Mon, Nov 06, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Lions secure rare Tri-Nations victory over Kangaroos

AFP , SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Great Britain captain Jamie Peacock, left, clashes with Australia's Willie Mason during their Tri-Nations rugby league Test in Sydney on Saturday.

PHOTO: AFP

Australia are counting the cost of their Tri-Nations rugby league upset loss to Great Britain with several players nursing injuries and forward Willie Mason to face the judiciary on a striking charge.

Mason will appear before a disciplinary panel in Sydney today after Great Britain team management lodged an official complaint over his third-minute punch which knocked prop Stuart Fielden to the ground.

The Lions overcame Australia's strong-arm opening to claim a 23-12 win in Sydney on Saturday, their first in Australia in 14 years.

Mason was involved in several off-the-ball incidents during the stormy match, and was placed on report for his late tackle on man-of-the-match Sean Long after the Lions' scrum-half had kicked downfield.

Kangaroos medical staff remain confident center Mark Gasnier will be fit to play in Australia's remaining match against the Lions in Brisbane on Nov. 18 after he was forced off during the first half with a hip flexor injury.

Gasnier's injury will continue to be monitored throughout the week.

Ben Hornby and Greg Inglis (both concussion) have also been cleared of any long-term injury concerns, though Hornby admitted yesterday he was feeling some stiffness in his neck following a heavy collision with Great Britain winger Gareth Raynor.

The Lions emerged from a week of criticism after losing their opening match in New Zealand to play the better pressure football and score a four tries to two victory over the error-prone Kangaroos.

It was Great Britain's first win in Australia since 1992 when they downed the Kangaroos 33-10 in Melbourne. It was only their second win in seven Tri-Nations Tests against Australia.

Great Britain, two points ahead of New Zealand, have two more games against New Zealand and Australia to reach the Nov. 25 final.

The Lions will take on the Kiwis in Wellington next Saturday with victory sealing their place in the final.

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