Rugby League: Pongia down the tunnel: New Zealand have Pongia sent off after a brawl and fail to entice a former captain back to the international fold

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Bradford Northern. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

New Zealand. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

NEW ZEALAND were beaten in the second match of their British tour at a rain-soaked Odsal last night. More damaging to their hopes in the Test series against Great Britain was the sending off of their first-choice second row forward, Quentin Pongia, after a high tackle that ignited a late brawl.

The Kiwis were trailing 14-10 when Pongia and Gary Freeman were brought on to turn matters around. As it happened, it was Pongia who was turned around and sent back down the tunnel after his foul on Neil Summers had sparked off a battle that spilled over on to the substitutes' benches.

Paul Medley, who had already been substituted by Bradford, joined in and became a rare case of a player dismissed from a match while sitting on the sidelines.

Pongia will face an international disciplinary meeting today and New Zealand can ill-afford to lose him, especially with Tawera Nikau also facing a possible suspension.

The late flare-up overshadowed a fine performance from Bradford, who coped far better with conditions. The Great Britain scrum- half, Deryck Fox, who finished with four goals and a drop goal, created the first try with a clever grubber kick to the corner for Brimah Kebbie.

New Zealand must already be tiring of the sight of Gerald Cordle, who scored twice against them for Wales on Sunday, then crashed over again last night.

The substitute Daryl Halligan chipped away at Bradford's lead with three penalties, but Bradford had chances to make their victory more convincing before the outbreak of violent hostilities.

When tempers cooled, Fox's drop goal and penalty added a calm footnote to the drama.

Bradford Northern: Watson; Cordle, McGowan, Shelford, Kebbie; Summers, Fox; Grayshon, Clark, Hamer, R Powell, Medley, Fairbank. Substitutes: Mumby for Fairbank, 60; Greenwood for Medley, 60; Winterburn for Grayshon, 60; D Powell for McGowan, 64.

NEW ZEALAND: P Edwards (Wellington); Donnelly (St George), Harding (Canterbury), Williams (Canterbury-Bankstown), Taewa (Canterbury); Nixon (Canterbury), Whittaker (Canterbury); Piva (Wellington), Johnston (Wellington), Lowrie (Eastern Suburbs), Angell (Canterbury), D Lomax (Wellington), L Edwards (Canterbury). Substitutes: Halligan (North Sydney) for P Edwards, 18; Johnson (Canterbury) for Piva, 60; Pongia (Canberra) for Angell, 63; Freeman (Penryth) for Whittaker, 63.

Referee: R Smith (Castleford).

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