Rugby League: Jonathan Davies says the home side were made to pay for schoolboy errors
Sunday 02 November 1997
Australia thoroughly deserved their victory but the British helped the Kangaroos with a string of mistakes. You can't afford to give the Aussies any assistance and when Brian McDermott messed up an early play- the-ball to allow them to mount the attack that led to Laurie Daley's first try, you felt you were watching a suicide mission.
Apart from slap-dash tackling, other errors included Broadbent's botched attempt to pass out of a tackle five yards from his line and a piece of sloppy defending when no one was guarding the 10-yard line from Steve Walters' restart and the Aussies recovered possession. These were schoolboy howlers.
Confidence was low enough after the massacre of British clubs in the Super League; after these mistakes it must have disappeared altogether, but the boys clawed their way back. When we beat the Aussies in the corresponding match at Wembley three years ago, tackling played a big part in overcoming the threat they posed.
Eventually, Britain managed to show some of that defiance, but heroism was never going to be enough. The Aussies defended brilliantly and their organisation was superb. They didn't have it all their way and I'm looking forward to the next meeting between Paul Newlove and Andrew Ettingshausen, who had a tremendous battle. But, despite not having access to all their best players, Australia always looked better and in Daley they had the game's controller. He made every use of the platform set up by the forwards.
I was particularly impressed with their back three of Adamson, Tallis and Smith. The sort of superiority they created made it much easier for their backs to subdue GB's brave attempt to get back into the game. In the second half it was the pace out wide that enabled the Aussies to finish us off.
Great Britain now face a torrid time in the next two Tests. We've usually done well in the first Test but this time we don't have that cushion. Our first job is to find a stand-off. Andy Farrell is a great all-round player but it is at loose forward that he is at his most effective.
I know we have had injury problems, too, but we can do much better if we sharpen up on the basics. When we stopped making mistakes, we looked capable of causing them trouble but in the end we gave ourselves more trouble than we gave the Australians.
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao: 'Changes are not easy, but there are times when you have to'
Female BBC presenter receives offensive and sexist letter after she criticised level of women's sport given TV coverage and sponsorship
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
The 12 worst haircuts of the 2014/15 Premier League season
West Brom vs Arsenal: Aaron Ramsey desperate to be back in the middle for Arsenal title challenge
- 1 Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
- 2 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
- 3 Picture of couple posing with beached dolphin 'that later died' causes outrage
- 4 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
- 5 Witch doctor arrested after forcing newborn baby to walk in Indian village
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...