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I watched the Sunday Night with Matty Johns show this morning and Benny Elias was the special guest.  Anyway they were discussing the touring teams of the 80s and 90s. Matty Johns commented that one of the greatest games people should watch was the 2nd test in 1990 at Old Trafford. As test matches went that is one of the hardest losses as a fan I have watched as we would have won the series that day and played so well.  The panel were commenting that they were treated like superstars by the British RL fans and press during that era and would like tours to resume.

Thinking back and anyone old enough to witness some of those games will appreciate the sentiment and comments.  Some of those games and atmosphere were awesome, a few games where GB managed to win inc 88 3rd test in Aus, and Wembley 94 (Jiffy try).  

Even for the many games GB lost you just had to watch the Aussies on awe, even though hard to take a GB fan at the time.

As far as tours go times are different now of course with both countries playing at the same time so could not do a proper tour schedule as we remember.  Saying that what great memories I had of those teams and characters plus watching my own team try their best against them.

 

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It is in the blood of every British Rugby League fan. If I had to choose between England winning the World Cup or a three test Ashes series against the Kangaroos I would choose the former for the

I watched the Sunday Night with Matty Johns show this morning and Benny Elias was the special guest.  Anyway they were discussing the touring teams of the 80s and 90s. Matty Johns commented that one o

I think the more important win would have been the 3rd test 1992. Right in the middle of the ARL season and on prime time.

The Kangaroo tours (both tests and club matches) form many of my favourite Rugby League memories.

I often wonder how the game would have changed if Great Britain had won that 1990 series, at a time when State of Origin was just replacing test rugby in the eyes of the Australians as the peak of the sport.  If Great Britain had won maybe the whole sport would have been more focussed on the international game.  Personally, I feel that would have been a great thing.

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1 minute ago, Dunbar said:

The Kangaroo tours (both tests and club matches) form many of my favourite Rugby League memories.

I often wonder how the game would have changed if Great Britain had won that 1990 series, at a time when State of Origin was just replacing test rugby in the eyes of the Australians as the peak of the sport.  If Great Britain had won maybe the whole sport would have been more focussed on the international game.  Personally, I feel that would have been a great thing.

I think the more important win would have been the 3rd test 1992. Right in the middle of the ARL season and on prime time.

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1 minute ago, Scubby said:

I think the more important win would have been the 3rd test 1992. Right in the middle of the ARL season and on prime time.

Yes, fair enough.

Or both! You can dream.

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6 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

The Kangaroo tours (both tests and club matches) form many of my favourite Rugby League memories.

I often wonder how the game would have changed if Great Britain had won that 1990 series, at a time when State of Origin was just replacing test rugby in the eyes of the Australians as the peak of the sport.  If Great Britain had won maybe the whole sport would have been more focussed on the international game.  Personally, I feel that would have been a great thing.

That was soul destroying .  It started the ‘ whatever we do we won’t beat these in a series or competition   ‘ mentality that I’ve had pretty much ever since !

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imagine james tedesco - latrell mitchell  and josh addo carr lining up on a wet wednesday night at belle vue these days!!!!!!!!!!!!

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did the bloke who invented the phrase "one hit wonder" invent anything else?

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5 minutes ago, Cumbrian Mackem said:

Unfortunately and sadly SOO is the be-all and end-all for the Aussies.

I have been watching this closely and there are now a few dissenting voices about how many high profile players don't even qualify for SOO. Over 50% of NRL players are now from Polynesian heritage compared with less than 5% when Kangaroo tours were around. This number is only going to rise when you see players debuting in the NRL each week.

