The Aussies are expecting 'garbage' tactics from England ahead on Saturday. Bill Arthur blogs from down under
Last Updated: 28/10/10 10:17am
There's a bit of pre-match sledging going on from the Aussies ahead of Sunday's game here in Melbourne. They reckon England will be so desperate to win that they'll resort to 'garbage' tactics and try and biff the poor, defenceless Kangaroos.
The impression given by some local journos is that these are fragile wallflowers wearing the green and gold who'll need protecting from the nasty mean ruffians in the England side. Let's hope referee Tony Archer isn't fooled by that sort of 'garbage'.
Anyway, the Kangaroos should be able to handle another physical encounter because the had to take plenty of rough stuff from Stanley Gene's PNG side last week.
I spotted Kurt Gidley in the streets of Melbourne a couple of days ago and he's got a beautiful shiner. Probably courtesy of the man the Aussies have christened The Jukebox.
They're referring to Sheffield Eagles very own Menzie Yere, who really come up with some big hits - hence The Jukebox - and he left his mark on several players. Darren Lockyer was another who felt the impact of Menzie's charging bull-style tackling.
The Kangaroos captain had a rib injury earlier in the year and apparently the Eagles centre caught him a couple of times in that same area. In fact the Co-operative Championships contingent played their part in the PNG performance and no doubt they'll be just as, shall we say, enthusiastic when they take on the Kiwis this weekend.
England, meanwhile, are in confident mood ahead of their big game and there seems to be a great spirit in the camp. Despite the problems they've had - losing Adrian Morley and now Michael Shenton - they're not feeling sorry for themselves and believe they can get the win they need on Sunday.
They included some recreation in their schedule this week with a trip to a climbing centre in Melbourne and they are a cruel lot.
Luke Robinson was left dangling in the air while his team mates slapped and tickled him, Kevin Brown had an unfortunate experience when the safety harness he was wearing was pulled so tight by his climbing partner that it got wedged where it wasn't meant to - and media manager John Ledger copped it again.
He wasn't actually taking part and, knowing he was likely to be the target for some sort of jape, he was keeping out of range. Or so he thought. His colleagues managed to creep up and clip him to a rope. Next thing he knew he was dangling 20 feet up.
Finally, Australia is still a land of opportunity and one former Super League forward is making the most of that fact. Chris Feather didn't have much luck in the British game; in 2004 he played virtually every match in the regular season for Leeds but missed out on a Grand Final place.
Injuries restricted appearances elsewhere and he finished his playing career last year with Villeneuve Leopards. Well, now 29-year-old Chris is in Sydney where he's working as a personal fitness trainer at a gym where his clients include a national TV personality and a top Australian model.
He's sharing a flat with England's Sam Burgess in Sydney and is hoping to settle in the city for a while. Given the enthusiasm for fitness and the body beautiful in Australia - there's the risk of being mown down by power walkers if you're strolling along the banks of the Yarra first thing in the morning - Chris shouldn't be short of work.