1986 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France

The 1986 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France was the sixteenth Kangaroo tour in which the Australian national rugby league team (known as the Winfield Kangaroos due to sponsorship) plays a number of tour matches against British and French teams, in addition to the Test matches. The next Kangaroo tour was staged in 1990.

Australia continued its dominance, easily winning both Test series against Great Britain and France as well as defeating Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby on the way to England, going through the entire tour undefeated in a repeat of the 1982 Invincibles' tour which saw the 1986 team became known as "The Unbeatables". In twenty matches they scored 136 tries and conceded only 16, posting 738 points for and 126 against.[1] Terry Lamb became the first player to appear in every match on a Kangaroo Tour.

The team was coached by 1956/57 Kangaroo tourist Don Furner, who also coached the Canberra Raiders in the NSWRL that year. The squad was captained by Queensland captain Wally Lewis, the first time a Queensland based player had captained a Kangaroo tour since Tom Gorman led the 1929–30 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain. Peter Sterling was named as the tour's vice-captain, while the tour managers were Gordon Treichel and John Fleming.

National Panasonic put up AU$5,000 worth of products for the Australian player who voted as player of the tour. Team sponsor Winfield also put up $1,000 for the Australian player judged the player of the match for each Test match played on the tour.

Squad

Of the 28 players selected to go on the tour 23 were from clubs of the New South Wales Rugby League and 5 were from clubs of the Brisbane Rugby League. This was the last time players from the Queensland-based competition were selected for a Kangaroo tour.

There were a couple of notable omissions from the touring team. Parramatta Eels test winger Eric Grothe had originally been selected in the side and even had pre-tour publicity photos taken with the rest of the team. However he was ruled out late with the recurrence of a knee injury and his place was taken by young Penrith halfback Greg Alexander. The other was regular Australian vice-captain Wayne Pearce who had ruptured his Anterior cruciate ligament during the 1986 Trans-Tasman Test series against New Zealand in July. Despite an intense rehabilitation program, and being passed as fit by his surgeon, Dr Merv Cross, Pearce was ruled out of the tour by team medico Dr Bill Monoghan after a pre-tour team physical conducted at Redfern Oval in Sydney.

Surprisingly, the 1986 NSWRL Winfield Cup premiers Parramatta only supplied two players to the Kangaroos squad (vice-captain Peter Sterling and Brett Kenny). Conversely, the 1986 Brisbane premiers Wynnum-Manly supplied four players to the squad (captain Wally Lewis, Greg Dowling, Bob Lindner and Gene Miles). With the exception of Dowling who did not play the pre-tour test against Papua New Guinea, all six 1986 premiership winners played in each test on the tour.

NOTE: Statistics only show games in Great Britain and France and do not include the test against Papua New Guinea

Player Club Position(s) Games (sub) Tests (sub) Tries Goals Points
Greg Alexander Penrith Panthers Halfback 9 (1) - 10 5 50
Gary Belcher Canberra Raiders Fullback 10 - 6 0 24
Martin Bella North Sydney Bears Prop 8 (2) - 1 0 4
Noel Cleal Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Second-row 7 2 3 0 12
Phil Daley Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Prop 7 - 0 0 0
Les Davidson South Sydney Rabbitohs Prop, Second-row 14 3 (2) 0 0 0
Greg Dowling Wynnum-Manly Seagulls (Qld) Prop 11 5 1 0 4
Paul Dunn Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Prop, Second-row 11 4 0 0 0
Ben Elias Balmain Tigers Hooker 10 - 3 0 12
Steve Folkes Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Second-row 6 1 1 0 4
Des Hasler Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Halfback, Lock 8 - 4 0 16
Garry Jack Balmain Tigers Fullback 12 5 12 0 48
Brett Kenny Parramatta Eels Five-eighth, Centre 14 5 8 0 32
Les Kiss North Sydney Bears Wing 4 1 1 0 4
Terry Lamb Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Five-eighth 20 5 (5) 19 20 116
Paul Langmack Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Lock 10 - 3 0 12
Wally Lewis (c) Wynnum-Manly Seagulls (Qld) Five-eighth 11 5 6 0 24
Bob Lindner Wynnum-Manly Seagulls (Qld) Lock, Second-row 10 5 6 0 24
Mal Meninga Canberra Raiders Centre, Second-row 13 3 (2) 9 7 50
Gene Miles Wynnum-Manly Seagulls (Qld) Centre 13 5 8 0 32
Chris Mortimer Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Centre, Wing 9 - 4 0 32
Bryan Niebling Redcliffe Dolphins (Qld) Second-row, Prop 10 5 2 0 8
Michael O'Connor St George Dragons Centre, Wing 14 5 13 59 170
Steve Roach Balmain Tigers Prop 8 1 3 0 12
Dale Shearer Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Wing, Centre, Fullback 13 4 12 0 48
Royce Simmons Penrith Panthers Hooker 10 5 1 0 4
Paul Sironen Balmain Tigers Second-row 10 1 0 0 0
Peter Sterling (vc) Parramatta Eels Halfback 10 5 3 0 12

By Club

The touring side was represented by 18 New South Welshmen (N) and 10 Queenslanders (Q).

