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Memorable Matches From The Biff Era

(m28) 1990 Second Rugby League Test, Old Trafford

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Friday, May 04, 2012

1990 Second Rugby League Test, Old Trafford



Get some more beers, or make another coffee, take your time and have some fun.

from Quigs "As mentioned previously, I am not a rugby league historian, a rugby league expert. I am just a lover of this era of Rugby League." ... This is a recollection of some of the battles, and the trench warfare that I, and others watched over time. Some are matches that I was told about, or read about.

MATCH SUMMARY One of the greatest test matches of all time. The game had it all. Brilliant tries. (one went through 14 pairs of hands) Intercepts and Big Mals magical last minute try to keep the Aussies in the series

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Watch the 2nd Half Highlights here - click on the Link

Video Link -->

1990 Great Britain vs Australia, 2nd Ashes Test

Added 17-Nov-2013

.View Full Game - upgraded 2020 ..(One of the best games ever - Quigs was there too)

This Vid found on good old Youtube

Link Status: .. Still Active

Players involved ... ..44, 98, 99, 112,

From Rugby League Week.

One of the finest Tests ever played


Australian Rugby League Chairman Ken Arthurson called Saturday's Old Trafford Classic "One of the great Test matches and compared it to famous battles of years gone by.

"They talk about Rourke's Drift and the Battle of Brisbane, and some of the other great Tests," said Arthurson, "But in my view this game will stand in that same line ... as one of the finest test matches ever played.

"It had all the elements that make Rugby league such a great game. There was skill and courage - and tremendous determination from both sides.

"And it had a finish that no one who was here will ever forget."

"The Australians were simply magnificent - they just refused to be beaten."

Australia, after losing the first test 19 -12, injected some much needed variety. Hooker Ben Elias, lock Brad Mackay, five eight Cliff Lyons , and front rower Glenn Lazarus all emerged from the match with enhanced reputations.

Saturday's match was a triumph in every way. The crowd, only a few seats under capacity at 46.615 and the quality of the contest, confirmed that the 1990 series will be the greatest crowd and money-drawer in the history of Australian Tours to Great Britain.

Jealous ???? "this is my ticket for this game" Quigs


Gary Belcher
A. Ettingshausen
Mal Meninga
Laurie Daley
Dale Shearer
Cliff Lyons
Ricky Stuart
Brad Mackay
Paul Sironen
Bob Lidner
Steve Roach
Ben Elias
Glenn Lazarus

Steve Hampson
Paul Eastwood
Carl Gibson
Daryl Powell
Martin Offiah
Garry Schofield
Andy Gregory
Ellery Hanley
Denis Betts
Paul Dixon
Karl Harrison
Lee Jackson
Andy Platt

Australia 14, Great Briatain 10, at Old Trafford. 10th November 1990

article by Tony Durkin (RLW)

In the space of 12 minutes last aturday, Australian Halfback Ricky Stuart went from Villian to hero.

Stuart ladi on the last minute try for Kangaroo skipper Mal Meninga after a superb 70-metre run, when he dummied and shot past English hooker Lee Jackson, before sending Meninga over for a breathtaking try in the dying moments of a classic test.

The Australian contingent in the 46,615 crowd went wild as the try was scored. A draw seemed certain after a Stuart indiscretion just 12 minutes earlier.

The Canberra halfback, i just his second Test appearance, had thrown a pass which was intercepted by Britain's replacement centre Paul Loughlin. The St Helens centre set off on a 50 metre dash to equal the scores at 10 all, and give the poms a scent of victory.

But Stuart then hatched his late escape, sending his captain over for a try which gave the Aussies a 14 -10 victory.

"The further I ran, the closer Mal got to me," Stuart said, "In the end it was a simple matter of draw the fullback (Hampson) and pass . But during the run it seemed as though a million thoughts went through my head."

"I couldn't bear to think how I would feel if I bungled that one. My earlier blue (the intercept) was just like a death in the family."


Ironically, it was Meninga - his Canberra Captain - who got Stuart's mind back on the job after the intercept pass.

"I was moping around behind the tryline with my head down and feeling shocking," Stuart recalled. "But Mal and gary Belcher gave me terrific support."


"They told me to forget about what had happened and to get my mind back on winning the Test Match".

As soon as I threw the pass and realised what was happening. I felt as though I had let the entire touring party down. It was the worst moment in my life."

Stuart revealed that during the 79th minute run, which he started just inside his own quarter, he had considered kicking ahead for speedy winger Andrew Ettingshausen.

