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Clive Griffiths' Welsh lads help GB to Student win

13th July 2011, 11:16

Clive Griffiths' Welsh lads help GB to Student win

Five Welshmen were in the squad who helped Great Britain Students...

Five Welshmen were in the squad who helped Great Britain Students Rugby League side gain an historic Academic Ashes win in Australia, as the hosts were beaten in a Test Series in their own back-yard for the very first time.

The 20-20 draw last Tuesday was followed up a 10-4 win on Saturday. Then came the clincher today in Cairns which Great Britain won 24-10.

Chris McNamara (Loughborough University), Mark Wool (Leeds Met), Patrick Evans (Gloucester University) and brothers Owain and Iwan Brown (both Glyndwr) all played a part in the series win with McNamara scoring the Lions' third try today.

Also on the scoresheet today were Josh Parle, Crawford Matthews and Jimmy Kienhorst while Nigel Scott kicked four goals.

Assistant coach for Great Britain was the former Wales coach Clive Griffiths who led our national side to the 1995 and 2000 World Cup semi-finals.

And despite coaching Wales Rugby League in their "golden era" of the 1990s for 25 internationals, he rates this Great Britain Students side as one of the best that he's seen, especially in defence.

"The turning point for me was when we came back from being 4-0 down early on in this third game," he said. "The Aussies took the lead and many sides would have thought that was it against them, but not our boys.

"The Australian Students can't remember the last time they've scored so few tries, our defence was that good in this series.

"The lads are ecstatic. It's a unique occasion. Beating the Australians doesn't happen much at any level. I've been involved in series and had epic semi-finals against them which we lost but today these boys have covered themselves in glory.

"It's not just the three tests, we've been unbeaten in the whole tour which is fantastic - there's no better feeling. The only way this will ever be bettered is if we go down here in four years time and win all three matches as we drew the first test this time around. Congratulations to all the lads and obviously I'm pleased we had a few Welsh lads here, all of whom played really well."