Papua New Guinea

Before flying to England, the Kangaroos played their second ever Test against Papua New Guinea at the Lloyd Robson Oval in Port Moresby on 4 October. In front of 17,000 fans (still the record attendance for the venue as of 2017), the Wally Lewis led Kangaroos defeated the Kumuls 62–12. Reserve Australian forward Paul Sironen made his test debut in the game.

4 October 1986
Papua New Guinea  12 – 62  Australia
Tries:
Bal Numapo (2)








Goals:
Dairi Kovae (2/2)
[2] Tries:
Noel Cleal (2)
Les Kiss (2)
Michael O'Connor (2)
Garry Jack
Des Hasler
Wally Lewis
Bob Lindner
Chris Mortimer
Steve Roach
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (7/12)
Lloyd Robson Oval, Port Moresby
Attendance: 17,000
Referee: Neville Kesha
Papua New Guinea
Australia
FB1Dairi Kovae
RW2Joe Katsir
RC3Lauta Atoi
LC4Bal Numapo
LW5Mafu Kerekere
FE6Daruis Haili
HB7Tony Kila (c)
PR8Joe Tep
HK9Roy Heni
PR10Ati Lomutopa
SR11Bobby Ako
SR12Bernard Waketsi
LK13Arebo Taumaku
Substitutions:
IC14Kepi Saea
IC15Noah Andy
Coach:
Barry Wilson
FB1 Garry Jack
LW2 Michael O'Connor
RC3 Gene Miles
LC4 Chris Mortimer
RW5 Les Kiss
FE6 Wally Lewis (c)
HB7 Des Hasler
PR8 Steve Roach
HK9 Royce Simmons
PR10 Bryan Niebling
SR11 Paul Dunn
SR12 Noel Cleal
LF13 Bob Lindner
Substitutions:
IC14 Mal Meninga
IC15 Paul Sironen
Coach:
Don Furner

Great Britain

The Kangaroos played 13 games in England, including the three Ashes tests against Great Britain. Australia kept alive its streak of not having lost to an English club or provincial team since 1978. The English leg of the tour drew a total of 212,068 fans to the 13 games (including the three tests).

Test Venues

The three Ashes series tests took place at the following venues.

Manchester Leeds Wigan
Old Trafford Elland Road Central Park
Capacity: 51,000 Capacity: 32,500 Capacity: 30,000

Sunday, 12 October
Wigan 18 – 26 Australia
Tries:
Dean Bell, Shaun Edwards, Joe Lydon
Goals:
Henderson Gill (3/4)
[3] Tries:
Michael O'Connor, Peter Sterling, Noel Cleal, Wally Lewis, Les Kiss
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (3/5)
Central Park, Wigan
Attendance: 30,622
Referee: John Holdsworth
Man of the Match: Bryan Niebling
Wigan
Australia
FB1Steve Hampson
RW2Dean Bell
CE3David Stephenson
CE4Joe Lydon
LW5Henderson Gill
SO6Shaun Edwards
SH7Mike Ford
PR8Graeme West (c)
HK9Martin Dermott
PR10Brian Case
SR11Ian Roberts
SR12Ian Potter
LF13Andy Goodway
Substitutions:
IC14Nick Du Toit
IC15Rob Louw
Coach:
Graham Lowe
FB1 Garry Jack
LW2 Michael O'Connor
CE3 Gene Miles
CE4 Brett Kenny
RW5 Les Kiss
FE6 Wally Lewis (c)
HB7 Peter Sterling
PR8 Steve Roach
HK9 Royce Simmons
PR10 Bryan Niebling
SR11 Paul Sironen
SR12 Noel Cleal
LK13 Bob Lindner
Substitutions:
IC14 Terry Lamb
IC15 Les Davidson
Coach:
Don Furner

The Kangaroos led 16-2 at half time in front of 30,622 fans (the record for a Wigan vs Australia match on a Kangaroo Tour) in the tour opener at Wigan (more than 10,000 than would attend the dead rubber 3rd test at the same ground some 6 weeks later). A fightback in the second half by the home side saw them close the game to just 8 points at full time.[4]

The attendance at this game (30,622) was the largest crowd the Kangaroos had played in front of in England since 30,604 attended the 3rd Ashes Test at Headingley on the 1978 Kangaroo tour. It was also the highest ever tour game attendance against Wigan beating the 28,554 who attended the match at Central Park between Wigan and the 1948–49 Kangaroos captained by Clive Churchill.