With Australia leading 10 - 6 Ricky Stuart risks a huge cut out pass. Tall replacement centre Paul Loughlin - "a giraffe" Bob Fulton called him - stretches out a long arm - just visible in top pic - to race fifty metres to score a try to tie the scores at 10 all.

"but when I saw the big bloke on the burst inside me I realised that he was the best and only option," he said.

Meninga played his part in the setting up of the try too, as he bumped aside his opposite number Carl Gibson as the pair set sail after Stuart.

From Australia's point of view, it was a fitting climax to a magnificent Test Match

The Kangaroos richly deserved their win and would have been desparately unlucky to have lost. A draw would have been a travesty.

Apart from the opening 10 minutes of the second half and Loughlin's opportunist try, Australia dominated the second stanza. All the new players vindicated coach Bob Fulton's decision to include them in the Test line-up after the Wembley loss.

While some suggested Fulton was out pointed by Malcolm Reilly in the test at Wembley two weeks earlier, the former Australian Captain won a clear points decision last Saturday (10/11/1990)


Continued below..........

Depends which side of the equator you are from - but just sit back and enjoy. The last twenty seconds of the second test - Old trafford - 1990
The Try that turned the Ashes. Ricky Stuart first sidesteps hooker Lee Jackson (No9) near the Australian line.

Looking for support he heads downfield

Mal Meninga gives Centre Carl Gibson a big dont argue as he plots his course. Centre and intercept scorer Paul Loughlin and Andy Gregory try to catch up. Fullback Steve Hampson positions himself in defence.

Stuart in classical passing pose, picks up Meninga who has rebounded off Gibson to cut back inside.

Meninga takes possession of the pill as Hampson and Gibson sandwich Stuart.

Aahh the rest is history, Big Mal scores the winning try as desperate Schofield and Gregory lay strewn in his wake.

Although they scored just two tries in the second half, they repeatedly punched holes in the Great Britain defence and should have scored at least two more tries.

While the Meninga - Stuart try was the clincher, the 55th minute effort by debutant five-eight Cliff Lyons must rate as one of the classic Test Match tries.

The movement started just inside Great Britains half, as the ball passed through 14 pairs of hands plus the boot of Ettingshausen before Lyons, who had handled three times, touched down.

The Test was titanic struggle, with neither side gaining any real superiority on the scoreboard until those dying 35 seconds.

There was hardly a poor performer on the field, but it was difficult to go past recalled hooker Benny Elias as the best player on the day.

The tour vice-captain was playing only his second Test in a marvellous career, and his direction from centre field was magnificent. He schemed and probed throughout, often finding valuable yards from dummy half.

above The famous Roo mascot doing his thing at Old Trafford. (Anyone know where the Roo is these days???? )

The sight of Australian fans singing Waltzing Matilda after the Old Trafford Test must have been a moving moment for Mal Meninga and his team.
Some of the 500 plus supporters that went on the RLW supporters tour.... (Quigs included - it was brilliant)

There was just one blemmish on his game. Eight minutes into the second half he elected to go on his own with Dale Shearer and Laurie Daley in support, but was held up over the line.

New faces Lyons and Glenn Lazarus - making his first starting appearance in a Test - were also magnificent. It was one of the rare occasions on this tour that the kangaroos have played to their full potential.

Great Britain were terrific as well, even though coach Malcolm Reilly, obviously upset at the loss, disagreed.

I was very disappointed in the way we played the second half. We lost too much possession and did not apply sufficient pressure," he said.

"There are 17 guys in there who are down and out at the moment, just waiting for their next chance in two weeks."

Reilly was also critical of Great Britain's kicking game, describing the four field goal attempts in the first half as "futile".

Their best were again Skipper Ellery Hanley, although wasn't as dominant as he was at Wembley, prop Karl Harrison and five eight Garry Schofield.

The only blot on the game was again French Referee Alain Sablayrolles, who just isn't any where near the class of the players on display.


(Shearer, Lyons, Meninga tries; Meninga goal)


(Dixon, Loughlin tries; Eastwood goal)
Scrums 6 all

Penalties Great Britain 12 - 8

crowd 46,615
Goalkickers, Meninga 1 from 4, Eastwood 1 from 3.


24 min - Australia 4-0 (Shearer try)

32 min - Australia 4-2 (Eastwood goal)
50 min - Great Britain 6-4 (Dixon try)

55 min - Australia 10-6 (Lyons try Meninga goal)

69 min - 10 all (Loughlin try)

80 min - Australia 14-10 (Meninga try)


Australia - nil
Great Britain.
46 min - Paul Loughlin for Martin Offiah
51 min - Kevin Ward for Karl Harrison

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