Brian Noble looks back at Great Britain's win over Australia in 2006
Great Britain's historic victory over Australia in the 2006 Tri-Nations series remembered on Sky Sports watchalong
Last Updated: 29/05/20 9:49pm
Brian Noble joins Sean Long, Leon Pryce, Jamie Peacock, Phil Clarke and Brian Carney for a Great Britain watchalong as they relive their epic 2006 Tri-Nations encounter against Australia.
Noble was the coach at the time with Pryce, Long, Peacock and Carney all part of the team that took to the field in Sydney.
According to the Aussie press, Noble's men had no chance and Pryce irked them even more when he compared Bondi Beach to Blackpool.
Great Britain had already lost their opening game - going down 18-14 to New Zealand - but they were given a lifeline after the Kiwis were docked two points for fielding an illegible player in Nathan Fien.
The pressure heading into the game against the Kangaroos was intense and Noble said the Aussie press were trying their best to get a rise out of his men.
"Heading into that game, we needed some points. Australia were confident and there was all sorts of controversy beforehand - the Blackpool / Bondi Beach comparison and a lot of things the public were not aware of," Noble told Sky Sports.
"We were followed around by the media who were trying all sorts of dirty tricks trying to catch them out for a headline.
"But our lads were great and the atmosphere in the change room was electric - it was hair on the back of your neck time.
"All week, we had talked about the three Ps - possession, percentages, and patience. I had this pre-match speech all planned but couldn't remember what one of the Ps stood for, so they all started to take the mickey out of me.
"I should have just left them alone. They were all fired up and ready to play!"
The game was a fiery encounter that exploded early on when Willie Mason knocked-out Stuart Fielden with an early punch. Mason went on to punch Sean Long before Jamie Peacock stepped in with a few punches of his own.
"On any other day of the week, Mason would have walked for that, but he got away with a talking to," remembers Noble.
"They were full of confidence after their two wins over New Zealand and they had some incredible players - Darren Lockyer is a once in a lifetime player. We had a plan to get into their halfback Ben Hornby and I always thought we had a chance to surprise them.
"Did we rattle them? I just thought when they did not get away from us they started to get a bit worried. We had a psychology in our game, we had this belief that we could keep on going back to the well.
"I think the challenge for myself and every other coach before, was how do we get ourselves into this game, how do you stay in the game, and how do you finish the game.
"When Paul Wellens went for his try under sticks, they really did not like that. There was another disgraceful challenge on Long from Mason, but we took it all.
"We were tougher than them that night, our psychology was tougher and we defended magnificently."
Noble also reveals what was happening off the field during the game as he was desperate to get the most out of his players.
"I was having a lot of fun - the cameras seemed to show that I was a miserable pig, but I was so excited," said Noble.
"I was dealing with a fair bit off the field too - I was having a running fight with Chris Brookes. Prof Brooks is a great friend and the best medical person I have ever had. But I wanted Fielden back on - asking how much time could we get out of a bloke who shouldn't have been on the field.
"Obviously with the current protocols, he would have been off to hospital but in those days we pushed the boat out and I needed him back out there.
"That game has become iconic for a number of reasons. We don't play Australia often on their own patch - I described the series as the toughest challenge in world sport for our team, but our players stepped up - Jamie Peacock was superb, the stint he put in just after half-time was outstanding.
"Gareth Hock had an outstanding game too and Terry Newton showed what a world-class hooker he was. All the players were magnificent and played some great football."