Wednesday, 15 October
Hull Kingston Rovers 10 – 46 Australia
Tries:
Kerry Boustead
Goals:
John Dorahy (3)
[5] Tries:
Terry Lamb (5), Ben Elias (2), Paul Langmack, Chris Mortimer
Goals:
Terry Lamb (3)
Mal Meninga (2)
Craven Park, Hull
Attendance: 6,868
Referee: Gerry Kershaw
Man of the Match: Terry Lamb
Hull KR
Australia
FB1George Fairbairn (c)
RW2Garry Clark
CE3John Dorahy
CE4Kerry Boustead
LW5David Laws
SO6Mike Smith
SH7Wayne Parker
PR8Mark Broadhurst
HK9Chris Rudd
PR10Asuquo Ema
SR11Andy Kelly
SR12Des Harrison
LF13Paul Speckman
Substitutions:
IC14Ray Stead
IC15Dave Busby
Coach:
Roger Millward
FB1 Gary Belcher
LW2 Chris Mortimer
CE3 Gene Miles
CE4 Mal Meninga
RW5 Dale Shearer
FE6 Terry Lamb
HB7 Des Hasler
PR8 Greg Dowling
HK9 Benny Elias (c)
PR10 Martin Bella
SR11 Steve Folkes
SR12 Paul Dunn
LK13 Paul Langmack
Substitutions:
IC14 Greg Alexander
IC15 Les Davidson
Coach:
Don Furner

All of Hull KR's points were scored by Australian's. Former Wests, Manly and Illawarra back John Dorahy kicked 3 goals for the Robins while 1978 and 1982 Kangaroo tourist and 25 test veteran Kerry Boustead scored the only try for the home team with all 10 points coming in the first half. For the Kangaroos, Terry Lamb crossed for 5 of the teams 9 tries. Australian halfback Des Hasler broke his hand in the first half and was replaced by Greg Alexander. Hasler's injury would keep him out of action for a month and he would not return to the field until the 11th game of the tour against Hull F.C. at The Boulevard.

For the match at Craven Park, Kangaroo tour broadcaster Network Ten had to hire extra lighting to bring the lights up to broadcasting standard. It would become a common theme and problem during tour games for Ten with all bar the Ashes tests and the games against Wigan, Leeds and Hull F.C. being played at night at grounds where the lighting was usually not up to broadcast standard.[6]


Sunday, 19 October
Leeds 0 – 40 Australia
Tries:

Goals:
David Creasser (0/1)
[7] Tries:
Michael O'Connor (2), Wally Lewis (2), Garry Jack, Noel Cleal, Greg Dowling, Brett Kenny
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (4/8)
Headingley, Leeds
Attendance: 11,389
Referee: Robin Whitfield
Leeds
Australia
FB1Paul Gill
RW2David Creasser
CE3Andrew Ettingshausen
CE4Mark McGaw
LW5Norman Francis
SO6John Holmes
SH7Andy Gascoigne
PR8Jeff Grayshon
HK9Bob Morris
PR10Peter Smith
SR11Phil Owen
SR12Gary Price
LF13David Heron (c)
Substitutions:
IC14Paul Medley
IC15Trevor Skerrett
Coach:
Peter Fox
FB1 Garry Jack
RW2 Les Kiss
CE3 Brett Kenny
CE4 Gene Miles
LW5 Michael O'Connor
FE6 Wally Lewis (c)
HB7 Peter Sterling
PR8 Steve Roach
HK9 Royce Simmons
PR10 Bryan Niebling
SR11 Paul Sironen
SR12 Noel Cleal
LK13 Bob Lindner
Substitutions:
IC14 Terry Lamb
IC15 Greg Dowling
Coach:
Don Furner

Leeds were unlucky not to be awarded a try midway through the second half after it appeared that replacement forward Trevor Skerrett had managed to get the ball down after good lead up work by former Great Britain international Jeff Greyshon. However an un-sighted referee Whitfield ruled that Skerrett had been held up in-goal. Leeds only other scoring opportunity came in the first half but young winger David Creasser missed a relatively simple penalty kick from in front of the posts. Leeds' centre pairing for the game were Cronulla-Sutherland imports Andrew Ettingshausen and Mark McGaw who would play against Leeds for Australia on the 1990 Kangaroo tour.[8]