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8 minutes ago, graveyard johnny said:

imagine james tedesco - latrell mitchell  and josh addo carr lining up on a wet wednesday night at belle vue these days!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kangaroo tours were the best . I saw them twice up here playing Cumbria , and it was awesome to see these superstars off the telly and I’ve never forgot it . It was only the midweek team but still some great names 

FB 1 12px-Penrith_colours.svg.png Greg Alexander
RW 2 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Dale Shearer
CE 3 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Cliff Lyons
CE 4 12px-Penrith_colours.svg.png Brad Fittler
LW 5 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Chris Johns
FE 6 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Kevin Walters
HB 7 12px-Canberra_colours.svg.png Ricky Stuart
PR 8 12px-Newcastle_colours.svg.png Mark Sargent
HK 9 12px-Balmain_colours.svg.png Ben Elias (c)
PR 10 12px-Western_Suburbs_colours.svg.png David Gillespie
SR 11 12px-South_Sydney_colours.svg.png Mark Carroll
SR 12 12px-Penrith_colours.svg.png Mark Geyer
LK 13 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Des Hasler
Substitutions:
IC 14 12px-St._George_colours.svg.png Brad Mackay
IC 15 12px-Canberra_colours.svg.png Glenn Lazarus
IC 16

12px-Western_Suburbs_colours.svg.png Bob Lindner           

1990 

FB 1 12px-Balmain_colours.svg.png Tim Brasher
RW 2 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Wendell Sailor
RC 3 12px-Illawarra_colours.svg.png Paul McGregor
LC 4 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Terry Hill
LW 5 12px-Illawarra_colours.svg.png Rod Wishart
FE 6 12px-North_Sydney_colours.svg.png Greg Florimo
HB 7 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Kevin Walters
PR 8 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Ian Roberts
HK 9 12px-Western_Suburbs_colours.svg.png Jim Serdaris
PR 10 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Glenn Lazarus
SR 11 12px-Balmain_colours.svg.png Paul Sironen (c)
SR 12 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Steve Menzies
LK 13

12px-Penrith_Panthers_square_flag_icon_with_2017_colours.svg.png Brad Fittler           
 

1994

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Just now, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

I'm hopeful the rise of Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and maybe PNG will continue to revitalise the international calendar.... Once all this nonsense is over of course

It already has. 

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2 minutes ago, DavidM said:

Kangaroo tours were the best . I saw them twice up here playing Cumbria , and it was awesome to see these superstars off the telly and I’ve never forgot it . It was only the midweek team but still some great names 

FB 1 12px-Penrith_colours.svg.png Greg Alexander
RW 2 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Dale Shearer
CE 3 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Cliff Lyons
CE 4 12px-Penrith_colours.svg.png Brad Fittler
LW 5 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Chris Johns
FE 6 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Kevin Walters
HB 7 12px-Canberra_colours.svg.png Ricky Stuart
PR 8 12px-Newcastle_colours.svg.png Mark Sargent
HK 9 12px-Balmain_colours.svg.png Ben Elias (c)
PR 10 12px-Western_Suburbs_colours.svg.png David Gillespie
SR 11 12px-South_Sydney_colours.svg.png Mark Carroll
SR 12 12px-Penrith_colours.svg.png Mark Geyer
LK 13 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Des Hasler
Substitutions:
IC 14 12px-St._George_colours.svg.png Brad Mackay
IC 15 12px-Canberra_colours.svg.png Glenn Lazarus
IC 16

12px-Western_Suburbs_colours.svg.png Bob Lindner           

1990 

FB 1 12px-Balmain_colours.svg.png Tim Brasher
RW 2 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Wendell Sailor
RC 3 12px-Illawarra_colours.svg.png Paul McGregor
LC 4 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Terry Hill
LW 5 12px-Illawarra_colours.svg.png Rod Wishart
FE 6 12px-North_Sydney_colours.svg.png Greg Florimo
HB 7 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Kevin Walters
PR 8 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Ian Roberts
HK 9 12px-Western_Suburbs_colours.svg.png Jim Serdaris
PR 10 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Glenn Lazarus
SR 11 12px-Balmain_colours.svg.png Paul Sironen (c)
SR 12 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Steve Menzies
LK 13

12px-Penrith_Panthers_square_flag_icon_with_2017_colours.svg.png Brad Fittler           
 

1994

some great names there mate- wish we could have it like that now

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did the bloke who invented the phrase "one hit wonder" invent anything else?

