Great Britain Masters are on tour in Australia – Paul Field reports on Day One…
After the long flights to Brisbane, the Great Britain Masters team had a day to recover and play their first games of the Gold Coast Masters Festival hosted by Southport Tigers JARLFC.
The day began with the formal march-past of all the teams, from Australia, New Zealand, Cook Islands and of course England.
The opening day saw the Great Britain Masters team play their first game, against Manukau Greenlane Rugby League Masters NZ.
Tour captain Gavin Wright led the team round the park to great effect. The whole team gave a 100 per cent performance and showed some good Rugby League skills. Not bad for a team playing together for the first time! The game was played in a gruelling 30 degrees-plus and saw the Great Britain team score two excellent long distance tries, the first from Andy Friery, who finished off a good passing movement from half way and the second from Siddal’s Paul Field with a great intercept from 70 yards out and scoring a fantastic solo effort.
All in all a great game of Masters played in true Masters spirit.
Despite the heat, Great Britain had a second game on day one at the Gold Coast Masters Festival.
With old friends Central Coast Bulldogs, the team played a `mix up’ game where all the names of players from both teams were put in a hat and players for two playing teams drawn at random.
Tour captain Gavin Wright handed over the captaincy to honorary captain Gary Teeling for this game.
Central Coast presented the Great Britain team with a commemorative plaque, and a Great Britain tour commemorative pennant was presented to the Bulldogs.
Blue-shorter and Bulldog Allen Stanford, aka PB, at 80-plus years old, scored the first try for the team in the Great Britain jerseys and Great Britain’s very own vice-captain, Freddie South, scored the game’s only other try for the team playing in the Central Coast jerseys.
The `mix-up’ game proved a great success and the winner was definitely Masters Rugby League.