Rugby League: ET goes home with hat-trick: Leeds overrun by Australia's rampant display

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Leeds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

Australia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48

THERE is a danger that this is a truly exceptional Australia tour party even by their recent exalted standards. A nine-try extravanganza at Headingley last night, highlighted by hat- tricks from the former Leeds player Andrew Ettingshausen, and Allan Langer, set a record score for the second time in two matches.

After a shaky opening during which Australia conceded a glut of penalties, a Test strength back-line clicked into ominously smooth and devastating form.

Leeds' early lead, a Francis Cummins penalty, was soon dismissed as an irrelevance.

Ettingshausen, nicknamed 'ET', began the punishment of his old club when Australia took a tap penalty in an attacking position. Laurie Daley and Langer got the ball to the Mal Meninga and Ettingshausen was in at the corner.

There was a touch of comedy about Australia's second try, David Furner throwing a pass to the Leeds centre, Craig Innes, who was so surprised that he gave it straight back. Without further fooling around, Daley sent in Steve Renouf.

Ettingshausen's second was a glorious try, created by the devastating running of Meninga and Daley. By the time Garry Schofield, out to prove that he still has a role to play at stand-off for Great Britain, was moved to scrum-half, Daley, his opposite number, had played an important role in all three Australian tries.

It would unfair to single out Schofield's performance, however, as Leeds were being collectively overrun.

Langer, with a Test place of his own to claim, stressed his value by going through with embarrassing ease for another try. Before half-time, he set up Ettingshausen's hat-trick.

At the start of the second half, Leeds managed a couple of threatening breaks but a tackle by Ettingshausen on Alan Tait not only nearly chopped him in half but turned defence into attack.

Daley picked up the ball and went 60 yards, Gary Mercer effectively sending himself to the sin-bin by not letting him play the ball.

Australia were also playing a man short, with Brett Mullins also in the sin-bin, but they soon resumed their try scoring when Dean Pay blasted through the middle on a long run and Michael Hancock turned the ball inside for Meninga to stroll in.

Langer then showed astonishing strength for a little man by wrestling his way through and reaching out to score.

Langer completed his hat- trick when he took Meninga's pass and held off what remained of the Leeds cover.

Pay, outstanding in his occasional position of prop, then cleared the way for the substitute, Steve Menzies, to go over and make it a record score against Leeds.

Furner landed his sixth goal and it was to the credit of Leeds' suffering fans that they could still raise a cheer for Tait's try a minute from time.

LEEDS: Tait; Fallon, Iro, Innes, Cummins; Schofield, Entat (Holroyd, 24); Harmon (Fozzard, h-t), Lowes (Vassilakopoulos, 58), Faimalo, Mann, Eyres, Mercer.

AUSTRALIA: Mullins (Canberra); Ettinghshausen (Cronulla), Meninga (Canberra), Renouf (Brisbane), Hancock (Brisbane); Daley (Canberra), Langer (Brisbane); Pay (Canterbury), Serdaris (Wests), Sironen (Balmain), Furner (Canberra), Smith (Canterbury), Fittler (Penrith). Substitutes: Fairleigh (North) for Sironen h-t; Menzies (Manly) for Smith 47; Walters (Brisbane) for Meninga, 68; Sailor (Brisbane) for Ettingshausen, 68.

Referee: R Smith (Castleford).

(Photograph omitted)

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