Rugby League: Australia run riot for record

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The Independent Online
Sheffield Eagles 2 Australia 80 It was back to business in a very big way for Australia last night after their embarrassment at Wembley as they ran up by the far the biggest victory of their tour so far, and their biggest against a club side since 1921.

After a staccato start, the Kangaroos cut loose in a 14-try rout that should have got the taste of Test defeat out of their mouths and which inflicted a worst-ever defeat on the Eagles.

The first 15 minutes were a story set to music by Ray Tennant's whistle. One of his series of early penalties produced the first points of the match for Sheffield, David Mycoe putting his kick over after an obstruction under his own bomb.

After Mycoe hit a post with yet another penalty, Australia began to show some signs of settling. Dean Pay sent Steve Walters weaving through for a try which Rod Wishart converted.

A Sheffield side lacking Daryl Powell and Lee Jackson, was always destined to struggle to hold the Australians after that. Ricky Stuart's cross-kick, taken and moved on in one movement by Wishart, put in their blood-bin substitute, Greg Florimo, with Wishart again improving.

Within a couple of minutes Andrew Ettingshausen sent Tim Brasher on his way for another try before a beautiful sleight of hand by Fairleigh released Mullins for the fourth try of the half.

Two minutes after the restart Pay went right through Mycoe's tackle for the fifth Australian try, rapidly followed by Ettingshausen with the sixth as Sheffield's resistance became flimsy in the extreme.

The pace of Mullins brought him his own second from 65 yards out. The way Steve Menzies then tore through a series of half-hearted tackles for his touchdown summed up the way the starch had gone out of the Eagles, as did Steve Walters' second soon after.

Further tries from Menzies, Wishart - giving him a total of 28 points with his tour record 12 goals - Kevin Walters and Ettingshausen completed the massacre.

Sheffield Eagles: Hayes; Stott, Price, Gamson, Picksley; Mycoe (Sodje, 47), Sheridan (Briggs, 64); Broadbent (Boothroyd, h-t), Turner (Randall, h-t), Thompson, Carr, Hughes, Farrell.

Australia: Mullins (Canberra); Brasher (Balmain), McGregor (Illawarra), Hill (Manly), Wishart (Illawarra); K Walters (Brisbane), Stuart (Canberra); Lazarus (Brisbane), S Walters (Canberra), Pay (Canterbury), Fairleigh (North), Menzies (Manly), Smith (Canterbury). Substitutes: Ettingshausen (Cronulla) for McGregor, 21; Florimo (North) for Pay, 44; Sailor (Brisbane) for Mullins, 54.

Referee: R Tennant (Castleford).

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