Rugby League: Australian Affiliated States 28 – 20 BARLA Lions

Date published: 21 November 2018

BARLA Lions gave everything they had, leading 20-18 against Australian Affiliated States before being edged out in the final few minutes in a thrilling test match.

Captain Jamie Fields (Hunslet Club Parkside) opened the score in the fifth minute with a close-range bullocking effort on the right and added the goal to make it 6-0, but the Affiliated States replied with David Tabuai just grounding before the defence got to him.

The Lions led 6-4 and were playing in confident fashion. Their endeavour was rewarded when Sam Jones (Barrow Island) funnelled back to collect a kick on his own twenty metre line. He then beat a defender and blazed down the left, expertly drawing the fullback before offloading to Jack Jones (Thatto Heath), who ran to the posts. Fields once more converted and the score was 12-4 to the Lions.

Once more the Australian side responded. A mistake in their own 20 turned the ball over and, after setting their position from the scrum, Affiliated States switched play to their left for big second row Losi Kereti to wrestle over after 21 minutes.

Halfback James Aspden missed his second attempt on goal, but the Affiliated States were right back in the contest at 12-8.

Five minutes later, the Australian side took the lead for the first time when dangerman Kereti, rid himself of a couple of defenders and got the ball down at the left corner for his second try.

Early in the second half, an error inside their own 20 from BARLA Lions gifted possession to the Affiliated States, and they didn't hang around, moving the ball down the line from the scrum for winger Kody Simecki to go around his man and touch down in the corner. Aspden couldn't convert, but the Australians led 18-12.

With 50 minutes gone, BARLA Lions forced an error and worked the ball close before the excellent Craig Savage (Lock Lane) was rewarded for persistence. Popping up on the blindside, he dabbed forward, chased and collected the ricochet for a try Fields converted.

On the hour, the Lions received a penalty after Jack Jones was fouled in the art of kicking long. Fields stepped up to kick and BARLA led 20-18, emphasising the closeness of the game.

Seven minutes later, Aidy Gleeson (Rochdale Mayfield) got a harsh call on a ball steal and the Affiliated States advanced downfield before a high bomb was spilled by the usually unflappable Ian Jackson (Featherstone Lions) and Delane Edwards collected, danced inside a couple of defenders and ran under the posts. Aspden goaled to open a 20-24 advantage.

The Lions were on the end of a harsh offside call when Jack Jones and Andy Hullock combined and from that position, the Australian side advanced, eventually working an opening for Logan Barclay to score out wide.

Aspden missed with the kick and there was one final flourish from BARLA when Jordan Gibson (Haydock) gathered a short restart and ran to the 20, but time ran out on the tourists who now must defeat Fiji Bati Residents on Friday to stand a chance of winning the International Tri-Series. 



  • 12 Ian Jackson (Featherstone Lions)
  • 14 Sam Jones (Barrow Island)
  • 2 Jack Clark (Cockermouth Titans) 
  • 5 Jordan Gibson (Haydock)
  • 8 Kevin Hoban (Ellenborough)
  • 13 Jack Jones (Thatto Heath)
  • 11 Andy Hullock (vc) (Hunslet Club Parkside)
  • 3 Jamie Fields (c) (Hunslet Club Parkside)
  • 20 Craig Savage (Lock Lane)
  • 19 Johnny Goulding (Cockermouth Titans)
  • 21 Reece Rushworth (York Acorn)
  • 9 Tom Hopkins (vc) (Askam)
  • 17 Marcus O'Brien (Egremont Rangers)

Subs (All Used)

  • 6 Aidy Gleeson (vc) (Rochdale Mayfield)
  • 16 Andy Lea (Thatto Heath)
  • 23 Luke Tagg (Lock Lane)
  • 10 Jack Howdle (Beverley)
  • 7 Matt Henson (Egremont Rangers)
  • 22 Declan Sheridan (Rochdale Mayfield)
  • 4 Dean Gamble (Featherstone Lions)
  • 1 Ryan Chalkley (Shaw Cross Sharks)
  • 18 Lee Postlethwaite (Millom)

Tries: Fields (5), Jack Jones (13), Savage (50)

Goals: Fields 4/4

Half-time: 12-14

Attendance: 150 (estimate)

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