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4 minutes ago, Scubby said:

I have been watching this closely and there are now a few dissenting voices about how many high profile players don't even qualify for SOO. Over 50% of NRL players are now from Polynesian heritage compared with less than 5% when Kangaroo tours were around. This number is only going to rise when you see players debuting in the NRL each week.

Personally for me SOO should be nothing more than an annual one-off match instead of a 3 match series.

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somehow you get the feeling watching a kangaroo team play some of our sl teams at places like belle vue and wheldon rd these days would be like watching bruce springsteen at wombwell trades and labour club 

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did the bloke who invented the phrase "one hit wonder" invent anything else?

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5 minutes ago, Cumbrian Mackem said:

Personally for me SOO should be nothing more than an annual one-off match instead of a 3 match series.

I think 3 games of SOO per year is worth to the NRL roughly 50% of the whole of Super League's new deal with Sky.

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1982 first test at Boothferry Park, ever the optimist I said to my mate, "I fancy us today". 😂 Come half time I said "bloody hell they're playing a different game to us". And with the odd exception have been doing ever since. 

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37 minutes ago, DavidM said:

Kangaroo tours were the best . I saw them twice up here playing Cumbria , and it was awesome to see these superstars off the telly and I’ve never forgot it . It was only the midweek team but still some great names 

FB 1 12px-Penrith_colours.svg.png Greg Alexander
RW 2 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Dale Shearer
CE 3 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Cliff Lyons
CE 4 12px-Penrith_colours.svg.png Brad Fittler
LW 5 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Chris Johns
FE 6 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Kevin Walters
HB 7 12px-Canberra_colours.svg.png Ricky Stuart
PR 8 12px-Newcastle_colours.svg.png Mark Sargent
HK 9 12px-Balmain_colours.svg.png Ben Elias (c)
PR 10 12px-Western_Suburbs_colours.svg.png David Gillespie
SR 11 12px-South_Sydney_colours.svg.png Mark Carroll
SR 12 12px-Penrith_colours.svg.png Mark Geyer
LK 13 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Des Hasler
Substitutions:
IC 14 12px-St._George_colours.svg.png Brad Mackay
IC 15 12px-Canberra_colours.svg.png Glenn Lazarus
IC 16

12px-Western_Suburbs_colours.svg.png Bob Lindner           

1990 

FB 1 12px-Balmain_colours.svg.png Tim Brasher
RW 2 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Wendell Sailor
RC 3 12px-Illawarra_colours.svg.png Paul McGregor
LC 4 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Terry Hill
LW 5 12px-Illawarra_colours.svg.png Rod Wishart
FE 6 12px-North_Sydney_colours.svg.png Greg Florimo
HB 7 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Kevin Walters
PR 8 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Ian Roberts
HK 9 12px-Western_Suburbs_colours.svg.png Jim Serdaris
PR 10 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Glenn Lazarus
SR 11 12px-Balmain_colours.svg.png Paul Sironen (c)
SR 12 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Steve Menzies
LK 13

12px-Penrith_Panthers_square_flag_icon_with_2017_colours.svg.png Brad Fittler           
 

1994

Yes, that 90 midweek team was worthy of a test team.  Similarly the Wire game would have been worthy as a test team.

Awesome, of course Wire lost but I was fortunate to see them beat the tourists in 78.

 

FB 1 Penrith colours.svg Greg Alexander
RW 2 Brisbane colours.svg Chris Johns
CE 3 Canberra colours.svg Mal Meninga (c)
CE 4 Brisbane colours.svg Kevin Walters
LW 5 Brisbane colours.svg Dale Shearer
FE 6 Penrith colours.svg Brad Fittler
HB 7 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Des Hasler
PR 8 Canberra colours.svg Glenn Lazarus
HK 9 Balmain colours.svg Ben Elias
PR 10 Newcastle colours.svg Mark Sargent
SR 11 Penrith colours.svg Mark Geyer
SR 12 Western Suburbs colours.svg David Gillespie
LK 13 St. George colours.svg Brad Mackay
Substitutions:
IC 14 Brisbane colours.svg Michael Hancock
IC 15 Penrith colours.svg John Cartwright
IC 16
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Tours are a thing from another era, never to be seen again but like many such things it doesn't mean what's replaced them is better. The player's are more familiar now with regular coverage of the game down under whereas it was a privilege to see them up against your local team who would put a 'wholehearted'  effort in against them and until the 80s occasionally beat them.

