New South Wales Rugby League Country brought the curtain down on a successful tour with their third win, this time running eleven tries past England Community Lions West at Pilkington Recs Ruskin Drive. This time, the Lions side featured young talented players from across Lancashire and Cumbria.
After a solid start by the Lions it was the Australians that took charge.
A flowing movement down the left brought the first score of the game as Ryan Mansfield finished at the corner and Thomas Weaver kicked the first of seven goals via a post. In almost no time, NSW Country flew to the line again when fleet-footed fullback Braye Porter carved through and Weaver was again on target.
The determination of the hosts was evident with centre Morgan Ackerley (Wath Brow Hornets) showing up well in defence, and halfback Sam Craig (Newton Storm) attacking with freedom. With Paddy Mahar (Blackbrook) and Kian Fishwick (Orrell St James) also to the fore, NSW Country struggled to impose themselves on the middle third of the first half.
An attacking position brought a great backline move for Mansfield's second and the probing of stand-off Riley Lack was finally rewarded three minutes from half-time. Weaver's boot made it 0-24 at the break.
NSW Country emerged from the dressing rooms an even better prospect and three tries in the first eight minutes of the new half took the game away from the plucky Lions.
Prop Noah Johannsen scored the first with substitute Kyle Mawhinney getting in on the act minutes later, all before Porter supported a break from a promising Lions position to zoom away for his second.
England Community Lions were finally rewarded with some field position and it was an Orell St James combination that brought their try as Jack Houghton cleverly stepped back on the defence and passed left for team-mate Luc Slater to hold off two defenders and go under the posts. Houghton also goaled to make it 6-40.
Clinically, NSW Country imposed themselves again as Weaver cut through for his first try with halfback partner Lack touching down out wide. At this stage it was 6-50 but the Australian side finished strongly with two tries in the last four minutes. Weaver completed his 22 point haul with his second try following a world-class offload from Bayley Cox, this time converted by Michael Pace and the rampaging Cox brought the game to a close with a try that he converted.
ENGLAND COMMUNITY LIONS WEST: Try: Slater (43)
Goal: Houghton 1/1
NSWRL COUNTRY: Tries: Mansfield (2, 21), Porter (5, 38), Lack (27, 50), Johannesen (33), Mawhinney (35), Weaver (45, 56), Cox (58)
Goals: Weaver 7/9, Pace 1/1, Cox 1/1.