Rugby League: Gregory earns top marks as GB coach

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The Independent Online
Great Britain's coach, Andy Gregory, earned praise from Maurice Lindsay, the Rugby Football League chief executive, despite his side losing to Western Samoa in the semi-finals of the World Nines yesterday.

Great Britain's hopes of taking the trophy in Townsville, Queensland were boosted when New Zealand shocked the favourites Australia in the first semi-final, but Gregory's team then produced their worst performance of the tournament to lose 10-0 to a Samoan team including six British- based players.

Lindsay, however, was not downhearted. "Andy has done a great job," he said "It wasn't easy for the British to come here but they have shown just the right attitude and it has been a great experience for Andy, who is still a new coach."

Lindsay stressed that Gregory had only been appointed for the Nines with Phil Larder, now at Sheffield, still in position as the national coach. But Larder's contract ends this summer, before Great Britain's next international, and Lindsay admitted that the position would be reviewed in the next few months.

Gregory said: "We just didn't perform in the semi-final. I think some of the team thought we had already won the cup after beating New Zealand yesterday."

The Samoans were rarely in the hunt against New Zealand in the final with former Wigan player Tony Iro and Quentin Pongia and Ruben Wiki scoring the tries in a 16-0 win.

n Graham Lowe, the former Wigan coach, has accepted a position as consultant to the South African Rugby League following the Rhinos' encouraging performance in the World Nines where they lost in the Plate final to Fiji.

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