A different time & a different game.

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58 minutes ago, DavidM said:

Kangaroo tours were the best . I saw them twice up here playing Cumbria , and it was awesome to see these superstars off the telly and I’ve never forgot it . It was only the midweek team but still some great names 

FB 1 12px-Penrith_colours.svg.png Greg Alexander
RW 2 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Dale Shearer
CE 3 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Cliff Lyons
CE 4 12px-Penrith_colours.svg.png Brad Fittler
LW 5 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Chris Johns
FE 6 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Kevin Walters
HB 7 12px-Canberra_colours.svg.png Ricky Stuart
PR 8 12px-Newcastle_colours.svg.png Mark Sargent
HK 9 12px-Balmain_colours.svg.png Ben Elias (c)
PR 10 12px-Western_Suburbs_colours.svg.png David Gillespie
SR 11 12px-South_Sydney_colours.svg.png Mark Carroll
SR 12 12px-Penrith_colours.svg.png Mark Geyer
LK 13 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Des Hasler
Substitutions:
IC 14 12px-St._George_colours.svg.png Brad Mackay
IC 15 12px-Canberra_colours.svg.png Glenn Lazarus
IC 16

12px-Western_Suburbs_colours.svg.png Bob Lindner           

1990 

FB 1 12px-Balmain_colours.svg.png Tim Brasher
RW 2 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Wendell Sailor
RC 3 12px-Illawarra_colours.svg.png Paul McGregor
LC 4 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Terry Hill
LW 5 12px-Illawarra_colours.svg.png Rod Wishart
FE 6 12px-North_Sydney_colours.svg.png Greg Florimo
HB 7 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Kevin Walters
PR 8 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Ian Roberts
HK 9 12px-Western_Suburbs_colours.svg.png Jim Serdaris
PR 10 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Glenn Lazarus
SR 11 12px-Balmain_colours.svg.png Paul Sironen (c)
SR 12 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Steve Menzies
LK 13

12px-Penrith_Panthers_square_flag_icon_with_2017_colours.svg.png Brad Fittler           
 

1994

I saw both those games plus the 1982 and 1986 games where the teams were:

1982                                                1986

1. Greg Brentnall                             1. Gary Belcher

2. Kerry Boustead                          2. Dale Shearer

3. Mal Meninga                              3. Chris Mortimer

4. Steve Ella                                   4. Mal Meninga

5. John Ribot                                  5. Michael O'Connor

6. Wally Lewis                                6. Terry Lamb

7. Peter Sterling                             7. Greg Alexander

8. Don McKinnon                           8. Phil Daley

9. Max Krilich                                 9. Ben Elias

10. Rohan Hancock                      10. Martin Bella

11. John Muggleton                      11. Paul Dunn

12. Ian Schubert                           12. Les Davidson

13. Wayne Pearce                        13. Paul Langmack

14. Steve Rogers                          14. Paul Sironen

15. Ray Price                                15. Not listed

The first time especially, it was like watching someone from another planet, they played like nothing I'd ever seen. You knew Cumbria had no chance but still went to see the Aussies just to marvel at how good they were.

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100% League 0% Union

Just because I don't know doesn't mean I don't understand

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3 hours ago, Scubby said:

I think the more important win would have been the 3rd test 1992. Right in the middle of the ARL season and on prime time.

It would have come after thumping them in Melbourne too.

