1st December 2001, 19:10
2001 Wales Students 12 Queensland 26
A brilliant second half fightback was not enough to give the Welsh
A brilliant second half fightback was not enough to give the Welsh Students a shock win over their Queensland Rugby League counterparts yesterday at Treorchy.
Having beaten New South Wales during the Europa Cup in Tartastan in September, the Welsh Students were aiming for an historic double.
But they were up against a Queensland side unbeaten for eight years and who had opened there British tour with a 20 - 4 win over England Students in mid week. Heavy defensive duties were expected to take there toll latter in the game and allow for the Australians to open up a big lead.
But despite all that tackling and heavy conditions at the Oval, the opposite happened. A brilliant Welsh Defence had kept Queensland at Bay in the opening exchanges but the Aussies had plenty of territorial advantage.
First they were denied when Steve Blaine knocked on and then when centre Badley Coey-Braddon had a powerful run halted on the line.
The breakthrough eventually came after 13 minutes when Queensland loose forward Dave Alkers wen over from close range for James Gilligan to kick the conversion.
And the Australians made the game safe with a brilliant scoring burst either side of the interval. Blaine scored another close range effort afetr 38 minutes to make it 10 - 0 at half time.
It was 22 - 0 within 7 minutes of the second half thanks to two classic examples of support play by Queensland half back Paul Horn, finishing of breaks by Jannan Billings again adding the goals.
But then came the Welsh fightback. Half backs Paul Hardwick and Aled James clicked and Pete Moore panicked the Queenslanders with a series of runs from dummy half and tapped penalties.
It was the left side of the Welsh Back division that profited. James notched their first points with a 30 yard burst on the left and then wing Jon Breakingbury quickly followed suit in the same corner.
Wales third try in quick succession came from another move to the left, loose forward Richard Singleton going over.
None of those tries were converted with and it was appropriate that the classy Queenslanders should finish the scoring. Alkers pass putting Storm Ritcher in on the left.
Wales Students - tries - James, Breakingbury, Singleton
Queenslanders - tries - Alkers, Blaine, Horn (2), Ritcher, goals - Gilligan (3)