Early Kicking Woes For Widdop
In the game's early stages, a glaring observation was the lack of involvement from the England halfback; Gareth Widdop's role was supposed to be simplified in the do-or-die clash, but the host side's first three kicks came from five-eighth Kevin Brown and lock Sam Burgess. When Widdop finally put boot to ball in the seventh minute, the Dragons co-captain didn't find touch, with Blake Ferguson easily taking the ball to give the Kangaroos posession.
Percival Flies High
The Kangaroos continued to apply pressure and an opening four-pointer seemed inevitable when Cooper Cronk sent the ball high towards an incoming Josh Dugan. The Dragons and VB Blues representative lept high but was outdone by England centre Mark Percival, who took a fantastic mark on his own try line to come down in the field of play. The English then marched downfield, were awarded a penalty goal 20 metres out and Widdop made no mistake in getting his side on the board.
Graham Forward Pass Unnoticed
The English defended their line outstandingly and turned momentum around to have the ascendancy early in the second quarter, putting pressure on the Australian try line with a repeat set. What appeared to be a blatant forward pass from a James Graham offload went unnoticed by the referee, however, with Jermaine McGillvary making the most of an overlap to score in the next play. The Lions were certainly on top and then had a 6-2 lead to show for it.
Fergo Makes It Three
Continuing a successful individual showing this tournament, Blake Ferguson scored the Kangaroos' opener for the third consecutive game with a try in the 36th minute. Some quick, slick hands from Darius Boyd cut out Josh Dugan to find the Roosters back, with the 26-year-old making no mistake in the south-western corner.