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Great for the fans, but even better for the players.  I think GB and and Kangaroos should each do a tour (as they used to) once every 10 years.  That way, each generation of top players, will get one chance to play in one.  It is not something that can happen every year, especially now with the World Cup and other events that have come about.  But it is a shame that they disappeared completely.

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While the 1982 Kangaroos were on a different level, competition for possession helped keep some games close, at least on the scoreboard.  From memory they beat Hull 13-7, Wigan 13-9 and Bradford 13-6 (I remember listening to the commentary and they were 7-6 up with about 5 minutes left).  Compare with some of the drubbings on later tours as the game purified itself of scrums.

I genuinely don't think we can have a big international scene until we are regularly competitive.  Sadly I just don't think we'll ever produce enough quality players for that to happen, and the genie of contested possession has long gone.

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12 hours ago, graveyard johnny said:

somehow you get the feeling watching a kangaroo team play some of our sl teams at places like belle vue and wheldon rd these days would be like watching bruce springsteen at wombwell trades and labour club 

My first game was warrington playing the midweek aussie team at wilderspool, I never saw a crowd like that again till the (first) last game at wilderspool.

 

We got nilled, but it was a very very special night.

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13 hours ago, DavidM said:

Kangaroo tours were the best . I saw them twice up here playing Cumbria , and it was awesome to see these superstars off the telly and I’ve never forgot it . It was only the midweek team but still some great names 

FB 1 12px-Penrith_colours.svg.png Greg Alexander
RW 2 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Dale Shearer
CE 3 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Cliff Lyons
CE 4 12px-Penrith_colours.svg.png Brad Fittler
LW 5 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Chris Johns
FE 6 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Kevin Walters
HB 7 12px-Canberra_colours.svg.png Ricky Stuart
PR 8 12px-Newcastle_colours.svg.png Mark Sargent
HK 9 12px-Balmain_colours.svg.png Ben Elias (c)
PR 10 12px-Western_Suburbs_colours.svg.png David Gillespie
SR 11 12px-South_Sydney_colours.svg.png Mark Carroll
SR 12 12px-Penrith_colours.svg.png Mark Geyer
LK 13 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Des Hasler
Substitutions:
IC 14 12px-St._George_colours.svg.png Brad Mackay
IC 15 12px-Canberra_colours.svg.png Glenn Lazarus
IC 16

12px-Western_Suburbs_colours.svg.png Bob Lindner           

1990 

FB 1 12px-Balmain_colours.svg.png Tim Brasher
RW 2 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Wendell Sailor
RC 3 12px-Illawarra_colours.svg.png Paul McGregor
LC 4 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Terry Hill
LW 5 12px-Illawarra_colours.svg.png Rod Wishart
FE 6 12px-North_Sydney_colours.svg.png Greg Florimo
HB 7 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Kevin Walters
PR 8 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Ian Roberts
HK 9 12px-Western_Suburbs_colours.svg.png Jim Serdaris
PR 10 12px-Brisbane_colours.svg.png Glenn Lazarus
SR 11 12px-Balmain_colours.svg.png Paul Sironen (c)
SR 12 12px-Manly_Sea_Eagles_colours.svg.png Steve Menzies
LK 13

12px-Penrith_Panthers_square_flag_icon_with_2017_colours.svg.png Brad Fittler           
 

1994

My first gave was at Brunton Park in 82,as a 15yr old rugby player I remember being amazed at the size,speed & skill of the Kangeroos,great night and still remember the long snake of lights heading back along the A69 to West Cumbria.

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14 hours ago, Scubby said:

I think the more important win would have been the 3rd test 1992. Right in the middle of the ARL season and on prime time.

Still maintain to this day we were robbed, Laurie Daly was clearly offside for the Aussies winning try at the play the ball, he was on his knees in our defensive line then rose to take a ball from a colleague to score who had run past him. I couldn't believe it when the ref gave the try, even a Aussie fan next to me agreed Daly was offside.

The whole game is on YouTube, watch it and you will see what I mean.

Edited by Harry Stottle
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