Tuesday, 21 October
Cumbria 12 – 48 Australia
Tries:
Graeme Cameron, Les Holliday
Goals:
Graeme Cameron (2)
[9] Tries:
Greg Alexander (3), Terry Lamb (3), Dale Shearer (2), Gary Belcher, Mal Meninga
Goals:
Terry Lamb (3)
Michael O'Connor (1)
Craven Park, Barrow-in-Furness
Attendance: 4,233
Referee: John McDonald
Man of the Match: Les Davidson
Cumbria
Australia
FB1 Gary Smith
RW2 Michael James
CE3 Kevin Pape
CE4 Tony Kay
LW5 David Beck
SO6 Graeme Cameron (c)
SH7 David Cairns
PR8 David Kendall
HK9 Colin Falcon
PR10 Jeff Simpson
SR11 Stephen Mossop
SR12 Les Holliday
LF13 Milton Huddart
Substitutions:
IC14 Norman Lofthouse
IC15 Bill Pattison
Coach:
FB1 Gary Belcher
RW2 Dale Shearer
CE3 Chris Mortimer
CE4 Mal Meninga
LW5 Michael O'Connor
FE6 Terry Lamb
HB7 Greg Alexander
PR8 Phil Daley
HK9 Benny Elias (c)
PR10 Martin Bella
SR11 Paul Dunn
SR12 Les Davidson
LK13 Paul Langmack
Substitutions:
IC14 Paul Sironen
IC15
Coach:
Don Furner

The Kangaroos only match against a full county lineup was played in front of the English leg's smallest crowd of just 4,233 at Craven Park in Barrow-in-Furness. As of 2017 this would be the 11th last game the Kangaroos played at the home of the Barrow club.


The Ashes

1st Ashes Test

The crowd of 50,583 for the first Test at the Old Trafford ground in Manchester, set a record for an international match on British soil, beating the previous record of 42,685 for an England vs New Zealand test at the Odsal Stadium in Bradford in 1947.[10][11] The Ashes series against Great Britain saw an aggregate Ashes series crowd of 101,560 attending the three Tests, though this fell short of the record aggregate attendance of 114,883 set during the 1948–49 Kangaroo tour.[12][13]

Saturday, 25 October 1986
Great Britain  16 – 38  Australia
Tries:
Garry Schofield
Joe Lydon
Tony Marchant
Goals:
Lee Crooks (1/3)
Henderson Gill (1/1)
[14] Tries:
Gene Miles (3)
Michael O'Connor (3)
Garry Jack
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (5/9)
Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 50,583
Referee: Julien Rascagneres
Man of the Match: Wally Lewis
Great Britain
Australia
FB1 Joe Lydon
RW2 Tony Marchant
RC3 Garry Schofield
LC4 Ellery Hanley
LW5 Henderson Gill
SO6 Tony Myler
SH7 Deryck Fox
PR8 Kevin Ward
HK9 David Watkinson (c)
PR10 John Fieldhouse
SR11 Lee Crooks
SR12 Ian Potter
LK13 Andy Goodway
Substitutions:
IC14 Shaun Edwards
IC15 Andy Platt
Coach:
Maurice Bamford
FB1 Garry Jack
LW2 Michael O'Connor
RC3 Brett Kenny
LC4 Gene Miles
RW5 Les Kiss
FE6 Wally Lewis (c)
HB7 Peter Sterling
PR8 Greg Dowling
HK9 Royce Simmons
PR10 Steve Roach
SR11 Noel Cleal
SR12 Bryan Niebling
LF13 Bob Lindner
Substitutions:
IC14 Terry Lamb
IC15 Mal Meninga
Coach:
Don Furner

The Kangaroos began their Ashes defence in a blaze of glory. Wet and windy conditions were the order of the day at Old Trafford as Gene Miles (who completely out-played Ellery Hanley) and Michael O'Connor crossed for 3 tries each. O'Connor also contributed 5 goals in the tricky conditions for a personal haul of 22 points as the Australian's took a 1-0 series lead with a convincing 38-16 win. Although soundly beaten, the Lions gave their fans something to cheer in the second half by providing something of a fightback, culminating in Joe Lydon sprinting 60 metres and out-pacing Garry Jack to score in the corner. Lydon's try created Ashes history as it was the first time in 97 tests between the two sides that a British fullback had scored a try.


Wednesday, 29 October
Halifax 2 – 36 Australia
Tries:

Goals:
Colin Whitfield (1/3)
[15] Tries:
Greg Alexander (2), Terry Lamb (2), Gary Belcher, Brett Kenny, Mal Meninga
Goals:
Terry Lamb (4/7)
Thrum Hall, Halifax
Attendance: 7,193
Referee: Mick Beaumont
Man of the Match: Greg Alexander
Halifax
Australia
FB1Graham Eadie
RW2Scott Wilson
CE3Colin Whitfield
CE4Chris Anderson (c)
LW5Steve Smith
SO6Neil Hague
SH7Gary Stephens
PR8Keith Neller
HK9Chris Preece
PR10Brian Juliff
SR11Peter Bell
SR12Paul Dixon
LF13Grant Rix
Substitutions:
IC14Eddie Riddlesden
IC15
Coach:
Chris Anderson
FB1 Gary Belcher
RW2 Brett Kenny
CE3 Chris Mortimer
CE4 Mal Meninga
LW5 Noel Cleal
FE6 Terry Lamb
HB7 Greg Alexander
PR8 Paul Dunn
HK9 Benny Elias (c)
PR10 Martin Bella
SR11 Paul Sironen
SR12 Les Davidson
LK13 Paul Langmack
Substitutions:
IC14 Michael O'Connor
IC15
Coach:
Don Furner

This game saw Don Furner play a couple of players out of position with Brett Kenny and Noel Cleal on the wings.


