Rugby League: Video trial for McDermott

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The Independent Online
WHISPER it quietly in the north of England, but this breed of Kangaroo could inflict as much damage on the British game as their most illustrious predecessors 12 years ago. The class of '82 won every match on tour, and their successors took 40 minutes at Central Park to dismantle one of the principal barriers to matching that achievement.

In the early, decisive stages of the game, Australia were overwhelmingly superior, playing with a pace and power that recalled the imbalance between the two leading rugby league- playing nations a decade ago.

There could be further damage to Great Britain's cause in the forthcoming Test series tomorrow when the extent of the Wigan prop Kelvin Skerrett's thumb injury is known. He must be rated a doubtful starter for Wembley on 22 October.

There could be repercussions, too, for another Wigan prop in the Test squad. The Australian management are viewing a video of a tackle by Barrie McDermott that saw the tourists' second-row forward Paul Sironen taken off late in the first half with concussion.

'We're looking at the incident on video and if it warrants going to the board, it will,' Australia's coach Bobby Fulton said. 'Under the new rules, we can cite any player in an international match.'

The Australian captain, Mal Meninga, and Fulton were less than impressed with an 8-0 penalty count against them in the second half, which undoubtedly contributed to Wigan's fightback.' I've been here three times on tours and have never complained about the refereeing,' said Fulton. 'But . . . in the second half a job was done on us.'

Wigan blamed themselves for departing from the habits that have kept them on top in the domestic game. Meninga saw it differently. 'We just didn't let them play well,' he said.

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