Great Britain 'eyeing Test greatness' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Great Britain 'eyeing Test greatness'

By Laine Clark 16/11/2006 09:11:48 PM Comments (0)

A Tri-Nations final berth will be on the line against Australia in Brisbane on Saturday night - but Great Britain coach Brian Noble believes something much bigger is on offer.

Forget Tri-Nations survival - Noble says his embattled team is eyeing rugby league greatness.

Noble said his team did not want to miss its chance of going down in the annals as one of the great Great Britain sides by claiming an historic Tri-Nations title in Australia.

On paper, Great Britain is reeling after matchwinner Sean Long returned home due to personal reasons following last weekend's record 34-4 loss to New Zealand in Wellington.

However, Noble staunchly believes his side still has what it takes to not only keep its Tri-Nations campaign alive, but to enter the history books.

Asked if he had discussed the team's chance to go down in Test football annals as great achievers by winning the Tri-Nations, Noble said: "People talk about heroes and legends of yesteryear - we're in a position to write our own stories.

"We came here wanting to earn a fair bit of respect from Australia and the Kiwis and I think we have put our foot in the door.

"But we need to put another foot in there and we will do that with performance.

"We know Australia is determined to put right from wrong after Sydney (a 23-12 loss by the Kangaroos) but this is what it is about - we have to stand up.

"I think we've got every chance of doing that."

Noble hoped his side would react to the Long controversy the same way New Zealand responded after having two competition points deducted and Nathan Fien banned from playing the tournament over the "Grannygate" affair.

"I hope they do, but they are not focussing too much on the Long affair," he said.

"No one has done anything wrong to us. No one has poked us with a stick and said `you can't do that'.

"We have lost a player for personal reasons which we should respect.

"What we are is very determined to put right our performance from last weekend."

While Noble said his side was very unlucky during the 34-4 loss, he still believed Great Britain "weren't ready mentally" - and vowed not to let it happen again.

"There is a great feeling in the camp. Sometimes you have to go through an experience like last week in Wellington to reinforce the fact that perhaps we weren't ready mentally to go forward with another physical tussle," he said.

"I think they are this week, plus we are in a do or die situation - that reinforces that determination."

Of being handed the "underdog" tag for Saturday night's clash, Noble said: "I don't think there is such a thing at this level.

"We know Australia is a pretty good team but we think we are as well - we still own our destiny."

Noble has trimmed his seven-man bench, cutting Hull duo Kirk Yeaman and Garreth Carvell and Leeds utility Rob Burrow.

Great Britain: Paul Wellens, Leon Pryce, Martin Gleeson, Keith Senior, Gareth Raynor, Danny McGuire, Richard Horne, Stuart Fielden, Terry Newton, Jamie Peacock (capt), Gareth Hock, Gareth Ellis, Sean O'Loughlin. Interchange: James Roby, Adrian Morley, Lee Gilmour, Jon Wilkin.

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