Rugby League: England 30 - 22 Scotland - Bravehearts fall to rare loss at the hands of Auld Enemy
SCOTLAND'S rugby league Bravehearts were stunned by three tries in the final five minutes from England Lionhearts in this opening Four Nations amateur encounter in Leeds.
With England's Scott Holder and stand off Sam Broadbent constantly to the fore, the home side came away with a great win that sent the defending champions spinning to their first defeat in the competition for more than two years.
Defence dominated the first quarter, although the action did swing from end to end and kept the healthy-sized crowd entertained. The first points arrived on 15 minutes when Richard Wareing spotted a gap in the Scottish defence and the Chorley Panther dived over to touchdown, scrum half Nicholas Agbo of Greenwich Admirals duly tagging on the extras. Stung into action, Scotland replied almost immediately as a towering cross-field kick from half back Stuart Fee caused panic in the home defence, allowing the speedy Matt Greenwood - playing not far from his East Leeds home - the chance to ground the loose ball. As the half wore on, the sides exchanged further tries as first Matthew McNee crossed to give the visitors the lead only for Rob Massam - who had gone close twice before - to power over out wide to level matters, ten-all, at half time.
The Lionhearts returned to the fray with renewed vigour and immediately made an impact as prop Russell Morris stormed 50 metres straight from the kick off to move his side swiftly upfield. However, it was Scotland who were to score next thanks to a strong run and finish from Edinburgh Eagle Niall Parkinson who went over from ten metres out. The Lionhearts then needed to dig deep as the repelled four consecutive sets on their own line, before breaking down the other end and levelling matters courtesy of a great jinking individual effort from lively hooker Holder.
Despite centre Dom Pullen increasing the Scotland lead on 68 minutes, the Lionhearts roared back and galvanised by some gallant defence, went on to finish with a flourish. Holder got the hosts rolling with just five minutes left as he recreated his first effort dancing round several would-be tackles to touchdown and then hugely impressive Massam hit the ball at pace to go over from 15 metres out and give England a lead they did not relinquish. With the clock ticking down, Chester Gladiator Broadbent sealed the contest as he somehow managed to plant the ball down despite the attention of three defenders.
England Lionhearts: G Newlands (Jarrow Vikings), J Thorneycroft (Greenwich Admirals), M Stringer (St Albans Centurions), R Massam (Chester Gladiators), Adam Peel (St Ives Roosters), S Broadbent (Chester Gladiators), N Agbo (Greenwich Admirals), M Evans (Telford Raiders), S Holder (Kippax Knights), R Morris (Devon Sharks), T Stevens (Hemel Stags), D Gonsalves (Leicester Storm), D Reeds (Nottingham Outlaws).
Subs (all used): R Wareing (Chorley Panthers), M Mann (Greenwich Admirals), P Hyder (Greenwich Admirals), O Johnson (Southampton Spitfires), T Gallagher (East Lancashire Vikings).
Scotland Bravehearts: N Broere (Edinburgh Eagles), M Greenwood (East Leeds), C Cockburn (Edinburgh Eagles), D Pullen (UWIC), R Sloman (Blackpool Scorpions), P Coupar (Edinburgh Eagles), S Fee (Hemel Stags), C Jarvis (Edinburgh Eagles), D Vernon (Edinburgh Eagles), M Nicoll (Oulton Raiders), M Stewart (Lincoln City Knights), R Johnston (Edinburgh Eagles), M McNee (Hull Dockers).
Subs (all used): T Murray (Fife Lions), N Parkinson (Edinburgh Eagles), A Thompson (Upton), A Grodynski (Edinburgh Eagles).Spare page
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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