Sunday, 2 November
St. Helens 8 – 32 Australia
Tries:

Goals:
Paul Loughlin (4)
[16] Tries:
Dale Shearer (2), Noel Cleal, Mal Meninga, Gene Miles, Bryan Niebling
Goals:
Mal Meninga (3)
Terry Lamb (1)
Knowsley Road, St. Helens
Attendance: 15,381
Referee: Fred Lindop
St Helens
Australia
FB1Phil Veivers
RW2Barry Ledger
CE3Paul Loughlin
CE4Steve Halliwell
LW5Kevin McCormack
SO6Brett Clark
SH7Neil Holding (c)
PR8Tony Burke
HK9Graham Liptrot
PR10Paul Forber
SR11Roy Heggerty
SR12Andy Platt
LF13Chris Arkwright
Substitutions:
IC14Shaun Allen
IC15Paul Round
Coach:
Alex Murphy
FB1 Garry Jack
RW2 Dale Shearer
CE3 Brett Kenny
CE4 Gene Miles
LW5 Mal Meninga
FE6 Wally Lewis (c)
HB7 Peter Sterling
PR8 Greg Dowling
HK9 Royce Simmons
PR10 Steve Roach
SR11 Noel Cleal
SR12 Bryan Neibling
LK13 Bob Lindner
Substitutions:
IC14 Terry Lamb
IC15 Paul Dunn
Coach:
Don Furner

With the exception of Mal Meninga on the wing in place of a resting Michael O'Connor (Meninga had played for St Helens in 1984–85 and remained a crowd favourite at Knowsley Road), the Kangaroos played with the expected 2nd Test line up. Dale Shearer had replaced the injured Les Kiss on the wing and highlighted his return to the top side with a 70-metre intercept try in the first half that in effect gave a clean bill of health to a previously injured groin muscle.

Steve Roach's tour effectively ended after dislocating his elbow during the match which would see Don Furner use Paul Dunn in the front row for the second test.


Tuesday, 4 November
Oldham 16 – 22 Australia
Tries:
Colin Hawkyard, Des Foy
Goals:
Mick Worrall (3/5)
David Hobbs (1/1)
[17] Tries:
Terry Lamb (2), Ben Elias, Greg Alexander
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (3/6)
Mal Meninga (0/1)
The Watersheddings, Oldham
Attendance: 5,678
Referee: Mick Beaumont
Oldham
Australia
FB1Jeff Edwards
RW2Paul Sherman
CE3Des Foy
CE4Gary Warnecke
LW5Hussein M'Barki
SO6David Topliss (c)
SH7Ray Ashton
PR8Bruce Clark
HK9Terry Flanagan
PR10Neil Clawson
SR11David Hobbs
SR12Mick Worrall
LF13Stuart Raper
Substitutions:
IC14Colin Hawkyard
IC15Tony Nadiole
Coach:
Frank Myler
FB1 Gary Belcher
RW2 Dale Shearer
CE3 Chris Mortimer
CE4 Mal Meninga
LW5 Michael O'Connor
FE6 Terry Lamb
HB7 Greg Alexander
PR8 Phil Daley
HK9 Benny Elias (c)
PR10 Martin Bella
SR11 Steve Folkes
SR12 Les Davidson
LK13 Paul Langmack
Substitutions:
IC14 Paul Sironen
IC15
Coach:
Don Furner

Oldham put up a spirited display against the Kangaroos before going down by the closest score of the tour, 22–16. This would be the last time the touring Kangaroos would play Oldham.


2nd Ashes Test

Great Britain coach Maurice Bamford surprisingly made only one change to the team that had lost heavily in Manchester. Centre Ellery Hanley was ruled out through injury and replaced by St. Helens winger Barry Ledger, with Tony Marchant moving from the wing to partner Garry Schofield in the centres. Bamford came in for heavy criticism from former Great Britain and England internationals for his selections. For the Kangaroos, Dale Shearer made his return to the Test team replacing the injured Les Kiss on the wing, while Canterbury-Bankstown forward Paul Dunn returned to the team in the front row replacing Steve Roach who had dislocated his elbow in the win over St. Helens.

