Australia defeated Great Britain 23-4 in the Ashes deciding Third Test at Elland Road in Leeds, despite reports the home side had had the dimensions of the field ‘doctored’ to negate the Kangaroos’ attacking prowess.
Writing in his Kangaroo tour diary, ‘Ashes to Ashes’, Australian halfback, Ricky Stuart said a very senior British player told Laurie Daley the pitch had been narrowed in width.
Britain had their chances, dominating possession and territory early in the second half, but Australia’s defence was magnificent.
Australian hooker, Steve Walters was Man of the Match, largely due to the metres he made out of dummy half, his performance prompting Stuart to tag him the best number 9 in the code’s history.
Stuart set up Dean Pay for Australia’s last try of the match, and his performance vindicated coach, Bob Fulton’s decision to drop Allan Langer after the Lions won the First Test at Wembley.
That night at the official reception at The Queens Hotel in Leeds, Australian skipper, Mal Meninga received a standing ovation after his fourth and final Kangaroo tour of Britain.
There was one sour note, according to Stuart.
“I thought it was a bit disrespectful of three our four of the more high profile English players not to stand,” Stuart wrote. “Like him or dislike him, Mal deserved the ovation for what he gave the game.”