By Alan Towel

Coffs Harbour Comets 12 vs. BARLA Great Britain Lions 16

BARLA Great Britain Lions twice came from behind to defeat recently crowned Group 2 Premier Champions Coffs Harbour Comets 16-12, ironically the score that saw the hosts take their crown after a twenty eight year wait.

Three tries in a decisive eight minute period ensured that the tourists opened their campaign with a win with super sub  Danny Lynch (Pilkington Recs) crashing over for his sides fourth match winning try with seven minutes left.

There other tries came from a brace from skipper Scott Lofthouse (Kells) and substitute Richard George (Seaton Rangers)

The Lions started well exerting early pressure but they were brought back three times in a five minute period for forward passes when an opening try looked likely.

With the Lions forwards gaining early control and advantage the visitors should have gone ahead when winger Mike Johnson (Skirlaugh) lost the ball over the try line.

On 20 minutes the Comets went ahead against the run of the play when a kick by Slater was collected by winger Blackett who turned the ball inside for his centre Mike Meadows to go round under the post to score and scrum half Nathan Curry kicked the first of his brace of goals.

This rattled the Lions but on the half hour the side got on the scoreboard at last when the Comets spilled the ball. The Lions set up a great position and the ball was quickly swept across the field for Lofthouse to score in the corner to cut the lead to two points.

In the final ten minutes of the half the Lions should have been out of site when first Tom Moorby (Driglington) and Ryan Smith (Wigan St Patricks) both made 60 metre breaks only for poor decision making and bad passes  resulting in the ball going to ground to leave the score at half time 6-4 to the Comets.

The Comets came out and took the game to the Lions and on 45 minutes increased their lead when centre Abel Lefaoseu crashed over near the posts and Curry converted to make the score 12-4.

Once again the Lions roared back but where their own worst enemies when they twice lost the ball with the try line begging. Eventually though the pressure told and they hit a purple patch to win the game,

 On 65 minutes the Lions reduced the score line when George scored wide out, sadly conversion by Ryan Rodgers (Pilkington Recs) hit the post but five minutes later the Lions drew level when Lofthouse scored his second try of the match.

The Lions were on a roll and on their next set they finally went ahead for the first time on 73 minutes after good work from Ryan Smith (Wigan St Patricks) and Johnson who set up a great move for Lynch (Pilkington Recs) to score the deciding try to make it 16 -12.

The shell shocked Comets couldn’t respond and the Lions came through setting them up for their Test Match against the Australian Aboriginals on Tuesday.

Delighted Lions Head Coach Paul Crarey and Assistant Sean Richardson gave their post match thoughts, Paul Crarey,

The players looked a little rusty and jet lagged following their long flight from the UK and will only get better as the tour goes on. They played too laterally and not enough going forward to set up solid attacking positions, but to the player’s credit they dug deep and finally came out winners”.

Sean Richardson,

“With only a 42% completion rate and 20 % support play made the job harder than it should have been. Having 2 tries disallowed and also bombing 4 more tries plus not kicking a conversion made the score line closer”.

Lions Captain Scott Lofthouse,

“I thought that we started well but over played by being too flashy with the ball and not setting up a platform down the middle. Our defence down the middle will have to be tightened up and we should have slowed down the play the balls to stop their quick breaks, also we forced the ball too often following the breaks we had made instead of waiting for the next.”

COFFS HARBOUR COMETS: 1. Luke Beaumont, 2. Jamie Schnell, 3. Abel Lefaoseu, 4. Micheal Meadows, 5. Darren Blackett, 6. Daniel Slater, 7. Nathan Curry, 8. Callan Tapine, 9. Lochie Miller, 10. Josh Simms, 11. Sean Gilmore, 12. Blair Blanchette, 13. Rick Parr. Subs: 14. Ben Parkinson, 15. Ethan Kelly, 16. Matt Hendy, 17. Jason Hart, 18. Jacob van Hammond, 19. Dwayne Hefferman, 20. Colin Speed.

Tries: Meadow 20, Lefaoseu 45,

Goals: Curry 2/2

BARLA GREAT BRITAIN LIONS: 16. Ryan Rodgers (Pilkington Recs), 2. Mike Johnson,  (Skirlaugh),  4   Scott Lofthouse (Kells) Captain, 23. Greg Hale (Blackbrook), 5. Tom Moorby (Driglington), 6. Ryan Smith (Wigan St Patricks), 7. Danny Rowse (Castleford Lock Lane), 8. Zac Johnson (Shaw Cross Sharks), 9. Marcus O Brien (Millom), 10. Dave Lowery (Kells), 11. Adam Nicholson (Dalton), 12. Adam Thomason (Leigh Miners Rangers), 13. Matthew Huby (Wath Brow Hornets). Subs: 14. Danny Lynch (Pilkiington Recs), 22. Richard Dunham (Myton Warriors), 18. Jonny Goulding (Egremont Rangers), 15. Richard George (Seaton Rangers), 24. Danny Marrow (Walney Central), 20. Trevor Penrose (Skirlaugh), 3. Keiron Murphy (Hunslet Old Boys).

Tries: Lofthouse 30, 70, George 65, Lynch 73


Half Time: 6-4

Man of the Match: Lochie Miller (Carlton Harbour Comets), Danny Rowse (BARLA Great Britain Lions)

Weather: Dry & Fine

Attendance: Estimated 1,200

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:

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