Saturday, 8 November 1986
Great Britain  4 – 34  Australia
Tries:
Garry Schofield




Goals:
Lee Crooks (0/1)
[18] Tries:
Garry Jack (2)
Bob Lindner
Michael O'Connor
Wally Lewis
Brett Kenny
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (5/8)
Elland Road, Leeds
Attendance: 30,808
Referee: Julien Rascagneres
Man of the Match: Noel Cleal
Great Britain
Australia
FB1 Joe Lydon
RW2 Barry Ledger
RC3 Garry Schofield
LC4 Tony Marchant
LW5 Henderson Gill
SO6 Tony Myler
SH7 Deryck Fox
PR8 Kevin Ward
HK9 David Watkinson (c)
PR10 John Fieldhouse
SR11 Lee Crooks
SR12 Ian Potter
LK13 Andy Goodway
Substitutions:
IC14 Shaun Edwards
IC15 Andy Platt
Coach:
Maurice Bamford
FB1 Garry Jack
LW2 Michael O'Connor
RC3 Brett Kenny
LC4 Gene Miles
RW5 Dale Shearer
FE6 Wally Lewis (c)
HB7 Peter Sterling
PR8 Greg Dowling
HK9 Royce Simmons
PR10 Paul Dunn
SR11 Noel Cleal
SR12 Bryan Niebling
LF13 Bob Lindner
Substitutions:
IC14 Terry Lamb
IC15 Mal Meninga
Coach:
Don Furner

After an even start, during which the Lions had made a couple of line breaks that had the Australian defence scrambling, the Kangaroos ran riot in the second Test, wrapping up The Ashes with a six tries to one, 34-4 win in front of 30,808 at Elland Road. The Lions only try came late in the game. Australia led 34-0 when Kangaroos fullback Garry Jack, who had scored two tries, pushed a pass 10 metres from his line to Michael O'Connor. The Aussie winger dropped the ball (which was bullet like and at his knees) and it was pounced upon by Schofield who scored only 15 metres wide of the posts. Lee Crooks missed the relatively easy conversion of his teams only try, summing up the Lions day. Such was the Kangaroos dominance that this was the only kick at goal the Lions managed throughout the match.

Bob Lindner scored the opening try of the game after backing up a strong burst up the middle by Noel Cleal. O'Connor converted the try and was also next to score after taking a cut-out pass from Peter Sterling near his own quarter line. After racing around the Lions defence, O'Connor kicked ahead as Joe Lydon loomed and easily won the 55 metre race to the ball for the try. He converted his own try to give Australia a 12-0 lead which they took into half time. The floodgates opened in the second though and the Kangaroos blew the Lions away with a powerful performance. Two tries to Garry Jack and one each to Wally Lewis and Brett Kenny saw Australia leading 34-0 before Schofield's try at least gave the crowd something to cheer. Before Kenny's try with the score at 28-0, the crowd, far from impressed with the Lions performance, had even begun to chant "What a load of rubbish" (clearly audible on the television coverage) and were actually applauding the Kangaroos open style of play.

In his television commentary of the game, former Australian dual-rugby international and 1959-60 Kangaroo tour vice-captain Rex Mossop summed up the game when calling Brett Kenny's try, stating that "Australia carved them up. They've decimated, dissected and absolutely diabolically destroyed this Great Britain side today".


Wednesday, 12 November
Widnes 4 – 20 Australia
Tries:

Goals:
Mick Burke (2)
[19] Tries:
Greg Alexander, Martin Bella, Chris Mortimer
Goals:
Terry Lamb (2)
Mal Meninga (2)
Naughton Park, Widnes
Attendance: 10,268
Referee: Geoff Berry
Widnes
Australia
FB1Mick Burke
RW2Dave Moran
CE3Darren Wright
CE4Barry Dowd
LW5John Basnett
SO6Tony Myler (c)
SH7David Hulme
PR8Steve O'Neill
HK9Phil McKenzie
PR10Mike O'Neill
SR11Richard Eyres
SR12Paul Hulme
LF13Harry Pinner
Substitutions:
IC14
IC15
Coach:
Doug Laughton
FB1 Gary Belcher
RW2 Dale Shearer
CE3 Chris Mortimer
CE4 Mal Meninga
LW5 Les Kiss
FE6 Terry Lamb
HB7 Greg Alexander
PR8 Les Davidson
HK9 Benny Elias (c)
PR10 Martin Bella
SR11 Paul Sironen
SR12 Steve Folkes
LK13 Paul Langmack
Substitutions:
IC14 Brett Kenny
IC15 Phil Daley
Coach:
Don Furner

Sunday, 16 November
Hull F.C. 0 – 48 Australia
Tries:

Goals:
[20] Tries:
Terry Lamb (2), Des Hasler (2), Peter Sterling, Mal Meninga, Gene Miles, Garry Jack, Dale Shearer
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (6)
The Boulevard, Hull
Attendance: 8,231
Referee: John McDonald
Hull F.C.
Australia
FB1Gary Kemble
RW2Paul Eastwood
CE3Dane O'Hara
CE4Stewart Vass
LW5Carl McCoid
SO6Fred Ah Kuoi
SH7Phil Windley
PR8Dave Brown
HK9Steve Crooks
PR10Andy Dannatt
SR11Steve Norton
SR12Lee Crooks (c)
LF13Tracy Lazenby
Substitutions:
IC14Gary Pearce
IC15Jon Sharp
Coach:
Len Casey
FB1 Garry Jack
RW2 Dale Shearer
CE3 Gene Miles
CE4 Mal Meninga
LW5 Michael O'Connor
FE6 Terry Lamb
HB7 Peter Sterling (c)
PR8 Les Davidson
HK9 Royce Simmons
PR10 Phil Daley
SR11 Noel Cleal
SR12 Bryan Neibling
LK13 Paul Langmack
Substitutions:
IC14 Des Hasler
IC15 Les Davidson
Coach:
Don Furner

