WALLY LEWIS says Australia’s third Test win over Great Britain in 1986 was their “escape from Alcatraz” after some late-night drinking almost scuppered their feats.
He was vice-captain on the famous “Invincibles” tour to the UK in 1982 and, alongside greats like Peter Sterling, Brett Kenny and Mal Meninga, they were unbeaten again versus both clubs and country four years later.
However, Great Britain had them on the rack in that final Test in Wigan, threatening a shock until finally losing 24-15.
“I probably regard some games I had in England as some of the best I ever had in my life,” recalled Lewis.
“Some of my favourites were here. That one at Wigan in ‘86 we were under the pump. It was all square in the second half but we had blokes falling all over the place. Andy Gregory was back in their side and, though it’s hard to make a judgement, that was as good a GB side as I’d ever seen.
We had to be at our best and we only just beat them. I ended up scoring a try right at the death and we just got home.Wally Lewis
“We had to be at our best and we only just beat them. I ended up scoring a try right at the death and we just got home. There was some suggestion that a few of our blokes had been out the night before on the drink.
“I told them if we lose just one game on this tour we’ll be classed as second-rate nobodies as the previous tour had been undefeated.
“It was like Escape from Alcatraz at the end. A real memorable moment.”