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Friday, January 08, 2010

GB Men Much-Improved Against Tunisia

HAVING lost by 18 goals to the African champions Tunisia last week, Great Britain men turned in a much-improved performance against the same team in the Marrane Cup in Paris on Friday evening.

Tunisia still won the clash, but this time the gap was only ten goals with GB playing well throughout the 23-33 loss.

“All the lads are well pleased with that,” said assistant coach Bill Baillie. “We played much better than we did last week and it’s been a real boost to our confidence.”

Having missed the Yellow Cup in Switzerland last week, right back Steven Larsson turned out for GB and proved a real talisman for the team, scoring eight goals and injecting the team with a real belief in their abilities.

“It’s been his first game for three weeks, so he didn’t play the whole game,” added Baillie. “But he oozes confidence, and when we took him off the players were able to keep it together.

“We had a rough patch where Tunisia went from 16-13 to 22-13, but the difference between this game and last week was that we didn’t lose our heads and we battled back well.”

The game also marked an impressive first cap for new-find Phillip Furley, a 27-year-old playmaker who plays for Bammental in Germany.

He made a big impact in both defence and attack, and helped stem the flow of Tunisian goals when GB were under the cosh. Furley ended the match with three goals, as did left back Martin Hare.

In yesterday’s opening match of the tournament Tunisia beat Qatar 34-25, and Baillie added: “We’re going out to beat Qatar tomorrow.

“Having seen their game against Tunisia we’ve compared the stats and we think they’re a similar level to us, so obviously we want to beat them.”

The Qatar game begins at 4pm French time.

Pic: GB's Steven Larsson, who top-scored against Tunisia with eight goals. (Pic: Reiner Worm).

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