Kangaroos second rower Noel Cleal broke his arm in the game against Hull which ended his tour. Peter Sterling, who had played for Hull during the 1984–85 English season and led them to the Challenge Cup Final, was given the honour of captaining the Kangaroos against his former club. After breaking his thumb during the first half of the second tour game against Hull Kingston Rovers at Craven Park, Des Hasler returned to the side off the bench and scored two tries.


Tuesday, 18 November
Bradford Northern 0 – 38 Australia
Tries:

Goals:
[21] Tries:
Bob Lindner, Greg Alexander, Chris Mortimer, Wally Lewis, Mal Meninga, Terry Lamb, Brett Kenny
Goals:
Greg Alexander (5)
Odsal Stadium, Bradford
Attendance: 10,633
Referee: Derek Fox
Bradford Northern
Australia
FB1Keith Mumby (c)
RW2Phil Ford
CE3Steve Donlan
CE4Phil Hellewell
LW5Roger Simpson
SO6John Woods
SH7Terry Holmes
PR8Ian Howcroft
HK9Gary Brentley
PR10Mario Fenech
SR11Dick Jasiewicz
SR12Karl Fairbank
LF13Mal Graham
Substitutions:
IC14Brian Noble
IC15Ian Sherratt
Coach:
Barry Seabourne
FB1 Gary Belcher
LW2 Greg Alexander
CE3 Brett Kenny
CE4 Chris Mortimer
RW5 Dale Shearer
FE6 Wally Lewis (c)
HB7 Des Hasler
PR8 Paul Dunn
HK9 Royce Simmons
PR10 Martin Bella
SR11 Les Davidson
SR12 Paul Sironen
LK13 Bob Lindner
Substitutions:
IC14 Terry Lamb
IC15 Mal Meninga
Coach:
Don Furner

This match was played in heavy rain and fog. The match saw the most even spread of Australia's "Kangaroos" and "Emu's" (midweek) teams on the tour with 7 non-test and 8 test players in the selected XV.


3rd Ashes Test

This match also counted as part of the 1985–88 Rugby League World Cup and was the only match of the series played at a regular rugby league ground, the first two Tests having been played in soccer stadiums to take advantage of the greater spectator capacity. It was also the last Ashes Test in England played at a club home ground until the 2001 Kangaroo tour.

The only Australian team change from the second Test win was Mal Meninga coming off the bench into the second row to replace the injured Noel Cleal (broken arm) with South Sydney forward Les Davidson named on the bench in his Test debut. With the loss of Cleal, Australian coach Don Furner was mulling over who to replace him with when team captain Wally Lewis suggested moving Meninga to the back row, reasoning that there would be little disruption to the team as both Mal and "Crusher" Cleal were roughly the same size and were fast, skilled players who played a similar style of game. After heavy criticism of his selections for the first two tests from a number of former Great Britain internationals, Maurice Bamford made five changes to the Lions with the recall of halfback Andy Gregory, centre David Stephenson, winger John Basnett and back rowers Chris Burton and Harry Pinner.

Saturday, 22 November 1986
Great Britain  15 – 24  Australia
Tries:
Garry Schofield (2)



Goals:
Joe Lydon (2/3)
Henderson Gill (1/1)
Field Goals:
Garry Schofield (1)
[22] Tries:
Gene Miles
Bob Lindner
Dale Shearer
Wally Lewis
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (4/5)
Central Park, Wigan
Attendance: 20,169
Referee: Julien Rascagneres
Man of the Match: Paul Dunn
Great Britain
Australia
FB1 Joe Lydon
LW2 Henderson Gill
RC3 Garry Schofield
LC4 David Stephenson
RW5 John Basnett
SO6 Tony Myler
SH7 Andy Gregory
PR8 Kevin Ward
HK9 David Watkinson (c)
PR10 Lee Crooks
SR11 Chris Burton
SR12 Andy Goodway
LK13 Ian Potter
Substitutions:
IC14 Shaun Edwards
IC15 Ian Potter
Coach:
Maurice Bamford
FB1 Garry Jack
LW2 Michael O'Connor
RC3 Brett Kenny
LC4 Gene Miles
RW5 Dale Shearer
FE6 Wally Lewis (c)
HB7 Peter Sterling
PR8 Greg Dowling
HK9 Royce Simmons
PR10 Paul Dunn
SR11 Mal Meninga
SR12 Bryan Niebling
LF13 Bob Lindner
Substitutions:
IC14 Terry Lamb
IC15 Les Davidson
Coach:
Don Furner

