Unlike their “rah rah”
cousins, the Kangaroos scored a much needed victory over a very determined Great Britain team in woeful
conditions in Wigan on Sunday morning.

The 20-6 final score flattered the tourists – as they
led just 8-6 with five minutes to go. Two late tries blew out the margin,
but didn’t hide the fact that Great Britain turned in a much better
effort than in their defeat to the Kiwis a week earlier.

The Poms now face an uphill, perhaps insurmountable,
task to make the Tri-Nations final. They play the Kiwis next weekend and then
the Kangaroos again – and must win both by substantial margins. Unlikely but not impossible.

Sunday’s conditions did not favour the Kangaroos – a
very wet field, rain, fog and cold. But their defence was superb and the
match resembled one of the more memorable tests of the 50s and 60s. The 8-6
score line would have been a fitting conclusion to a match in which defence was
dominant.

It took the brilliance of captain, Darren Lockyer,
and fullback, Anthony Minichiello, to seal the
win – as I have said before, when the going gets tough, it’s usually the best
who make the difference. And the best Kangaroos in the last couple of years have
been Lockyer and Minichiello.

The best thing about the current Tri-Nations series is
that three main rugby league playing nations are now more evenly matched than
ever. And that is good for a game which has struggled at the international
level because of Australia’s dominance over the last few
decades. Those days are well and truly gone and the Kangaroos
have to earn every win on merit.

In three weeks time it is likely they will face the very
confident Kiwis in the final and if you are planning to travel to the north of
England to watch the game I wouldn’t
be worried about booking your seat before you arrive!

The Kangaroos improved form contrasted with the
Wallabies’ continued poor run. Rugby league fans can expect more stories about rugby
making big offers to the current Kangaroos and State of
Origin
players.

Today’s story concerns the evergreen Ben Kennedy being
approached about joining the Wallabies. Kennedy is in some of the best form of his
career, but he is 31. The Australian Rugby Union is always boasting about its
“development” of the game using its windfall profits from the World
Cup.

In the last year there have been approaches – formal or
otherwise – to Andrew Johns, Sonny Bill Williams, Braith Anasta, Mark Gasnier and more to switch codes. All to no
avail. And when you look at how the Wallabies have been
travelling it’s little wonder that there have been no takers!