: "We didn't have much ball in the second half and you can't win matches like that."

Connolly and Robinson return home ahead of the Brisbane Broncos who have to play the Canberra Raiders on Monday night.

SCORERS: Australia: Tries Brasher 2, Hill, Menzies, Sing; Goals Johns 3, Simon. Rest of the World: Tries Rameka, McCracken.