As with the 1982 Ashes series, the third Test was the most genuinely contested of the Tests played, with the Lions putting in a much improved performance. Centre Gene Miles opened the scoring in the early minutes of the game, with lock forward Bob Lindner also scoring soon after. Successful conversions by Michael O'Connor saw the Kangaroos lead 12-0 after just 15 minutes and another rout looked on the cards. However, the Lions dug deep and tries to Garry Schofield either side of half time saw the game tied at 12-all with the Lions looking like winners for the first time in the series. The game was in the balance until French referee Julien Rascagneres awarded a penalty try to Australian winger Dale Shearer after he was illegally tackled by his opposite John Basnett when both were chasing the ball which Shearer had kicked downfield. A penalty goal to Joe Lydon and a field goal by Schofield reduced the deficit to 18-15, but Wally Lewis then put the result beyond doubt with a try after bamboozling the Lions defence with two dummies near the sideline before racing around to score beside the posts.

France

Wednesday, 26 November
President's XIII 4 – 36 Australia
Parc des Princes, Paris
Attendance: 800

First Test

Sunday, 30 November 1986
France  2 – 44  Australia
Tries:




Goals:
Gilles Dumas (1/2)
[23] Tries:
Michael O'Connor (3)
Bob Lindner (2)
Gene Miles (2)
Garry Jack
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (4/9)
Stade Gilbert Brutus, Perpignan
Attendance: 6,000
Referee: Fred Lindop
Man of the Match: Michael O'Connor
France
Australia
FB1Gilles Dumas
RW2Didier Couston
RC3Roger Palisses
LC4Alain Maury
LW5Hugues Ratier
SO6Dominique Espugna
SH7Patrick Entat
PR8Max Chantal
HK9Thierry Bernabe
PR10Jean-Luc Rabot
SR11Guy Laforgue (c)
SR12Serge Titeux
LK13Daniel Verdes
Substitutions:
IC14Serge Bret
IC15Francis Laforgue
Coach:
FB1 Garry Jack
RW2 Dale Shearer
RC3 Brett Kenny
LC4 Gene Miles
LW5 Michael O'Connor
FE6 Wally Lewis (c)
HB7 Peter Sterling
PR8 Greg Dowling
HK9 Royce Simmons
PR10 Paul Dunn
SR11 Les Davidson
SR12 Bryan Niebling
LF13 Bob Lindner
Substitutions:
IC14 Terry Lamb
IC15 Paul Sironen
Coach:
Don Furner

Wednesday, 3 December
Le Pontet XIII 5 – 42 Australia
[24]
Stade de Fargues, Avignon
Attendance: 2,500

Friday, 5 December
Midi-Pyrénées XIII 2 – 12 Australia
[25]
Stade des Minimes, Toulouse
Attendance: 1,500

Sunday, 7 December
France B 0 – 50 Australia
[26]
Stade Municipal d'Albi, Albi
Attendance: 2,000

Wednesday, 10 December
Aquitaine 8 – 50 Australia
[27]

Second Test

Australia's win over France in the final match of the tour, which counted as part of the ongoing 1985-88 World Cup tournament, was a record margin for a Test match.[28][29]

Saturday, 13 December
France  0 – 52  Australia
Tries:





Goals:
[30] Tries:
Dale Shearer (4)
Garry Jack (3)
Steve Folkes
Bryan Niebling
Michael O'Connor
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (6/10)
Stade d'Albert Domec, Carcassonne
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: Fred Lindop
Man of the Match: Dale Shearer
France
Australia
FB1Patrick Wosniak
RW2Sebastian Rodriguez
RC3Philippe Fourquet
LC4Francis Laforgue
LW5Hugues Ratier
SO6Roger Palisses
SH7Christian Scicchitano
PR8Max Chantal
HK9Thierry Bernabe
PR10Serge Titeux
SR11Guy Laforgue (c)
SR12Daniel Verdes
LK13Philippe Gestas
Substitutions:
IC14Gilles Dumas
IC15Yves Storer
Coach:
FB1 Garry Jack
RW2 Dale Shearer
RC3 Brett Kenny
LC4 Gene Miles
LW5 Michael O'Connor
FE6 Wally Lewis (c)
HB7 Peter Sterling
PR8 Greg Dowling
HK9 Royce Simmons
PR10 Paul Dunn
SR11 Steve Folkes
SR12 Bryan Niebling
LF13 Bob Lindner
Substitutions:
IC14 Terry Lamb
IC15 Les Davidson
Coach:
Don Furner

Statistics

Leading Try Scorer

Leading Point Scorer

Largest Attendance

Largest Club Game Attendance

References

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